Sunday, 5 July 2009
No greater love
Can I ask you something? Have you really accepted the fact that God loves you as you are. Are you resting in the fact that you already have His love? I know intimately how we can struggle with that. I’ve gotten on the treadmill of human achievement again and again and again. I’ve tried to earn the love of God. Many times God has to remind me that He loves me irrespective of whether I do a good job or not. He loves you irrespective of whether or not you perform well at work or whether you have it all together on the outside or if you jump through all the right religious hoops. You cannot earn what you already have. I need to repeat that - we can’t earn what we already have. You have God’s love.
In Hosea 2 there are some powerful imagery in verse nineteen. God says this, “I will betroth you to me forever.” That word, betroth, in the original language has the idea of a bride price that’s paid for a bride. A groom would pay it to the father of the bride for the bride. He says, “I will betroth you to me forever.” How long? Forever! “I’ll betroth you in righteousness and justice and love and compassion. I’ll betroth you in faithfulness. You will acknowledge the word of the Lord.” That word acknowledge is used in the Hebrew language for intimacy. To know someone – He’s saying you will know me in a personal intimate way. I will betroth you forever. That’s awesome imagery. It means we can enjoy God forever.
Glen Wolf is a guy who died at eighty-eight years of age in Los Angeles. He died as many people do in our world, alone. There was no one to take care of him and no one to attend to his funeral. He didn’t really have a funeral. He was buried alone. It was a tragic way to end your life. But Glen Wolf had a very unique distinction. He is the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the man who has been married the most in his life. True. Twenty-nine times he walked down the aisle with a different woman. Twenty-nine times he stood and said, “I do.” Twenty-nine times he watched a relationship explode. He died alone. He never learned that love has to be cultivated, nurtured, and matured in the midst of the heartaches and difficulties of life.
What the book of Hosea is teaching us that God, unlike Glen Wolf, will never walk out on us. God will never turn His back on us. He’s there. Learn the secret contentment. Return to Him when we fail. Enjoy Him forever because He’s there for you. He loves you and wants to be in this relationship with you. When you do that His love will lead you on.