Summary: When it comes to love, love has to be cultivated and nourished. It takes time and attention. Otherwise love can drift in our lives. One example of that would be marriage. Someone put together a little piece on before and after marriage and how love can c
When it comes to love, love has to be cultivated and nourished. It takes time and attention. Otherwise love can drift in our lives. One example of that would be marriage. Someone put together a little piece on before and after marriage and how love can change. They wrote these words: Before: you take my breath away. After: I feel like I’m suffocating. Before: she loves the way I take control of a situation. After: she called me a controlling, manipulating egomaniac. Before: it’s Saturday Night Fever. After: it’s Monday Night Football. Before: walking arm and arm. After: hey can you pop this thing under my arm. (Okay, that’s wrong!) Before: he’s lost without me. After: why can’t he ask for directions?
Love changes. It morphs over time. We need to cultivate it and nurture it. The same that’s true of love in our life with relationships; it’s true in our relationship with God as well. In fact I think there is a reason that God chose marriage as a metaphor or a picture of our relationship with Him. That love has to be cultivated and nurtured. Some of you when you first become a follower of Jesus Christ it’s so exciting and it’s new. You feel like you have this new lease on life. Maybe you are baptized and you’ve taken that step in your life. It’s awesome and it’s thrilling but then as time goes on; years go on, decades go on – if you don’t cultivate and nurture that relationship you can begin to drift in your relationship with God.
We began to explore last week the Old Testament book of Hosea in this series, Beyond Boundaries. Hosea is this book tucked away in the Old Testament written by the prophet, Hosea. He spoke for God to the people of Israel between 755 and 715 BC. The story of Hosea is really a story of him and his wife, Gomer. God uses their relationship as a picture of His relationship with us. Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea again and again and again. Hosea continued to take her back.
Last week we looked at the children that Hosea had in that relationship. Let’s pick it up in Hosea 2 and see what he says about not only Gomer but about the children. In 2:5: “Their mother, Gomer, has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace.” What’s he saying? He’s saying his own kids have had separate fathers. He’s not the father of his children, at least not of all of them. She said, “I will go after my lovers who give me my food, my water, my wool and my linen, my oil, and my drink.” This isn’t some clandestine affair that Gomer has been having in her life. This isn’t one of those, I’ll meet you at the back of the hotel and no one will see. It will be dark and we’ll hide it. She’s actually pursuing her lovers right out in the public domain and going after them. She’s trusting them to provide for her. Hosea is obviously heartbroken about this. As you read through the book God pulls the curtain back and shows His heart. He says this is exactly what my people have done to me. I am their God. I love them and care about them. They’ve denied me and turned their backs on me. It’s a fascinating look on who God is. It’s what love is really all about.
In a sense God was saying, of the Israelites in that timeframe that they had committed a spiritual affair on Him. We can do that in our lives. I want to talk to you today about how we can affair proof our relationship with God. What are some practical things we can do on a regular basis so we don’t drift in our hearts away from God and have a spiritual affair so to speak.
One of the principles that comes out of the book of Hosea is this: Remember God in everything. We forget things as people, don’t we? I forget stuff all the time. I was going to the grocery store. I asked Lori before I left, “I’m going to get some ice cream. What’s your favorite kind of ice cream? What do you want?” She said, “Get anything as long as it doesn’t have banana or nuts, I’m good.” No problem. I get in the car and drive to the grocery store. I go in and forget what she told me. I decide I’m just going to get what I want and I’m sure she’ll like it too. This is a true story. I grab banana split ice cream and pecan praline. I walk back in the house with the ice cream. Let’s bust it open it’s going to be great. Lori says, “What did you get?” Banana split and pecan praline. She looked at me like, “What planet are you living on?” What happened here? We forget. We forget our glasses. We forget our car keys. We forget all kinds of things.