Have you ever read a book that just CHANGED YOUR LIFE?!?! Getting to know the Lord more fully through Scripture is utterly life-changing, and certainly has proven so for my life, but in the past several months, I read another book that really got to me.
So much so that I began recommending it to every person God put on my heart. You may know how much I LOVE Goodwill shopping and I began praying before all of my shopping expeditions for the Lord to place a copy of this book on the shelf so that I could share it with more people. (And He provided!!)
I talked about my LOVE of the Book of Hosea yesterday, and this book is actually a version of that piece of Scripture, rewritten in a more modern setting.
You may, or may not, know this, but Hosea is a short book in the Old Testament about a prophet, by the same name, who God asks to marry a prostitute…and to continue loving and pursuing the prostitute – his wife – no matter what she does or how unfaithful she is…no matter that she has (at least) one child while they are married by another man…no matter that he ends up having to pay to purchase her out of slavery…no matter what.
And as you may have drawn by your own conclusions, the account of Hosea and his unending pursuit and relentless love for his unfaithful wife, is ALSO a picture of the way God loves us.
Think about that.
How many times have I run in the opposite direction at full-speed away from God? How many times have I prayed for forgiveness, only to make the same mistakes over and over and over again? How utterly LOST have I been that I couldn’t find my way back to Him, and yet, He purchased me out of slavery when no one else would have?
That is amazing grace. His truly redeeming love does not ask us to be the finished product to win Him over. No. He pursues us just as we are, and molds us into His creation.
God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs (Psalm 103:8-10 TM).
I — yes, I alone — will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again (Isaiah 43:25 NIV)
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son… (John 3:16)
His love, my friends, is so unsurpassing we cannot even begin to wrap our little minds around it.