Friday, September 13, 2013

Redeemed by Love

 Have you ever read Redeeming Love by Francine Riveras or the book of Hosea in the Bible? Does it make sense to you or does it astonish you, frustrate you, sadden you, anger you? If you've never read these books I do highly recommend them for perspective.

Hosea is asked by God to marry a harlot- someone he knew would become unfaithful. Imagine God asking you to marry someone when you know they won't love you as much as you will love them. In fact, they will hate you, they will leave you, they will betray you and you will be left alone, only to shamefully run after them even though you were right in the beginning.

Hosea married Gomer and loved her and bore children with her. 
Yet Gomer left and was deceitful breaking the covenant marriage despite the love they had shared and the sacrifices Hosea had made for her. 
Gomer became a poor, shamed woman. 
Yet Hosea instead of harvesting bitterness, searched day and night for Gomer, his beloved lost, and would secretly help provide food and clothing for her protecting her in any way he could. 
Hosea never stopped loving her even though Gomer never came back and ultimately was sold into slavery.

Gomer did not deserve Hosea's love and mercy. Neither do we deserve Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
Mercy and grace are gifts that we never deserve. Though they are free to the receiver they are expensive to the giver. Love is never free. It is a risk and a sacrifice of the utmost value: the most precious parts of the heart. Proverbs 4:23 says we must guard our hearts for everything else we do will flow from it.

God is the only giver of a perfect love. God asks us to be His brides and to share a deep love together. We are all prostitues, whores, sinful selfish wretches yet God continues to love us day by day. He asks us to accept His love so that His love may transform our lives.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

By grace we have been saved. And may this grace fill our hearts with peace and may we learn to extend mercy to our brothers and sisters who have hurt us the most.. as a response to God's uncomprehending sacrifice for us. Father, create in me a clean heart and help me accept the love you want to lavish upon me that your love may transform my life.

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