February 15, 2011
“But now, I will take back the ripened grain and new wine .. I will take away the wool and linen clothing I gave her to cover her nakedness .. I will strip her naked in public .. I will put an end to her annual festivals .. I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees. things she claims her lovers gave her .. I will punish her for all those times when she burned incense to her images of Baal .. but forgot all about me, says the Lord” Hosea 2:9-13 New Living Translation
You’re worth it …?
You were designed to be a lover of God .. someone who focused all energies on revealing the greatness of God’s love and faithfulness. You were designed that way .. except .. the world you live in doesn’t want you to have One Love. It comes in soft and unseen messages that you deserve your portion .. you have a right to cover your own shame and nakedness .. and you can love all kinds of images as long as you call it god. God gets angry at that. He’s spelled it out: You’re Mine .. trust Me with all your heart .. Seek Me in every direction .. Find your real rest in Me. Time and time again “we” drift away .. turn away .. and fall away from God’s faithfulness and promise. Even louder than your deliberate and un-deliberate is God’s winning strategy. He’s coming back for you and He’s going to win your heart by loving you and turning your “valley of troubles” into a door of Hope. He’s changed your name. You were once ‘Not Loved’ but now you are Loved. You were once ‘not my people .. disowned by God .. but now you are His people .. and you know it inside and out. God is in the winning-back business. It is who He is! He wants to turn your “valley of trouble” into hope. Sometimes He wades into your issues because He knows just how heavy and anxious life becomes when you carry it in your own strength. Sometimes He just pours out His love in a way that changes your life and you will no longer live as an unloved one. And when that happens you’ll walk across town in broad daylight .. in front of everybody .. to restore someone you love and care about .. because Jesus came after you. Need to return ..? It only takes a moment. Need to let go of all your efforts and exhausted attempts to hold it all together? It only takes a moment.
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her, and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. … I will show love to those I called ‘Not Loved.’And to those I called ‘Not my people’, I will say ‘Now you are my people’, And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’ ” Hosea 2:14-15, 23 New Living Translation
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to Loved and Accepted Followers of Jesus and friends of Priority One (firstname.lastname@example.org)