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Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Scandalous View of the Love of God Preview

Perhaps you’ve heard all your life that God loves you. But this can be true and you still struggle to know that love. You need to drink it in so that it seeps into every fiber of your soul, into what makes you tick as a person. We all need a full immersion in the love of God, so that there is no part of your being that isn’t touched by that love. Hosea 3 provides just such an experience. 

I'm continuing the message series from the book of Hosea at Bethany Place this Sunday. You can read about the first message in the series here and the second message hereI will post a link to the audio of Sunday's message when it becomes a available. 
A Scandalous View of the Love of God
Hosea 3
Shock and Awe, Part 3

1.    Grasp God’s persistent love

Hosea 3:1 (ESV) And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”

2.    Contemplate what loving you costs God

Hosea 3:2–3 (ESV) So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.”

3.    Turn to God in repentance and worship

Hosea 3:4–5 (ESV) For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.

Here are some questions to help you further explore the text

How would you answer this question: "God wants me to be happy, doesn’t he?”
God asked Hosea to do something that was very difficult. What other evidence do you see that God asks people to do hard things? 
What sort of sin do you judge as is the absolute worst in the mind of God?
What does this text say about the seriousness of our sin against God?
Who do you believe is responsible for your interest in God? Your initiative to pursue God or God’s initiative to pursue you? What evidence can you give to back up your answer?

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