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Summary: LAST WEEK, AS WE LOOKED TOGETHER AT HOSEA 10, WE DEVELOPED THE THOUGHT OF DEALING WITH HARDHEARTEDNESS IN OUR LIVES. TODAY, I WOULD LIKE US TO GO BEYOND THIS INTO THE NEXT STEP IN WHAT SHOULD BE OUR PROGRESSIVE CHRIST-LIKENESS. THE AREA WE WILL BE LOOKI

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QUALITIES OF MATURITY AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST

HOSEA 11:1-7

Hosea 11:1-7 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. 3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. 4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. 5 "Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? 6 Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans. 7 My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them.

INTRODUCTION: LAST WEEK, AS WE LOOKED TOGETHER AT HOSEA 10, WE DEVELOPED THE THOUGHT OF DEALING WITH HARDHEARTEDNESS IN OUR LIVES. TODAY, I WOULD LIKE US TO GO BEYOND THIS INTO THE NEXT STEP IN WHAT SHOULD BE OUR PROGRESSIVE CHRIST-LIKENESS. THE AREA WE WILL BE LOOKING AT IS THE QUALITIES OF MATURING IN CHRIST. ONCE WE HAVE DEALT WITH THE CAUSES OF HARDHEARTEDNESS IN OUR LIVES, WE ARE THEN ABLE TO TAKE THE STEPS OR EMBRACE THE QUALITIES THAT WILL PERMIT US TO MATURE IN OUR WALK AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

I. QUALITY #1 – DON’T RUN AWAY FROM GOD

Hosea 11:2 But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.

A. SIMPLY PUT – IT IS HARD TO GET TO KNOW SOMEONE WHEN YOU ARE ALWAYS RUNNING AWAY FROM THEM

B. CHRIST TOLD US TO WALK IN RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.

Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

1. YOKES ARE ALL ABOUT LEARNING. ONE OX LEARNS FROM ANOTHER BY BEING YOKED TOGETHER. WE LEARN/MATURE IN CHRIST AS WE MAINTAIN A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.

2. YOKES ARE ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE. ONE OX LEARNS TO BE GENTLE FROM THE OTHER OX. ARE ASSOCIATION WITH CHRIST ALLOWS US TO JETTISON OLD HABITS, THOUGHTS, AND ACTIONS; REPLACING THEM WITH ONE FAR BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAD; REPLACING THEM WITH ONE FAR BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAD.

3. YOKES ARE ABOUT REST. WE WOULD NOT HAVE ALL OF THE STUFF WE HAVE IN THIS WORLD TO ASSIST US IN DE- STRESSING, WINDING DOWN, LOOSENING UP, ETC. IF WE WOULD JUST LET JESUS DO IT.

4. THERE WOULD BE NO NEED FOR PSYCHOLOGIST, PROZAC, OR HAPPY HOURS.

5. WHEN MAN CHOOSES TO WALK AWAY FROM THE YOKE JESUS OFFERS THEM, THEY HAVE A NEED TO ACCOMPLISH THE SAME BENEFITS IN INFERIOR WAYS!

6. ULTIMATELY, THE YOKE/RELATIONSHIP THAT CHRIST OFFERS TO US (EVEN AS BELIEVES) IS MUCH EASIER THAN WHAT WE WOULD BE PUTTING OURSELVES THROUGH WITHOUT HIM!

C. NOTICE THE OPPOSITE OF FOLLOWING CHRIST IN RELATIONSHIP – IT IS FOLLOWING AFTER OTHER THINGS. WE COULD SAY, NOT FOLLOWING JESUS CHRIST IS A FORM OF IDOLATRY, BECAUSE SOMETHING HAS TO BE TAKING UP THE TIME I SHOULD BE DEVOTING TO CHRIST!


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