Sermon Illustrations

There was a time when my folks visited me and saw a bizarre arrangement in my living room. I had a nice sofa, but I couldn’t afford end tables. So, I’d taken cardboard boxes and covered them with blankets to hold lamps and magazines. It was clever, but it didn’t look nice. Frankly, it looked pretty seedy. So, Mom and Dad went to an unfinished furniture place, purchased end tables, and actually finished them for me. Then, the living room looked like a living room. They wanted it to look like a living room should look.

When God redeems us from our sin, God doesn’t want us to have a mismatched lifestyle. God doesn’t want us to just put forgiveness in there with our cardboard boxes of old habits. God wants us to experience the best and that means getting rid of our inadequate efforts.

So, Hosea doesn’t tell Gomer that it’s okay to remain in her sin. She isn’t to accept God’s love and relationship and take it for granted, anymore than we should say, just accept Jesus and keep your drug addiction, sexual practices, business ethics, violent habits, or self-centeredness. We need to strive to incorporate God’s total lifestyle into our lives—whatever God tells us.

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