"I will..." (Hosea 2).
O Majestic Sovereign, King of kings and Lord of all: both glory and worship are Yours. You alone are worthy of all praise, adoration, submission, and love. You are great, and greatly to be praised. There is no one like You, Lord. You are God. There are no others. I am Your slave. Pierce my ear with the nail that pierced Your Son. Pierce my ear to the doorpost of Your house. One day as a slave in Your courts is better than a thousand days elsewhere. I was once a wretched slave to sin, but You bought me for an incalculable price. The price had nothing to do with my value. The price was set based on the value of the One who paid it--Your Son, my Master, Jesus Christ the Lord.
Father, as I read Hosea 2 this morning, I was struck by the many sovereign declarations You made. 24 times in this brief chapter You said, "I will." Through Your prophet, You leave no doubt as to who was and is in control. Judgment, punishment, mercy, restoration: everything Israel would face, everything she would experience, everything--You determined, You declared, You executed. You sought no one's counsel. You sought no one's approval. You did not and do not reign by committee. You are King.
Father, You have declared that only the fool would say in his heart, "There is no God." But how foolish is it for one to call You "Lord and Savior" but not acknowledge with joy that You are sovereign over all? Yet many Christians live in denial of and even passive-aggressive rebellion against the reality of Your sovereignty. Nowhere else is this seen more clearly than in soteriology--the study of the doctrine of salvation.
The Doctrines of Grace: Father, how beautifully You have woven these golden threads through the wondrous tapestry of Your Word. From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, the threads are clearly seen. O Father, how arrogant of Your children to cover their eyes and childishly declare these precious Doctrines of Grace are not found in Your Word. How stubborn and haughty for any of Your children to take the position of the unregenerate, which says that man's sill is sacrosanct and cannot be violated--that You, O Lord, are sovereign only to the extent the individual person allows You to control his or her life. To see You as merely an influencer in the affairs of mankind and not the controller of all things is to have the wisdom, discernment, and maturity of a child (1 Corinthians 13:9-12).
Father, I thank You for allowing me to see and begin to understand the Doctrines of Grace when I was fairly young in my faith. I still have so much to learn, a quarter-century later. Thank You for the peace, joy, rest, and comfort that comes with not only an understanding of Your sovereignty (as incomplete as it is), but also that comes with submission to Your sovereignty.
Because I know You are sovereign, I can experience joy in the midst of trials. Because I know You are sovereign, I can minister to and nurture Mahria and my girls. Because I know You are sovereign, I can preach Your gospel on the streets without worrying about man's definition of effectiveness, results, or the approval of man, or persecution. Because I know You are sovereign, I never have to give a thought to earning or maintaining Your love for me. Because I know You are sovereign, I can live true to Your Word; I can live by faith and not by sight.
Thank You, Lord, for giving me eyes to see nothing new, but what has always been true. Over and over and over again in Your Word, You say, "I will." I know You will, because You cannot lie. You cannot fail. You are sovereign!
Holy Spirit, please bless every follower of Jesus Christ with a right understanding of the sovereignty of God. May the Doctrines of Grace be as sweet as honey in their mouth. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.