God's Unconditional & Never-Ceasing Love 8.5.18

August 5, 2018
God's Unconditional & Never-Ceasing Love


Message from the Youth Leader:
The Book of Hosea is collection of poems authored by the prophet Hosea during the era of the Kings in Israel. If you remember from the Books of Kings and Chronicles, Israel was plagued with poorly chosen kings for most of its existence, and the time of Hosea was not an exception. The Book of Hosea opens much like the Book of Ezekiel with God commanding his prophet to take actions that show physically the words God is going to ask Hosea to preach. Hosea is told to take a promiscuous woman as his wife and to have children with her. She will leave him and sleep with other men, and he is to seek her out, pay her debts and bring her home in love. This example echoes the nation of Israel as it wavers between seeking after God and seeking after gods.
To me Hosea’s story parallels the parables of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) and of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:12-24). Both New Testament parables express God’s love for the return of those who’ve been lost. Our God choses us even as we are the promiscuous wife, the prodigal son, or the wandering sheep. He loves us whether we seek after Him or not. How much more is he pleased when we do seek him out. He searches for us, pays our debts, and brings us home in love. What a wonderful allegory for God’s unconditional, never-ceasing love.
If we have already returned, or never left, as Hosea, the Prodigal’s brother, or the Ninety-Nine, we are called to have God’s heart. We are to be Hosea seeking the woman who hurt him, the father who welcomes his lost son back with celebration, and the shepherd whose love for the lost sends him into the wilderness to seek them out. How good are we at having God’s heart?
When we are baptized, God removes our hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of clay. This is because we are not a finished product. We should be constantly seeking to be molded and worked with. We are not perfect, yet we are called to model Jesus. This is the challenge of Christ-likeness we share as believers. Thanks be to God we were brought together for this work. Amen.
Upcoming Lessons:
Sunday 8/5: Luke 12:1-12: What’ve you got to hide?
Wednesday 8/8: The Book of Joel: Locusts. Why did it have to be locusts…
Event Updates:
August 29th: Fifth Wednesday, Youth Serves Dinner Fundraiser
September 15th-16th: End of Summer Lock-In
Prayer Requests:
Focus: As we reach the end of summer vacation, we reach the end of the interest that summer fun holds. We pray for focus and energy as we spend our days.
End of Summer Lock-In: God has placed a burden upon my heart that growth is coming. I ask that you would pray for our faithfulness to depend on God when the challenges of growth come.
Greg Horton
Youth Director