Grown-up Love

Today’s Reading: Hosea 1:1-4:19

In today’s reading the prophet Hosea is called by God to take a promiscuous wife and have children with her in order to be an object lesson to all of Israel in how they are behaving towards their God and husband. God is our husband! He is our provider and protector, our shield and our salvation, but beyond even that He is our lover! He doesn’t just love you as His child, just because you were born from His supernatural loins. He loves you with the passion of an adult. Right now I want you to think of your spouse, how do you love them? Why do you love them? What are some of the ways that you show them you love them? What are some of the ways that your spouse shows you that they love you? You see while we were children we loved our parents and our grandparents because they loved us first. We loved them simply because they were all we knew. But as we grew our horizons were broadened and our eyes became opened to the idea that there were other kinds of parents out there. Parents that let their kids stay up later or let them eat things we didn’t get to eat and we began to resent our parents. But then after entering into adulthood we began to realize how right our parents really were. And we began to mimic their ways, most of the time without even knowing that we were doing it. And then we met “The One”. *Romantic sigh…….* That man who is the complete package, the real deal, Mr. Right and we fall in love. This love is nothing like the love that we feel for our parents! This love is deep and passionate and hot. We do things with our husband that we don’t do with anyone else. We say things to our husband that we don’t say to anyone else. We have a level of intimacy with our husband that we don’t have with our parents. Though our relationships with our parents may still run deep, it is very different from the relationship with a spouse.

Then we have children and everything changes!!! We experience another kind of love that is, again, like nothing we’ve ever felt before in our lives. We suddenly love someone we’ve never even met before simply because they have come from this deep passionately hot relationship of intimacy that we have with our spouse. We have this deep need to tenderly care for this precious tiny thing that we have created. We delight in every single moment they are with us and long for them desperately when they are away from us. We worry if they are cold or hungry, if they are clothed well or dirty, we care about them even when they are away from our sight.

In a way that God can only understand He loves us like all of that. He loves us as the parent and as the lover – and not in a gross way either… somehow. While Yaweh is our Father, Jesus is our husband and that helps us separate the two kinds of love a bit I suppose. But yet it is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to have the intimacy with both of them the way that we can. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can have fellowship, friendship and yes even spiritual intercourse with God. Woo! Did I just say that??? Yup, I sure did! But it’s true! So often in the church today people don’t talk about God in “that way” because they feel it is disrespectful of Him somehow. But look at the book of Hosea!!! He’s talking about Himself in “that way”! If there is one thing our society knows about and can relate to it’s sex! And yet here is God, wooing us in every possibly way imaginable so that He can be intimate with us and we can be intimate with Him and know Him in “that way” and yet people are going hungry right and left because they’re just not getting it. They do not understand just how deep God’s grace goes. When Jesus’ blood dripped down the cross it didn’t stop running when it hit the ground. It hit the ground running! Grace doesn’t mean that you’re forgiven until your next sin, the blood of goats and sheep did that, Jesus’ blood is ever so much more effective than that!!! While the blood of animals wiped away the sin from the slate until we wrote all over the slate again, the blood of Jesus made the slate so that it couldn’t be written on ever again! It didn’t just wipe it clean, it took it away completely! And yes, some of you may be out there thinking “there’s no way that’s how it works”, “can God really be that good?”, “but all I’ve ever learned is that we need to pay close attention to the things that we do so that we don’t fall into sin against God and make Him angry”. Guess what my friends, when God said “I will remember their sins no more” He meant it! Can God really be that good? YES!!!!! A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!!!! I pray that God will give you ears to hear this today my friend, because it is the God’s honest truth. It’s a truth that I have been fighting for the last three years to learn and really digest. I have LIVED this message every moment of every day for the last three years. I LIVED through the Law and attempting to follow it to the letter. I LIVED through the cords that it tied me up with and I can’t begin to tell you how depressed and downhearted I became because of it, not to mention extremely judgmental and condemning. But best of all, I have LIVED through the acceptance of Grace and what it really means to be SAVED. I have heard it said that when you get “saved” you are saved from the wrath of God. And I believe that to be true. But to me, to be saved is so much more than that. You become saved from condemnation. When Adam took that first bite of the forbidden fruit he chose to stand in agreement with Satan and his lies instead of standing in agreement with God and His truth. Before that moment Adam and Eve knew no sin. They had no concept of the fact that they were naked. God made them naked, He didn’t care that they were naked otherwise He would have clothed them now wouldn’t He have. But no.

You see there’s this thing called ignorance. Ignorance is when you are blissfully unaware of what is right in front of you. Adam and Eve were ignorant of the fact that they were naked… UNTIL they stood in agreement with the Enemy. Then and only then did they realize that they were naked and needed covering. Up until that fateful bite, GOD had been their covering. When we step away from God we are no longer covered and become shamefully buck naked. BUT. Oh praise God there’s a but! BUT then there came Jesus! And what was it that His blood did? It covered us! It covered us in a way that nothing else, not the blood or skins of sheep or goats, not the fibers of cloth, nothing covers like the blood of Jesus. When we choose Jesus, we are saved! We are saved from God’s wrath and anger. We are saved from judgment and condemnation. We are saved! Jesus died to bring us back under the covering of God, back to an intimate God-love relationship with Him where He loves us in a way that no one could fathom or begin to understand. And because of how much He loves us, we love Him back. How could we not? With a love that hits the ground running how can we not run with it? How can we not dive deep into that ocean of goodness and not come gasping back up praising His name? How can we not allow Him to wrap us up in this blanket of steadfast love and mercy?

My friend, Jesus loves you. He is truly faithful. He is “The One”, the real deal, the complete package, Mr. Right. He is your friend AND your lover and He is calling for you right now. He is calling you to an intimacy with Him that you’ve never experienced before. He’s calling you to come to bed with Him and experience a new kind of love, His God-love. It’s not like anything else in this world, it’s better!

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