Summary: Hosea pointed out 6 ’Gray Hairs’ that we should take care of in order to "Find the Fix in 2006". Link included to formatted text version, handout, and PowerPoint Presentation.
‘Finding the Fix in 2006’
Hosea is one of the minor prophets…this doesn’t mean he was under 18 or unimportant but only that his prophecy is shorter in length than Isaiah’s or Jeremiah’s, etc.
The Pastor was preaching a series on the prophets and one of the members asked him, “when are you going to preach on the ‘meaner’ prophets?” As you read the minor prophets you’ll agree that their messages were rather bombastic and full of judgment.
Our text is in v. 9 – “yet he knoweth it not”
A few weeks ago I turned 35…halfway to what God said I might live on average…this means I’ve climbed and topped the hill, and now I’m…well, you know! Kimberly will tell you I don’t depress easily, but it was a bad day for me…a day of retrospect and looking forward to the future. [The good news is I’m now the exact age the average church member says is ideal to be their pastor!] Then in NC this week I was getting fitted for this jacket I’m wearing today when the salesman said, “you’re fine thru this area [chest] but this area [belly] is gonna be your problem!” So, I’m making a New Year’s resolution to start exercising. I have to find the fix in 2006!
And New Year’s should be a day of looking back and then looking forward. It’s good to stop and think about what we are accomplishing or where we may just be meandering, and it’s a good idea to set some goals and try to build a better future.
At Thanksgiving this year my little sister, in her supportive, considerate way, pointed out that I have a few gray hairs appearing on my head as well as my chin. Usually when a man’s hair turns gray or white it speaks of a milestone…a compliment of wisdom, perhaps, but it’s also indicative of a decline in his physical life. But, I guess hair turning gray beats the alternative of it “turning loose!”
What we have here in our text is an evidence of a spiritual decline. Hosea has much to say about backsliding. Here is a danger that faces every one of us who are Christians: spiritual decline. Here’s the question we need to ask ourselves on this day: “am I turning gray spiritually?”
The first time some of you found a gray hair you attached it to an index card and still have it. Some may still be in denial, and some may attempt to camouflage it! [how many color away their gray? How many know someone in the room who should have raised their hand?! ]
Spiritual decline always begins inwardly. The prodigal son backslid at home alone, long before he backslid in a far country.
The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
So, what about these gray hairs mentioned in our text? Let’s look at 6 hairs I can find that we need to deal with this first day of ’06:
1. The gray hair of falsehood
I must ask, am I guilty of this? Are you? The last thing any of us are willing to do is to admit failure. We grow cold spiritually and we do everything possible that we know to do to keep up the appearance that all is ok. Like trying to color away our gray and feel better. We say amen when we’re right w/ God but say it even louder when we’re out of fellowship w/ Him. Or, we don’t go to the altar when a negative is preached on but run down there if the preacher says, ‘come to pray for the lost’ or ‘to overturn Roe V. Wade.’ How easy it is to ‘profess’ more than we actually ‘possess’!
ego = what I think of myself
reputation = what others think of me
character = what God knows about me
Oh, that we would focus on the latter of those 3 this year! In 2005 we focused on ourselves and what others think. Let’s find the fix in 2006 and think about the only One we should try to impress!
They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
You say, “this will never happen to me”. Remember what Paul told the Corinthians, “take heed lest ye fall.” No matter how far we’ve grown in grace, it is no guarantee we won’t decline spiritually. Any of us can and do backslide at times!