Dear Church Family,
The sermon this week, “God calls His Son,” looked at the book of Hosea and how the message of Hosea is encapsulated in Matthew’s quote from Hosea, “Out of Egypt I called my son,” when Jesus returned from Egypt after fleeing there to escape the wrath of Herod. The message of Hosea is a love story. It is about Hosea’s love for his prostitute wife Gomer, and how that reflects God’s love for his people. God’s people had deserted God and turned their back on him. They had become no longer His people. But, just as Hosea purchased Gomer off the auction block, God will, yet again, purchase His people for Himself. He does this by sending His only begotten Son to purchase, with His own blood, people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. And this time, they will be His forever. At the end of the message I concluded with three ways that we can find ourselves in this story.
- We must see ourselves as Gomers, that is people who have deserted God.
- We must realize that God is personal. When we sin against Him it is personal sin. And he loves us with a personal love.
- We are saved by Grace, but called to works. Just as Gomer was saved only because of Hosea’s love, so also we are saved only because of God’s love for us. Yet, as Gomer was called into a relationship of absolute fidelity, so also are we called into a relationship of absolute fidelity.
You can listen to the sermon here.
Here are some application questions:
- Do you think that you rely on other peoples confirmation of your abilities or your life more than you rely on God’s confirmation? If so, might you change and realize that how God sees you is more important than how others see you?
- Who’s expectations of you are you trying to live up to? Who are you living for? yourself? others? or God?
- Do we see ourselves as sinners on a daily basis, or do we hold ourselves higher than we ought? One question to get at this is, “Are we willing to ask forgiveness of others when we’ve sinned against someone?” If we realize that God has already seen us as sinful (like a Gomer), and yet accepts us, then we should not be greatly disturbed if other people see us a sinner as well. There’s a great article that gets into that more called “The Cross and Criticism.” You can check that out here.
- How are we at granting forgiveness? When we hold someone else’s sin over their heads, that is basically saying that we do not understand how much we have been forgiven by God.
- Does God’s love make a practical difference in your life? If not, what might you do to surround yourself with more evidence of God’s love (Scripture, good books, etc.).
When you pray, do you realize you are praying to a personal God?
Hosea 2:19-20 (ESV):  And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.  I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.
The passage for next week is from Micah 5:
[5:1] Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek.
 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
 And he shall be their peace.