But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. When that day comes,” says the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’ O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips, and you will never mention them again. Hosea 2:14-17
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. Titus 3:4-8
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
There is a mystery to God’s love. We are so oriented to human, conditional love. God’s love is such that He waits patiently for all to come to Him even if they never will. And He waits patiently for those who are already His to return when they stray from Him. Even though His love is missed so to speak by those who don’t know Him yet and by those who have strayed, it remains available to them and that is what makes it mysterious. Hosea’s stance toward unfaithful Gomer is that of seeking to “win her back.” What a beautiful picture of God’s stance toward us. He is always seeking to “win us back” by drawing us to himself with the chords of his unchanging love. Perhaps we are not one who has never believed, and perhaps we are not one who has been unfaithful. Still the image here is that of a loving God seeking to draw His people ever closer to Himself in order to pour out His unchanging and unconditional love into their lives more than ever before. So often we know Him as something other than a loving husband because we don’t know Him in the way He wants and waits for us to know Him. Romans 7:4 says that we have been married to another and that is Christ instead of the law. What a great way to look at it!
God’s love both initially and ongoing is according to His mercy. It is not based on deeds which we have done. Just as nothing we do causes Him to love us there is nothing that can separate us from the love He has for us which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Truly, God’s love for us is unchanging and unconditional. God’s love is like a powerful magnet that not only draws us to him but keeps us forever closely and inseparably connected to him.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, what an absolute sense of security comes from the way you draw me to yourself and love me. You are love. You have me and I have you. When I experience you, I experience your love. Help me to know you better and more consistently so that I experience you and your love more fully than ever. Amen!
Posted on Thu, May 11, 2017
by Ken Hart