Hosea, part 3

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I’m going to invite you to turn to the book of Hosea. That’s where we are and our new series together on recovery road. As we look at the life of Hosea and Gomer, and I’m going to tell you today, I’m just going to cheat. I don’t know what cheating means, but if there’s a lesson where you get to cheat, I’m cheating today. I really am just picking my favorite verses out of Hosea and we’re just communicating that as the story of Hosea is communicated to us. But here’s really what I want to go with with today. Gomer and Hosea. Their story together is an illustration of our, our lives with the Lord. And I want us to see how God uses our story no matter where it’s been, uh, to draw our hearts to him and be able to communicate that to the world and connecting other people to Christ and what he wants to do in their lives.

And I think it’s important to know because to be used of God, you don’t have to be a perfect person. In fact, I would say if you’ve ever read the Bible, you would find that to be true, right? If you’ve seen the stories of scripture, you find yourself saying pretty often that man, God is really good at using some messed up scenarios with some messed up situations, have some messed up lives for his glory and to be used by God. You don’t have to be perfect. And in fact, I think part of the recovery process for us as people, the healing process for us as people as found found in that um, God uses us in our brokenness to be open in the way that we show how Jesus works in our lives, in the middle of our mess, so that he can do the same for others. And in fact, I think Paul, when he starts his book in second Corinthians, he starts this way. Verse three, blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

I think Paul here may be leaning into the sufferings people receive externally, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t specify that the afflictions we received, men, it may even be brought on by self, but the God of all comfort finds us in that. And through the comfort we receive from that God of all comfort are Avril able to comfort others going through those circumstances by the God of all comfort who comforts us. And so that’s, that’s really what Paul communicates here. I think that’s where Hosea goes in his story with Gomer and you know, jokingly well you can say if there’s one thing that you learned about, about Hosea and Gomer is this, that you can feel better about yourself because there’s someones whose situation is always worse than yours, right? Or not. Okay, that’s a horrible, that’s horrible example. Um, but really what the story of govern Hosea does for us is to help us recognize it’s not, it’s not just you that experiences hardship and brokenness in life, and that there’s hope and recovery that can be found.

And, um, I mean, you think about sometimes in life, the situations we find ourselves, we, we may even say it may be my gift is just how good I can screw up, right? Like my spiritual gift is sinning. I mean, where is there hope in that? Well, Hosea and Gomer is a great book to, to just present that for, for anybody and how there’s hope and how there’s grace and how, um, how we find recovery and healing in the Lord. And so when we started this series together, we, we looked at both characters in this. We looked at Hosea and we looked at Gomer and we really started with Hosea because we wanted to recognize, when we talk about, um, adversity we face as people, rarely, rarely does it just affect you, right? So if, if we do something that it’s just a mess up, we fall on our face, we send whatever, um, it doesn’t just tend to impact you.

Sometime there’s somebody on the other side, like a Hosea. He tries to come into our lives and, and, and love us through that. And it, it costs or affects them sometimes as much or maybe even more than the individual going through the circumstance. And so the question is, if you’re approaching a situation that seems adverse and you feel like a Hosea, how do you get through that? And, and the answer for us, for us was this, um, it’s that you don’t always have to have the answer, but you know, the God who does, and there comes a place in our lives where we just look at certain truths that the Bible communicates to us. Um, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians four 13 or first John four, four greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world where you’ve got to say, I believe it or I don’t.

Right? And God can direct you in those steps in what we find in life. When we have an uncertainty and we connect ourselves to the God who does, um, we discover in that as God uses that adversity really as the place to grow our faith. Many times our prayer is get rid of it. Get rid of it, get rid of it. But sometimes God’s answer is no, I’d rather I want to walk with you through that because this is the place where you grow in your connection to me and understanding who I am in relationship to your life. And so we looked at that from Hosea, but then we looked at Gomer and governor’s life. We marked this, um, she was a prostitute, right? That Hosea was told to marry her. If you’ve not heard the story of this yet, Hosea is told to marry her as an illustration of our relationship to God. How, how God sees us interacting with him. We, um, Hosea was one where he loves his wife, but his wife turned towards other lovers and he continued to extend love towards us as an example of, of God’s relationship to us. But what we learned from, from GeMar is this is that insecurity

leads to idolatry and instability in our walk with God. But the solution for that is identity, right? So there’s a lot of eyes there. Um, and the way that we drew that illustration is starting from the garden of Eden where Adam and Eve had this harmonious walk with the Lord created for that purpose, reject God’s sin. And in that they run away from God in their insecurity, toward their relationship with God. They run away from God and they create idolatry. They, they puffed themselves up in their own strengths. And God, we can handle this. They create first manmade religion. And when God comes in the garden and encounters Adam and Eve, after their sin, they start blaming each other and they turn on one another as it’s their fault. And so there is this insecurity created idolatry and it gave him stability of the relationship with God.

But what God desired to do was create identity in him, regardless of them. And so regardless of their sin. And so I think it’s important. We’re going to talk about sin this morning and we’re going to talk about hope this morning. And I feel like sometimes as Christians we, we tend to do one or the other. We tend to overplay one and downplay the other. Like sometimes we talk way optimistic and never talk about sin, which is not healthy. And sometimes we talk about Santa and we never talk about the hope in Jesus, which is not healthy either. And um, what’s important to recognize in Jesus, his sacrifice is this, Jesus paid for your sin but it didn’t stop there. He also imputed righteousness, right? Which means you find new identity, new purpose, a new home who family new kingdom in him. And both of those are significant to the life of the believer because if you, if you don’t, if you walk with one and not the other, there is this unhealthy imbalance in, in your, in your Christian life.

But understanding both of those in respects to God, ism is important because this is what it says to you. I could tell you, you’re, you’re, you’re just worth so much this morning. Um, and you are, you are, we’re all valuable people. But answering the question why it was what makes it important, you’re not worth something because we just declared that you’re worth something. You’re not valuable just because we said you’re valuable. You’re not valued because of what you can do. Um, your creator designed you. There’s, it’s like there’s nothing you do that impresses God. It’s like watching your kid, you know, for the 15th time, say, dad, watch me and watch me, watch me. And all it does is jump off the couch and you’re like, I’ve seen this one the first time, the 10th time, the 12th. Like, it’s not impressive. I can jump off into a circle in the air.

Like, you know, whatever you got, I got better. You know, it’s not impressive in that sense because God made you, but he also gave you a worth and value, which is what makes you a valuable person. Made you in his image and he demonstrated your worth by giving his life for it. That’s where your value is. It’s not based on your past, your present, or your future, your ability, your inability, what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, what you’re ashamed of doing. It’s in Jesus, which means it gives all of us, all of us hope, if if God is a gracious God. And when we looked at, we looked at Hosea, we looked at Gomer, but the point of all of this, and when we’re talking about recovery road, the reason we picked this title for this series is because of what Gomer represents, okay? And being a prostitute, we see in chapter three she even ends up in slavery. Now, if you talk about maybe one of the lowest points of a person’s life, right? I would say governor’s there and walk away from this story still saying there’s hope for Gomer. If there is hope for Gomer, there isn’t a person in this world outside of the hope of Christ. There’s hope for everyone because of Jesus. Well, it’s important how that story intersects our lives in order to find that hope, but because of Jose’s story with Gomer, it’s intended to communicate to everyone that there is. There is hope in Christ for us and so when God picked this story, he chose to use the story of a harlot, a prostitute for a special reason. I love, I love when even we’re getting close to Christmas. You read Jesus a story like you read some of the people in Jesus’s lineage. You’re like, man, that’s some shady deals. Go up here and this. This is what brought Jesus. It’s crazy to see some of the lineage of Christ in the past and the people that God works through.

In the story of Hosea, it’s the same thing. God chooses I harlot to shock us because it’s saying that Israel, it’s saying to us in our lives we have this ability to be lulled to sleep from our need independency. We really have for Jesus, and so he uses this store to to awaken us to how desperate we really are. And then he uses this idea of harlotry also as a, as a substitute for idolatry, meaning in Israel’s history just before seven 20 BC. It’s a little earlier than this, but it’s around this time. Remember how the story goes? I’ve shared this each week that Israel has been divided. They had three Kings after the three Kings, King, Jeroboam and Raya. Boom, separate the kingdom. 10 tribes go to the North, two tribes go to the South. So the civil war separates them. The 10 tribes in the North never have any godly King.

The message of Hosea is predominantly to them and God uses this harlotry because it’s associated with idolatry and Israel in the North. They worship all in ball. It was common to have temple prostitution going on and so then worshiping this idol, it was simultaneously saying heart are harlot and idolatry are interchangeable with one another. And so God is recognizing Gomer as an illustration really of all of us and our need for God, our insecurities lead us to trust. In things really ultimately is not dependable. And so, so I would say like this in a very practical sense, man, sin is fun for a season. I love the honesty of scripture. Sin is fun, right? For a season, but ultimately leads to destruction.

Sintel costs you lead you where you further than you want to go, it will cost you more than you want to pay. And so this, this story of harlotry is from minus. We all lead into idolatry in our insecurities. We trust in things that we aren’t designed to trust in. We find security in wealth, in relationship, in power, in position, in politics, whatever. Just pick something that we all tend to lean into it. Like it helps us shape our identity and makes us secure in, in that it becomes an idol. So this idea of harlotry, it’s recognizing our idolatry, which is often promoted by insecurity and trying to find something to depend in, but really ultimately it was created for the Lord. But the third point is where we want to go today because this is where our story intersects in the midst of the messiness of our life. And enables us to be a blessing to other people and how Jesus intervenes in our world. No matter how broken we may feel or no matter how tough things may be and uses us and can use us as an encouragement in the lives of other people, and that is this. The reason God chooses harlotry

is really to position the darkness of sin, the gracious goodness of his life. Harlotry is for us to see the stark contrast to the goodness of who God is, and that’s really ultimately from from this book, what we should derive from it is that God chooses an example of utter despair to show his saving grace in light of, of, of who we are in the heart of of humanity, in the midst of our sin. There is hope. It’s saying to us as if to shock us that our sin didn’t drive God away, rather it caused him to more heroically run towards us.

It’s counterintuitive to religious thinking, but it’s the nature of of the Lord. And so if I, if I took a few moments, I’m going to just give us a broad overview of the book of Hosea. So we haven’t done this together. I want you to know how this book breaks down cause I’m not going through it verse by verse, chapter by chapter. But when you walk away, I want you to know, have a clear picture of how this book breaks down in case you want to read it for yourself. But we said in the beginning of this book, it’s written poetically, right? And Jose is called the greatest lover all time because the extent that he demonstrates his love to someone who rejects him to the point that he buys her out of slavery, he, he sacrifices all that he has for, for Gomer and Hosea, chapter three, verses one, two and three. But in chapter two, if I want to just point out one of the theme verses of, of God than communicating himself to us through Hosea and Gomer story, it says this, I will betray with you to me forever. This is the Lord. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice and loving kindness and compassion and I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord in insecurity. What we seek after is to know someone cares. It’s all gonna work out and everything’s going to be okay. Can I have that spot to rest, fill up whatever idle we can just to sort of somewhat satisfy that longing and need. But then the Lord comes in the midst of that sin of DOMA, and he says this about us, that there’s righteousness and loving kindness and compassion and faithfulness and justice. And then he says something important here. This, this phrase that he says at the end of this verse as a phrase, he continues to recite throughout the book of Hosea. And we said one thing word is to return. God’s calling his people to return. But another theme word, if I had to 0.1 out is is the word. No. In fact, that’s it’s used in, in this verse, verse 20 chapter five, verse four, chapter six, verse three, chapter eight, verse two, chapter 13, verse four.

And that’s not even all, I just saw her a dozen times. This word no is used. And if you want to know what this word is, it’s actually yadda, which is, um, cousin to Yoda. Hello battle. Thanks for laughing guys. Cheesier than I am. All right, so, so yada, yada and yada is an important word. It’s, it is this word. No, but it’s not just knowledge. Okay. And that’s important. This word know is, is an experiential relationship. It’s, it’s a word for intimacy. And so it’s to know God personally. And this happens in your relationship with God as you interact experientially. It’s something that, like we said in the beginning, you either believe it or you don’t. Um, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That’s, that’s a verse you discover as you walk with God. And so that’s what he’s saying in verse 20 that really where Israel is at is they don’t know me, but this is what I want them to know about me and experience in me. This is who I am. This is God’s declaration, what he represents in our position that’s contrary to him. I still want you to know me. It’s righteousness and this justice and this loving God.

So God presents himself that way. In the story of Hosea and Gomer chapters one to three, this book is 14 chapters long. Chapters one to three God is using positionally the story of Hosea and Garmin saying, okay, this is what I’m like. I’m like Hosea in this story with GeMar who rejects him, pursues other lovers. This is me towards you. And then in chapters four to 11 God then lays that story out in chapters four to 10 he starts this, this cause and effect of Israel’s unfaithfulness. This is Israel’s response, four to 10 poetically written out, and this is, this is the result of that chapters four to 10 right? Then in chapters 12 to 13 I’m gonna leave 11 alone for a minute and chapters 12 to 14 he didn’t does it again. Chapters 12 to 13 this cause and effect of unfaithfulness. In fact, he does a history lesson with his and he’s like, not only is this where you are now Israel, but if I go back over your history, this is what you’ve represented is cause and effect of me pursuing you. You rejecting me.

And at the end of those sections, chapters four to 11 at the end of the section, chapter 12 to 14 you see in chapter 11 and chapter 14 God communicating something back to Israel. And this is what he says about them. Chapter 11 how can I give you up Holy for him? How can I surrender you O Israel, how can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zibowa him? My heart is turned over within me and my compassions are kindled. And so just so you know, those two towns were towns attached to Sodom and Gomorrah. The reason he picked those two times rather than Sodom and Gomorrah is in the poetry of the Hebrew. It rhymes. It actually, it flows in the thought of the Hebrew passage. It’s alliterated actually. And so he picks those two cities as a representation of Sodom and Gomorrah. But what God’s saying is, is my nature is not to give up on you, but rather to continue to pursue you. And so he informed attendees to showing this cause and effect in 11 he communicates this, this beautiful statement, Israel, despite all of that.

And then he does the same thing in 14 return O Israel to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity which is said take words with you and return to the Lord, say to him, take away all iniquity and receive us graciously that we may present the fruit of our lips. Let me stop there and say, so is there was recognizing their brokenness and they found a position now to come before the Lord and they’re just confessing it to God, their, their need for him. The Syria they say will not save us. We will not ride on horses, nor will we say again, our gods, the work of our hands for in you, the orphan finds mercy, so saying we found security and other things rather now has an orphan who really doesn’t have a Homer or finding security in you. I will heal. God says, then I will heal their apostasy. I will love them freely for my anger has turned away from them. What we see in the story, it’s harlotry positions itself intentionally, purposefully, so the light and the gracious love of God in the midst of our sin. What we learned from this is Hosea is a story of God looking for us. The story of Hosea is all of our stories, excuse me, a Gomer, I should say, it’s all of our stories that could very simply biblically declare. Nobody in this room went looking for God. Rather he came looking for you. I mean that is, that is the very nature of the names of Hosea and Gomer being defined. Remember Jose, his name means salvation and Gomer. His name means completion. That is not until salvation comes looking for completion, that she finds herself holistically secure in that love. So I can say it like this isn’t, there’s not a soul getting to heaven saying, God, I’m here because I’m that good. Rather it’s because of his grace. There was no hope for rescue apart from Jesus coming for you.

If I were to give it to us in a, in a biblical sense, if I just quoted a new Testament word, the way that Paul Paul paints that picture for us, it says this, when you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. So this uncircumcision is away. Israel identified there their relationship to God, and it’s saying, really? You don’t have one by the word debt? See, like if we read this verse this morning, you’re like, this does not apply to me. I am plainly alive today. I would. Yes, yes, you are welcome this morning. I’m glad. I’m glad you’re here. Right? But when the Bible talks about the word dad, it’s not meaning you know you’re, you’re, you’re buried somewhere or are you, you’ve your life on earth has ended. What it’s saying is you are created a spiritual being for relationship and God, when sin happened, that relationship was separated and so to paint the picture of how that separation looks, the Bible says it’s dead, doesn’t exist. It’s been ripped apart now to, to drive this point home. Let me just, I don’t, I don’t want to be uncouth, but I really want to paint what I think Paul is saying here in this passage. If we put it in practical terms, the reason he’s saying dead is to say this. No one goes to a funeral and set somewhere in that service and says while looking at the casket, I think they might pull through this one.

Do you know what that represents? It’s death. The Lord in this position is getting us recognize without his intervention there is no life. Yeah. The story of, of Gomer is told in such a way so that people that are deadened in their hearts can recognize one, how much God loves them and desires for healing in their lives, but to also see how desperate our situation is. Because this is what the Bible does. When it gets to Romans chapter nine verses 24 to 26 it compares every Gentile to Gomer. It says to us, her story is our story. And Romans chapter nine verse 24 Paul has been talking about the Jews in this passage, but in verse 24 he switches from talking about Jew. And now he says in verse 24 specifically to the Gentiles, and he says, Christ has come not only for the Jew, but also for the Gentiles. And then in verse 25 and in verse 26 what he does is he quotes the book of Hosea so that we get that point in verse 25 he quotes Hosea chapter two verse 23 and in verse 26 he quotes Hosea chapter one in verse 10 so that we can recognize in this story of darkness, in this sport of despair, in a, in a position where a lady could not rescue herself, being a slave stuck in harlotry that could not escape God, rescues salvation and completion. That’s heavy.

So you see the graciousness of God in that story, Emerson, right? And there’s imputed righteousness too, meaning in the midst of that, God wants to restore in such a way that he gives you a new identity, new position him for you to have a new kingdom, to live for a new reason to hold your head high, a new purpose for which you live, your life, a new relationship connected to God that was formerly dead. That’s, that’s where this story leads us. So Hosea is a story of, of the goodness and graciousness of God, but it becomes for us then a story of how God works through us despite our sin.

Because when you look at chapter four, routine of Hosea in verse four, he says, aye will heal. Sometimes we get in the Lifework. It feels so dark, right? Well, we really just need to hear those words from God. I will heal. And when healing takes place, it restores you in such a way that no longer are you the person just seeking after the healing, but you, you become the person that’s able to get up and demonstrate what Jesus has done. He’s renewed us in his righteousness and compassion and mercy is, it’s, it’s told us in Hosea chapter two in verses 19 and 20.

Okay, so let me, before I jump completely into the imputed righteousness part, let me just, let me just point this out. For sin for us and just a Mo for just a few minutes. Um, because all of us not knowing how to deal with sin, sometimes even even Christmas fall in this trap, we try to downplay it for a moment and we say things like, well, nobody’s perfect. Right? Well, nobody’s perfect. Um, that’s our way of acknowledging. Yeah, I’m not, I can’t live up to that standard and no one can. But it’s also our way of acknowledging that there is a standard, there is a standard across the world, escape it or try to escape it if you want. But humanity lives life with a moral standard that seems stamped on us. Right? I mean, nobody in this room is going to argue, you know, rape is good and murders. Right?

Why? Because there is the standard now we recognize for certain, nobody is perfect. But yeah, you study the life of an individual like C S Lewis, CS Lewis wrestled with this so much so that he recognized that that living as an atheist or agnostic, that there had to have be a God because he said in people’s lives, you know, when you enter into an argument, no one really argues what is the standard. Rather what you argue when you argue with someone else’s, how you are better at keeping it the neighbor. And so you’re more right than they are. And so they need about half of you and lose the argument because you’re more correct, right? Because the standards already there and see us Lewis starting to recognize how could we embrace and see something so negative and dark and unless we understand what is good and right, and where does that come from other than the one who is good and right.

In fact, Romans chapter three says this, now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law. I mean there is a standard, you’re under it so that every mouth may be closed and all the may become accountable to God because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. That’s a bummer for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. And then he says this in case you’re like, nah, I escape. He says for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans three 23. So he’s saying positionally, just like Romans nine says, standard fall short, the graciousness of God really becomes crystal clear. And the position of the darkness in which the illustration of Gomer is communicated to us. Now this is where it gets very important for us because this is where Christians and their own living, even though they might intellectually understand this fall off the wagon, or this is where religious people go astray and not understanding the gospel. Because what I’m not saying then is that, um, I’m not saying to you that your bad do better.

That’s not the point of the law. The point of the law is saying this. The pressure isn’t to be better. It’s a reminder. There is a God pressing on you that once you aware of his presence, the pressure we feel on the outside, isn’t it? So that we recognize that we need to become better people, but rather fall on her knees and become God’s people. [inaudible] Gomer couldn’t save herself. And why is that important for you to recognize? Because that becomes your platform for the way you’re able to communicate the goodness of Jesus in this world. Because I want you to hear when Jesus came into this world, listen, this is how he communicated it. Verse 17 in John chapter three for God did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not judged. He who does not believe has been judged already because he’s not believed in the name of the only begotten son. Jesus didn’t come to condemn because you’ve already fallen short of the standard. Jesus came to save in that our weakness, our sin becomes the platform for God’s glory. God’s grace to be communicated through our vibes. And this is why it’s important you ever grown up in a religious city. He made him see this to be true. This, this may even be true of you, that the reason you haven’t been to church in awhile, it’s because you’ve got around some religious people. When life was messy and when you needed compassion, you got criticism.

We already know we fall short of the standard. All have sin. The Bible tells us, right? I think what people need in lives in many ways is rather than us become critics, we need to become students. And what I mean is when you hear the story of what’s behind someone’s life and led them down the path that they’re, when, when you hear their story, you begin to see that you’re maybe not too different from them and you’re really one step away of, of making your life a Gomer like Gomer was okay.

And it’s when you see how their stores really aren’t much different than yours, that you begin to have compassion on that situation. I mean, Jesus said it to us in Matthew chapter seven, right? How can you say to your brother, well, let me take the speck out of your eye and behold, the log is in your own eye. So he’s saying to us, I don’t think he’s, he’s not saying that you can’t talk about sin or what people are facing in life, but what he is saying is as you are not to position yourself as a person who’s better than other people,

if, if you start to feel that way, here’s, here’s what you do. This isn’t what Jesus says. Um, look in the mirror and do a history lesson. I mean that’s what Hosea chapter 12 and 13 is Hosea chapter 12 and 13 is going go God going through the history of Israel because Israel stances, we’re God’s chosen people. We are good cause we are awesome. You know, I mean it just, I don’t stink, but you do get beneath me and bow down. I mean that was there and God’s saying, okay, let’s, let’s just walk down memory lane here for a minute.

Look at who you are or what you’ve demonstrated. People aren’t looking for more critics. People are looking for students, someone that wants to intersect with their lives and show them the goodness of who Jesus is, to rescue them from where they are. That’s what Jesus did for you, right?

When we expected a judge in Christ, she got grace. No, I think about ministering for the Lord. How’d you, I know Jesus calls us to live a Holy life and that’s something I want to do. I want to walk with Jesus. I want to live in that new nature and that new identity and I also don’t want to forget, I don’t want to forget what Jesus has done this past week. I was going through this passage just looking for stories of how God intersected into my life that way. You know, last night I looking at this sermon, it still felt like Florida. I want you to remind me of something that just helps me appreciate your grace more in my life. And then as I’m laying down last night, I even pulled out a book that in the past is just tore me out over the grace of God and read through it. Just looking for more stories about us, grace and that I didn’t share that with my wife but doesn’t want to bed last night she tells me, well my friends from as being a child passed away and, and one of my other friends is in jail now because of it. People that, um, we’re part of your past, apart from the grace of God would be a road that you’re still walking down. It’s an important story to think about because sometimes when we live like Jose is, or excuse me, governor’s in this world and God transforms our lives and we want to be used by God to encourage others. It’s not always an easy road. Cause when you look at Gomer, his life with Hosea, governor was a lady in slavery and Hosea was a man called to forgive her and love her, right?

And then that forgiveness, he’s the one paying the price. So to be an example for Jesus in this world sounds good and wonderful and transforming. But there’s, there is a price that comes with it. I mean, for Jesus, it’s his life. For Gomer as an illustration, chapter three verses one to three, he pays all that he has to to purchase Gomer out, out of slavery and bring her out this life of prostitution. And God didn’t say to go to Jose, do it when she deserves it, rather do it because I love her.

I had a friend this past week tell me a story similar to how the Lord used him in the life of another to just encourage him. And this person came from like a subculture of Christianity. You know how sometimes that gets where you get so isolated that you’ve never seen anything bad on in the world. And he’s kinda, he kinda was able to live that life in that arena. And, and so when he comes to know the Lord and matures in him, he gets to disciples. He has the disciple, somebody that the church to the his and disciple somebody. And the first person who brings him, um, was a goddess straight out of prison. And the first question he asks is, what were you in for? And the guy says, uh,

murder. So you just want to get your feet wet. Here you go. The first person to give you is someone out for murder. And he’s like, he says in that moment, you know how everything inside of you is racing, you don’t, you’re looking for the right word to say and you feel like, you feel like it’s time is going fast and you’re just awkwardly staring. But really it’s only lapse just a billionth of a second. And he’s like, on the inside, I’m realizing I can say something to speak life to this guy, or I can say something that just speaks death to him rather than the healing of Christ. And he’s like, man, I want to make this statement right. So he looks at him and says, you’re a murderer Cole. I am too. I was like, what are you talking about? So he takes him to passages in the Bible. In Matthew five Jesus sermon, the Mount and James three where it talks about you who have angered in your heart have committed murder. And he just says this like mean he’s done the action of murder, but the same sin that rest in his heart, rest in all of ours. And we’re always just one step short of making a mess of our lives just like Gomer did. And so he could, he could connect him in that way because he shares the same heart. That’s a need for the Lord.

But I know it’s not always easy. And can I tell you in that struggle, the only way I know to live life, truly forgiving others is to live with a reminder of how much you’ve been forgiving yourself. And Jesus is that place where our lives intersect with God in seeing our story being forgiven through him. So that in that God could use us as a tool to bring hope to the lives of others. And so what happens in the story then is we see our incredible worth and value, not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Jesus has done and now in him, we’re lavish this new identity in Christ that we get to live out for his kingdom, new purpose, new meaning, new life, new transformation in him. What was his done?

Where we belong belongs in Christ. God gives us a new song to, one of the greatest things to help you in your recovery is that you get to move forward and get your eyes off of self. You notice sometimes when you just mess up the, the sulking in, in that despair and, and what I’ve done but, but when Jesus enters in, it gives you opportunity to, to, to lay the eyes off of self, to look outside of self, to see how Jesus can work through you and encouragement other people because what Christ does in you and as verse 14 says, you are healed.

What happens in the healing of wounds is sometimes the scars remain, but if you know anything about scars is that they are always tougher. Having gone through it, right, the scar has the ability to heal itself in such a way that the skin is, can, can take double. The impact is what was previously there because of the wisdom that is gained through then I would say as it relates to God because of connecting it to Jesus, how Lord could use that in our affliction to encourage others in their infliction as well. So let me use this story as a closing illustration.

There was a man by the name of John Newton. Never heard of them. Amazing grace, right? Not using this illustration, sing amazing grace. But um, but to talk about the man that was led to sing the song, amazing grace. I mean when you, when you sing the song of amazing grace, you see the heart of a man that has, has been to the position of Gomer. And John. John Newton was an individual that was a slave trader and he walked away from the Lord and he had a mom that would talk to him about Jesus. But he pursued a different path in life. And it wasn’t until someone gave him the book, Thomas a campus’s book, imitations of Christ that the Lord used that to work in his life to transform him, but to be to the end of his life. John Newton continued to go around and preach about Jesus to the world because he saw how Christ intersected in his story so that so that he could share that as a platform to allow the Lord to intersect with other people’s stories and of his life.

It says this, that when he was old, he still continued to preach to the point that he was almost unable to walk and he was nearly blind and they even had to have an assistant that would go up and stand beside of him to help him in whatever need that he had, whether he started to fall over or couldn’t, couldn’t be heard. They said at the end of his life, he simply just whispered because no one could hear him or a anymore. But he was still speak. And one of his last messages, he gets up before the crowd and he just whispers, Jesus Christ is precious. And he followed up that profound line with another one. He said,

Jesus Christ is precious. And the individual standing beside him to help him looks at him and kind of thinking maybe he’s losing his mind cause he’s repeating himself. Says, you just said that. And he says, I know I said it. I’m going to say it again. And they said the the churches they gathered together in that building for worship, that the place just shook when John Newton said this specific cause you could tell he just said it with such deep compassion that Jesus Christ is precious, right? Cause that’s the place that his story became new. That’s the place where you learn to sing a new song.

That’s why you can sing words like amazing. Grace was such deep compassion today because they intersected the heart of a man that was so impacted by the grace of God that God gave him a new song to sing. Christ said it, imputed his righteousness to him and set him free and throughout history. Since that point, the church has sung that song as a sort of an Anthem of where we are in Jesus and this. So this is what it says to us when it comes to recovery road. We don’t walk that road alone. We get to do it together cause of what the grace of God has done in our lives. So no matter how messy things feel, there’s healing and Jesus and God wants to use the darkness of our lives to position itself against the glorious light of his grace as we walk down the road with him, others on a place to join in and the goodness of who God is and through that live in the promise that Christ heals.

Hosea, part 2

Christmas, Part 1