Summary: Love takes first place in John 3:16. But isn’t that exactly why more don’t trust Jesus. They simply don’t trust love! Yet, God proves his love in the story of Hosea. His love(1)will never let you go and (2)will always take you back.
Message was inspired and adapted from Max Lucado’s book 3:16, Numbers of Hope, study guide materials, and his sermon series by the same title.
Scripture: Hosea 1:2; 3:1-5
Title: He Loved
Series: 3:16 (part 2)
Love takes first place in the 3:16 Gospel statement, “God so loved…” But isn’t that exactly why 3 out of 4 North Americans do not trust Jesus. They simply don’t trust love.
And we as a people give every reason for others think that selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love is really only in fairy tales. When we say I will, it really means maybe. When we say I do, the odds are greater that the marriage will never make it to death do us part.
Our love only makes promises that we just don’t keep. No wonder more people don’t trust this reason that God sent a Savior…they just don’t trust love.
Max Lucado asks, “God so loved this world? Heartbreakers, hope-snatchers, and dream-dousers prowl this orb. Dictators rage. Abusers inflict. reverends think they deserve the title. But God loves.”
I’m here to tell you that that kind of love does exist…in God. God’s love is real, and He has offered it to everyone. It is a love that will never let you go, it’s a love that will always take you back.
I. The All-Too Common Story of Love
It was the usual story of boy meets girl. God spoke to man and said that’s her. She’s the one. So, he married her, she got pregnant, but it seemed that she wasn’t interested in making the marriage work. She needed to be free. After all they came from different kinds of families.
After the baby was born, it didn’t take a prophet to tell that the child was not his. He was heartbroken. God said she was the one, but she had been unfaithful, and now she’s gone. She went off to live her life, but like the prodigal son, it turned bad. She ended up selling herself to pay off her debts.
All that sounds like a modern-day story. But really it happened around seven centuries before Christ was born. It is the story of Hosea.
Read Hosea 1.2
II. God’s Uncommon Example of Love
Hosea was a prophet, and God used his life as a living example.
God asked Hosea to marry Gomer to make the comparison between Hosea and Gomer’s relationship and God and Israel’s relationship. For years the nation of Israel had cheated on God. They stopped worshipping God and started worshipping idols. Some didn’t leave God wholly alone, but thought they could strattle a religious fence.
But it was God’s full intention to never let Israel go. God’s love doesn’t fail. He loved them in their spiritual adultery the same as when he loved them centuries before when he first covenanted with the people.
Duet. 10:15 “The Lord chose your ancestors as the objects of his love.”
When Moses said “objects of my love” They understood that form of the word love as binding. God was saying I bind myself to you. That means he’s latched on, chaining himself to them, and will never let them go.
Have you seen those harnesses for kids? The mom is tethered to the rambunctious three year old as they walk through the zoo.