Cheating on God

By Bobby Blakey on June 12, 2016

Hosea 1:1-11

AUDIO

Cheating on God

By Bobby Blakey on June 12, 2016

Hosea 1:1-11

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:02] Long before there was reality television, even before a game shows like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy all the way back in Bible times, there were still people making fools of themselves. And they would do this sometimes in public competitions that would attract crowds to see the spectacle. And among the religious leaders in the New Testament, there was a little show that I like to call Stump Jesus. And basically the idea is that God has become a man and he's down here and people are coming to hear him teach and they're seeing is miracles and people are believing after him. And so if God has become a man and he's here among us and we can see his glory, let's go ask him questions not to learn from him, but to try to stump him. That's what they did.

[00:00:52] There were two teams of them, the Pharisees and the Sassy's.

[00:00:58] And in Matthew 22, we get one of my favorite episodes of Stump Jesus.

[00:01:01] The last episode and the Pharisees came in strong and they had him this time for sure. They said, you know, what should we do basically? Should we pay our taxes to Caesar or not? Like, what do you think? And they kind of had him in a catch 22, because if they if he sided with Caesar, well, the Jews would turn against him. But if he didn't say that we should pay taxes to Caesar, he could be guilty of insubordination with the Romans. And so we've got him now. What's he going to say? We've trapped him. And he says, hey, let me see one of those coins. Whose likeness is that on their render to Caesar? The things that are Caesar's and to God, the things that are God.

[00:01:42] Pharisees silenced the Sadducees seizing the moment, seeing their opportunity.

[00:01:49] They get their question together and they come in and the Sadducees, they don't believe in the resurrection of the dead. That's why they're so sad, you see. And so they asked him a question about what happens after you die, trying to prove that obviously nothing can happen after you die. And he says you don't even know the scriptures. You don't know what you're talking about. Booyah! Sadducees. They're silenced.

[00:02:14] And here come the Pharisees. Now, are there sense in the weakness? They don't think it's fair that everybody's coming to see Jesus.

[00:02:20] They want the attention on them. And so here they come and they send out a lawyer. He's going to trap him. He's going to get him. And he comes with the ultimate stumper here. OK. What is the greatest commandment in the law? Got him this time for sure. See, because there's hundreds of commandments in the law and all kinds of different rabbis had all different ways to rank them. And some are heavy commands and like commands. And how could you pick that? One is the first and greatest commandment out of them all. We've got it this time for sure.

[00:02:53] And Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

[00:03:06] And after that, they stopped asking Jesus questions.

[00:03:10] In fact, he started asking them questions, which they could not answer. And it says that no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

[00:03:22] Stumped Jesus canceled over because he pulls out. No, there is clearly a first commandment. There is clearly a great commandment. And it is that you should love the Lord, your God with all your heart. And maybe you've heard that before.

[00:03:37] I'm sure if you've gone to church much at all, you have heard that maybe you're new and you've even heard it outside of the church that the main command, the Bible, gives us, that we would love God and the second command is like it, that we would love our neighbor as ourselves, to love God, to love people. This is the summary of all the law and the prophets. Maybe we've heard that before. But let's think about it from this way today. What does God think? What is Jesus think? If it's so clear to him that the great command, the first commandment is for you to love God with all your heart. What does he think when you don't love God with all your heart?

[00:04:12] What does he think when you don't keep the first commandment? How does God feel about it?

[00:04:19] And with that thought in our minds, I want to invite you to turn to the Old Testament book of Hosain. We're starting a series on this book right now. So everybody grab a Bible. If you're joining us, it's a great day to join us because we're starting this new study. We're going to do throughout the summer. And this is Hosanna in the minor prophets in the Old Testament page seven hundred and fifty one. If you got one of our Bibles and we went, we love going through the minor prophets. One reason we love going through these prophets, we started last summer with the book of Jonah. A lot of people, they've never studied these prophets before. In fact, some of you may be, as you're turning to Hosain, your unpeeling pages of the Bible. Apart from each other, we call them the clean pages because they've they've never been used. Now, when it says minor prophets, it doesn't mean, like these prophets aren't that important or God gave us these books of the Bible so no one would ever read them. That's not that's not what it's saying. Minor prophets just means they're shorter than the major prophets who have have more to say. It's a comment on length. It all is all it is. And so the minor prophets are perfect for us because they are shorter. So hopefully we can get through them in the summer season. And God is going to say something through his prophet Hozier here today. That is shocking. And God is going to tell us as his people what he thinks when we don't love him. So I'm going to read Hosain Chapter one just to give us an introduction to this book. We're only going to really make it through the first two verses here this morning. But I would ask you to follow along with me as I read Hosoya, Chapter one, The Word of the Lord that came to Hosoya, the son of Biery in the days of Zaya Joe Thim A has and has a Caia Kings of Judah and in the days of Jarra bomb, the son of Joe Hash, King of Israel. When the Lord first spoke through Hozier, the Lord said the Hosoya go take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord. So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of deploying him, and she conceived and bore him a son. And the Lord said to him, Call his name Jez Real four. In just a little while I will punish the house of Jaiku for the blood of jazz real and I will put an end to the kingdom of the House of Israel. And on that day I will break the bow of Israel and the Valley of Jazz. Real. She conceived again and bore a daughter, and the Lord said to him, Call her name, no mercy vie for I will no more. Have mercy on the House of Israel to forgive them at all. But I will have mercy on the House of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword, or by war, or by horses or by horsemen. When she had weaned no mercy, she conceived in Borrus son, and the Lord said, Call his name, not my people. For you are not my people and I am not your God. If the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered, and in the place where it was said to them, You are not my people, it shall be said to them. Children of the living God and the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head, and they shall go up from the land for great shall be the day of jazz real.

[00:07:44] Wow.

[00:07:45] What kind of a book is this where God does not say go and make disciples. That's the kind of stuff where it used to. He says no, go and marry a prostitute.

[00:07:56] And that's why we kind of gave you the warning of you may not want to bring your kid here this morning if you bring your young child to our services, because you might have an interesting conversation about whoredom on the way home from church. Hear what a what a strong statement.

[00:08:13] What a powerful image. Let me tell you what I feel about the people of the land when they don't love me with all their heart, when they don't act like my people, when they don't worship me and they start worshiping idols instead. Let's paint a picture of what it's like. Hey, Nosair, you go and marry this wife who's gonna be of whoredom and have children who are going to be of whoredom so that the people can see a picture that they have played the whore by forsaking me.

[00:08:44] Will God, why don't you tell us what you really think here in the Book of Ozair? He is not okay with his people not loving him. And so let's get the context of what's going on here and then we'll zoom down into is verse two. So we just got to start with verse one and and it says we're coming to this guy, Hosanna. We don't really know a lot about him or or who his father was, but. Kind of tells you the time of Hozier when it says in the days of zya. Joke them a has and has a khaya. They're all kings of Judah. And in the days of Jarra bomb, not the first Gera bomb, but the second Gera bomb, the son of Joosh, the king of Israel. So where at the time of the Kings, eh, in the Old Testament history here, if you are to read first and second kings, or if you were to read first and second chronicles, they tell you the history of the Kings of Israel, which starts out with Saul and David and Solomon, maybe guys that you've heard of when the whole nation of Israel was united. But one thing you need to understand, if you're going to study the Bible, a lot of the Bible, the context you're going to have to see is a divided kingdom in Israel. So let's look at a map of Israel here. Up on the screen and then we're hoping to take a trip to Israel next summer. We're hoping to announce that here pretty soon. But here's the kingdom of Israel and the time of the Old Testament. And you could just write down if you want to. Second Chronicles Chapter ten is when the Kingdom Gets Divided. Unfortunately, Solomon Sunray, a bomb was not as wise as his father. And he said he was going to be hard on the northern tribes of Israel who were led by this guy named Gera Bomb. And so there was a division in the nation of Israel and it split into a northern kingdom and a southern kingdom. And we know that from what Jesus says, that a house divided against itself, that house is not going to stand, but it's going to fall.

[00:10:45] And that's what ends up happening to the nation of Israel. And so it's very important if everybody here if you study the Bible, if you're a Christian, you go to this church, here's something you need to memorize. You need to understand that we have a northern kingdom of Israel. OK, now that's confusing because we've been referring to the whole thing. Is Israel now just the northern kingdom is going to be Israel ten tribes and then the southern kingdom is going to be called Judah. And that's where the capital city of Jerusalem is. That's where the temple is. That's where we're supposed to go to worship God. And you can see when we divide now the the northern kingdom of Israel, they're not going to want their people to go down to Jerusalem, to worship down in the southern kingdom of Judah. And so they start to establish their own capital in some area. And really it's maybe this division that starts to lead them into worshiping idols and things like that, because they've got to come up with their own thing because they've now separated from the southern kingdom of Judah. OK, so here is Hosanna. He's a prophet at the time of of these kings in the southern kingdom of Judah, in the northern kingdom of Israel. And really, he's prophesying to the people right before they're about to be destroyed. If you want to write that down, if you're taking notes here, 722 B.C. is a day we want you to write down next to the northern kingdom of Israel, Syria, another nation comes in and they destroy God's people in the northern kingdom of Israel, and that's in 722 B.C. That's what Hosanna is prophesying about. So Hosanna is a prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel in the seven hundred B.C. And he's here to tell them that because they're worshiping other gods, because they're not loving God with all their heart. And there may be getting into things like but all worship. He was an idol that the nations around them worshiped and by all was a fertility God. It was going to send the rain or was going to make the crops grow. It was going to produce you to have kids. And so you might worship all. You might sacrifice to be all one way. You might even worship. Paul is going to a temple and having sex with some kind of temple prostitute in worship of. But all in the hopes that he'll send rain or something like that. And the people of the northern kingdom of Israel, they're getting involved in this kind of idolatry and this kind of sin. And God says, I'm tired of you guys playing the whore. And he says, in fact, I'm so sick and tired of this. I'm going to send my profit Hosoya and he's gonna go marry Gomer and a wife of whoredom and they're going to have kids and we're gonna name these kids and names that are clearly meaningful to the whole nation of Israel so that maybe you guys will see what you're doing to me and you'll turn because I'm not going to give you anymore mercy and eventually you're not even going to be my people. A series is gonna come and wipe you out.

[00:13:37] So God is not okay with us not loving him. That's what he's making real clear to at least the northern kingdom of Israel. Now, some people will will say, because it seems so weird, so odd of God to ask a prophet to marry someone that we're referring to as a prostitute, someone that's clearly going to be an adulterous. People wonder if this is if this is literal here. Was there really a Hosoya who really married Gomer? Nobody named in their sweet little girls Gomer anymore these days where there are really two people who got who got married and I don't know any reason in the text why we would see this as a made up people or symbolic people, clearly their marriage is symbolic. Clearly, that's the point. Is God's using their marriage as a picture of what the people are doing with him, of his relationship with the people of Israel. But I think they are real people. And I think that they really got married when it when it's a sign, when it's a symbol in Hosanna. It's going to say and he saw or or there was a vision. It's going to make it clear. I think these are two real people who really get married and they really have three kids and they really get these names. Now, one of the other debates, there's a lot of commentary about Hosoya that you can go and read. And one of the things you'll read about is, was Gomer a prostitute? When they got married or was that just some kind of prophecy that she was going to turn away from her husband, Hosoya, and have other lovers besides him? And so there's some debate about whether she was already involved in that kind of sin or whether that was just a prophecy of what was going to happen in their marriage. And it took place later. She says she's going to be a wife of whoredom and there's going to be children of whoredom. Now, we know the children weren't there when they got married, so maybe she was in a wife of whoredom when they got married. Maybe they were just a doomed marriage from the beginning, but maybe it started out all right. People kind of banter back and forth about that. And one of the reasons they think that maybe it started out OK is when the first child is born, like verse three year, when the first child is born. It says that Gomer conceived and bore him a son. So the first child is definitely as son. And that's the one that's named Jez's Real, which is a valley there in the northern kingdom of Israel. And we'll get into the deeper meaning behind that next week if you if you come back. But then we get the daughter and notice when it says the daughter is born in verse six, it says she conceived again and bore a daughter. But notice, it does not say that it was his daughter. And so some people begin to wonder, has she now had a child with someone else? That poor girl that we're naming no mercy. And then later on, she has a a son here in verse eight. That is not clearly Hosea's son, who is now called Not My People. And so it seems like maybe their first child was together, but then maybe she has been leaving and going out with someone else and having children now with someone else. Clearly, by Chapter three, she is an adulterous turnover there to chapter three. And let's get the big picture of where this marriage goes between Hosoya and Gomer, this marriage that I think is a literal marriage, but clearly also a picture of what is happening between God and his people in the northern kingdom of Israel. And the Lord said to me, now this now Hosea's writing here in the first person perspective. And he said, and it says, go again. So he's already gone and married Gomer before, but now it says go again. Love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress and go and keep pursuing her and loving her. Even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though, they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.

[00:17:32] So even after she cheats on Hosanna, God says, keep going after Gomer. Keep loving her, because just as these people are not loving me and are worshiping other gods and are committing sin against me, I'm going to keep loving them, God says, proving his steadfast love. And so Hosoya says in verse two that he bought her literally buying her out of slavery. She's reached such a low point now that she's a slave and he's buying her for basically a very small price here. She wasn't worth much in the eyes of her master, and he buys her for 15 shekels of silver and a holmer and a think of barley. And I said to her, you must dwell his mind for many days, you shall not play the whore or belong to another man. So I also be to you.

[00:18:27] God has his prophet marry a woman who ends up playing the whore as a picture of how God feels when his people don't love him, but end up worshiping other gods and committing acts of sin in their heart.

[00:18:44] They want other things besides God. God says, here's how I feel about that. It's like you're playing the whore.

[00:18:52] That's what God says very clearly.

[00:18:55] And you might think, well, that sounds intense for the northern kingdom of Israel and I'm glad this is Old Testament stuff. I'm glad this stuff doesn't apply to us in the New Testament, in the Church of Jesus Christ. Today, we'll turn with me to first Peter, chapter two. And let me just show you that the principles we're gonna learn in Hosoya between God and his people are still very true and how God has a relationship with us as his people today. And so Peter is now going to write a letter to the exiles, to the scattered Christians who are being persecuted, and they're ending up all over the place. And he writes a letter to the suffering Christians to encourage them to keep standing in the grace that is in Jesus Christ. And in this letter, he describes who we are now as Christians, whether Jews or Gentiles, who we are as the people of God. Look at first. Peter, Chapter two versus nine and 10 says, But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession. You are God's people, even us here as Christians at Compass, HP, we're God's people that you are. We may proclaim the excellences of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light once you were not a people, but now your God's people.

[00:20:13] Once you had not received mercy. But now you have received mercy. That's a clear reference to the names of Hosea's kids of whoredom right there. Hey, remember when it was not a people and now you are the people? Remember when you had no mercy? Well, now you've got mercy.

[00:20:32] So clearly, that's a reference to Hozier. Chapter one. And so here's Peter writing to New Testament Christians, calling them God's people and referring back to how good is it to be in a relationship with God, just like the relationship that Israel, the Northern Kingdom, had with God, that then God said he was going to remove them from that relationship.

[00:20:53] They were going to have no mercy and not be his people. So the dynamics of what it means to love God and to have a relationship with him and how God might feel about me and you not obeying the first and great command to love him with our heart. I'm here to tell you God feels the same way today as he did in the time of Hosanna. He feels like we are playing the whore. That's what he feels like. And I think he would greatly want us to study this picture of what he tells his prophet to do to Mary Gomer to have these kids so that we might get a sense that God wants us to love him faithfully and truly with all of our hearts. And so now turn back to Hozier, chapter one now that we kind of get the big picture.

[00:21:41] Let's zoom in on verse two where we have a wife of whoredom and children of Wardah for the land commits great whoredom. So he's going to go and marry Gomer Future.

[00:21:54] They're going to have these kids, three of them that we learn about in the future, because what's happening in the prison is what we're really trying to talk about, that the land, the people of God in the promised land, they are committing great whoredom because they are turning away from God, from worshiping him, from loving him with all their art. And they're forsaking him and they're doing exactly what God told them not to do.

[00:22:18] So we need to understand what a prophet even is when we study Old Testament prophets. What are they all about? Now, the big thing that we found out about O.Z. The main thing people talk about Osier is he goes and he marries a prostitute. But that really is chapter one and chapter three that tell us the story of Hosain Gomer. There's 12 more chapters in this book. And on the average, Chapter one Hozier is doing is not even necessarily predicting the future or having some vision or revelation about what's going to come. Primarily what Hosain does throughout this book is he goes back to the law, the first five books of the Bible, what God revealed to the nation of Israel. And he says, look what God said in the law, in Exodus maybe, or in Deuteronomy, the second telling of the law. Look at what God said in the law. OK. Look at what we're doing right now. Here's what God told us to do. We're not doing it. What do you think's gonna happen to us? So a lot of times profits aren't talking about the future, they're reviewing what God has said in the past. They're applying it to the present day and then they're making that conclusion. That judgment is surely going to come if God told us not to play the whore and worship other gods. And now that's what we're doing. What do we think's gonna happen to us here in the northern kingdom of Israel? God's gonna make us, not his people. And he's going to take back his mercy from us.

[00:23:42] That's what he said he was gonna do.

[00:23:44] So the language even here in Hozier. Chapter one. Verse two. It reminds us of commands that God has already made in the Old Testament law. Turn back to Exodus 34 with me. Let's look at some of these commands that we're referring to. God's pronouncing a judgment on the northern kingdom of Israel. Because he's already told them not to do what they're doing here in Exodus 34.

[00:24:11] And I try to say as often as I can here at our church, that Exodus 34 is one of the most important chapters in all of the Bible, as anybody ever heard me say that before, because this is the chapter where God shows us his glory, where God reveals who he is. And he says, Moses, I'm gonna hide you in the rock because no man can see my glory in live. But I'll hide you in the rock and I'll let just a glimpse of my goodness past before you. And he says, I'll tell you who I am. I am a God that is merciful and gracious. I'm slow to anger. And I'm a bounding and steadfast love and faithfulness. All forgive. Thousands of people of their iniquity in their sin and enter transgression. But I will by no means clear the guilty. Nobody's getting away with it. In fact, I'll take it to the third and the fourth generation. I'll forgive you all. Judge you. This is who I am.

[00:24:57] This is God revealing himself to Moses. And it's powerful, as God tells us who he is, that we might know him and worship him. That's what he wants his people to do. But he says a little bit later in Exodus, 34 apart. We don't often get to look at verse 14. There's a parent radical statement here in verse 14 where God says for you shall worship no other God for the Lord whose name is jealous is a jealous God.

[00:25:29] God wants you to know that he is a jealous God. In fact, you want. He wants you to know that he doesn't just get jealous. His name is jealous.

[00:25:37] He goes so far as to say.

[00:25:40] Now, I don't know how that strikes you this morning. I don't know how you feel about your God being a jealous God, because a lot of times when we hear the word jealousy, it has a negative connotation. We think of someone being jealous of someone else or what somebody else has and and they want it for themselves. We might think of envy or something like that, some kind of sinful desire that I wish I had what somebody else says. That's not the kind of jealousy we're talking about here. We're talking about the jealousy of a husband who has made a covenant to his wife. We've got some exciting weddings coming up here at the church this summer. We're looking forward to turn this place into the Chapel of love. And you know what happens at a wedding. Everybody gets dressed up and they gaze into each other's eyes awkwardly in front of everyone. Right. And and they make some pretty serious promises. We call them vows.

[00:26:32] They're like old. It's almost like we sign a contract act afterwards because that's what we do. There's a license in the Old Testament. You would call it a covenant. It's a promise that there's consequences if you don't keep a promise that it's legally binding.

[00:26:47] And what you're saying when you're a husband, what you're saying to your wife is it's me and you and you alone till death do us part.

[00:27:00] And then somebody else starts flirting with your wife and you're the husband. You're going to be cool with that. You're going to roll with that. That's cool. They're just flirting. Or you're going to feel jealous.

[00:27:15] Are you going to feel like that's not right? And it makes me feel so wrong. I'm sorry to bring up the fact that many people maybe have been married before or have been in some kind of relationship.

[00:27:25] And you found out that the person that you thought you loved in a way that was exclusive in a way that where you were going to be true to one another and you found out that that person had cheated on you with someone else.

[00:27:38] I'm sorry to bring up that pain and that wrong feeling inside of you when you realize that you put your trust and love into somebody and they played you for a fool and they went to somebody else. But that's exactly what God wants us to think about in O.Z. It's exactly that feeling that many of us can relate to. That's exactly the feeling that God has. He's jealous and he wants you to know he doesn't just get jealous. His name is jealous. If we don't love him with all of our heart, he will be jealous.

[00:28:12] That's what he says. That's how he's going to feel. That's who he is.

[00:28:15] In fact, look at the next couple of versus year versus 15 and 16. See if this sounds a little bit like Hosoya want to and says, let's you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land.

[00:28:27] And when they who are after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited and you eat up his sacrifice and you take of their daughters for your sons and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods. So here's what God warned them. He said, I'm jealous. And here's what I don't want to happen. I'm going to lead you into the promised land. The land that I'm giving you now in this land.

[00:28:53] There are a lot of other nations and these other nations, they have many gods that they worship. They make idols to worship these gods. A lot of times they get involved in sinful practices to worship these idols and these other nations. They're going to invite you over to eat. And they're going to offer you this this meat, this food that is sacrificed to these idols.

[00:29:13] And if you start interacting with them and then you let your kids intermarry with them, that's they go to worship their other gods as they play the whore and don't love me with all their heart and don't keep the first great command to worship me as they have other gods before me and get into idolatry. You're going to end up playing the war, too. Here's God warning his people in Exodus.

[00:29:36] And now Hosa is showing up and saying, hey, does anybody here remember Exodus? Because now we're playing the whore. In fact, I'm going to go marry someone who's gonna cheat on me, and then we're gonna have maybe kids that aren't even mine to show what it's like when you don't obey God's command.

[00:29:52] To show the jealousy of God and how he feels about the jealousy of God.

[00:29:58] If you've never heard about that before. If you don't know that, that's an attribute of God. I want to apologize on behalf of all the lame pastors and churches and Christians out there. If no one's ever told that to you that this is actually the first attribute that God names for himself is jealousy in the Bible. Go to Exodus, Chapter 20. Turn just a few pages over.

[00:30:22] Exodus Chapter 20 is the passage that we know famously as the Ten Commandments. And before we get the five books of the law that Moses passes down to Joshua. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus numbers and Deuteronomy. And the law really comes in Exodus. And then until Leviticus and then Deuteronomy is the second telling of the law. Before we get all of that revelation, the first thing God gave to Moses was two tablets of stone when they were up on the mountain. That's what he gave to. So the first thing that God really ever says, officially written down to man, a kind of a a way that we have that's passed down is these Ten Commandments. And look at what God says in Exodus, Chapter 20. And God spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Here's commandment number one. You shall have no other gods before me.

[00:31:18] That's pretty clear. Here's command and number two now.

[00:31:21] Let's get more specific. You shall not make for yourself a carved image or as we would think of it, in idle. It can't be in the likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bowed down to them or serve them for I the Lord.

[00:31:39] Your God. M. a.. What does he say there?

[00:31:42] Oh, a jealous God. First thing.

[00:31:46] Even before he shows Moses his glory in Exodus 34, he gives to Moses the Ten Commandments and he tells us, don't worship any other gods. Don't back down to any idols. Because one thing you got to know about me, the first thing you got to know about me is I'm a jealous guy.

[00:32:01] And if you worship somebody else, you love somebody else. It's not going to work out between us. God will suffer no love triangles.

[00:32:10] He won't be a part of it.

[00:32:12] And so he says, I'm a jealous guy. Then he says things maybe were more familiar with visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me. There's the reality that God is going to judge sin Denver six, but showing steadfast love that thousands of others who love me and keep my commandments.

[00:32:31] There's the loving God who's going to save. So maybe you've heard that God loves you. Maybe you've heard that God is going to judge sin. But do you know here today that God is jealous? That's who he is. It's an attribute of God. It's the way he even not only describes himself, but names himself as a jealous God.

[00:32:51] And Jesus is the same way I don't think there's any difference between the father and the son. The son didn't come down to take away the parts that are intense about the father. The son came down to reveal the father to us. And Jesus is jealous that his church today would love him. You can read about it in Revelation Chapter two in a letter that Jesus writes to the Church of Ethicists. And he says some good things about this church. He says they're doing good works. He says they're teaching good doctrine and they're doing a good job sticking with it over time. They're not given up when it gets hard. But Jesus says, I have this against you that you have abandoned, that you have left your first love for me. Remember the heights from where you have fallen, Jesus says, and go back and do the things you did at first.

[00:33:41] Here's a good church, maybe a maybe a church. Maybe he's talking about us here at CompassHB HP trying to do good works, trying to teach good doctrine. Stein that trying to stick with doing good things over a period of time. And here's what Jesus wants to say to a church like ours. If you guys aren't doing it out of love for me, I'm not interested.

[00:34:00] I don't want to be your roommate. I don't want to stay together for the kids. If this isn't about you loving me, then I'll remove your lamp stand. That's what he says to the church of emesis. I'd rather have no church than a church that's going through the motions, but it's not motivated by love. For me, it's either love for me or it's nothing. The Lord Jesus Christ.

[00:34:23] That's what he says to the church in Revelation, Chapter two.

[00:34:26] That's what God is saying to his people in the northern kingdom of Israel and the northern kingdom of Israel gets wiped out by a Syria.

[00:34:34] And as far as we can tell from history, the church of emphasis, that lamp stand gets removed and there is no longer a church in Ephesus after that time.

[00:34:44] He demands that we love him, and if we do not love him, Jesus is jealous for you. Let's get that down for point number one. Jesus is jealous for you. He wants you to love him with all of your heart, with your first love. That's what he is expecting from you. That is what it is clear in his mind is your first and greatest thing that you should do if there's one command you're going to keep.

[00:35:16] It's that command that he quotes to love God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind, with all that you got. Basically, you love God. Now go to Deuteronomy.

[00:35:28] Chapter six, verse four, which is the passage that Jesus is quoting there in Matthew 22, when he answers the Pharisees question when they're trying to stump him and he quotes Deuteronomy Chapter six. Now, Deuteronomy five is a retelling of the Ten Commandments. And then we get to Deuteronomy six and Deuteronomy Chapter six.

[00:35:51] Verse four is the most famous passage maybe in the Old Testament among the Jews out of the law. This is called the SHIMAA. It was a highly quoted, often referred to passage among the Jewish people. Among the Israelites in the Old Testament, and it's called the sharmarke is that's the first word here. Hebrew, SHIMAA Hero, Israel, the Lord, our God. The Lord is one. Hey, listen to this.

[00:36:18] People of Israel, we don't have all these gods and all these idols like all these other nations do. Though we have the real God and our God is one. And then it says in verse five, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.

[00:36:37] Here, everybody, we've got one God. And what you're supposed to do is you love that God with all that you've got, that's what you do.

[00:36:45] And these words that I command you today, the rest of this law that I'm going to be giving you, as I tell it a second time here now in Deuteronomy, before you go into this promised land here, you shall have it. It says in verse six. These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. And here's what we're gonna be talking about on Saturday morning. For all of the men, you shall teach them diligently to your children. And she'll talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk, by the way. When you lie down.

[00:37:15] When you rise because you love God. You'll want to do what God tells you to do. In fact, you want to pass on what you know about God and why you love him and why you live for him and do what he says. You want to pass it on to your spouse, maybe to your kids. You want the people that you love to love God to because you love God with all of your heart.

[00:37:37] This is the first and great commandment. Everything else flows out of this.

[00:37:42] OK, so let's make sure that we understand what the purpose of the law is to things that we see the law do. Let's get this as kind of a sub point here under point number one. Two things we see the law do. The first thing that the law does is it convicts of sin. That's the first thing the law does.

[00:38:01] When you hear that command to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with everything that you are, that what you're supposed to realize if you're not a hypocrite, if you're not puffed up with yourself, if you're not trying to impress people like the Pharisees and the savages, what you're supposed to realize about yourself is I don't love God with all my heart. There's no possible way I can say that throughout my life, I have loved God with all my heart. I might not even be able to say I loved God with all my heart. This last week or maybe even this morning. And so the standard of loving God with all your heart should reveal to me I should open my eyes and I should see that I don't live up to that standard. And even a lot of the good things that I do, I do because I think they're good things or I do because I want people to think I'm a good person or I do them because I feel pressured from other people to do them. I don't do them because I love God.

[00:38:55] I fall short of this. And so we're supposed to be, first of all, convicted about our sin. The point of the law was to show us that we can't keep it. And that's why we need mercy. That's what we're going to learn about next week, is how desperately we need mercy, which is God not giving us what we deserve. It's God withholding the judgment that we should have because we didn't love him, because we did make him jealous, because we did play the horn and our hearts went somewhere else besides God. Well, we should be judged for that. But instead, we beg God for mercy. Please don't give me the judgment I deserve. That's what mercy is. And we come to God and really we just own up to it. We confess it. We agree with God. And we say, God, I have not loved you with all of my heart. It's confessing. It's agreeing with God about our sin. In fact, you might even say to God, God, I can't love you with all of my heart, because the truth is I'm selfish. When I was born into this world in my sinful nature, I think more about myself than I do about you. I think more about myself than I do about other people. That's why these first two commands to love God and love people. They're brutal for a selfish person like me because I love myself more than other people, naturally. That's why it says to love your neighbor as yourself, because you kind of know what it means to love yourself. Now you've got to think about other people like that.

[00:40:18] And that's impossible for sinners to do.

[00:40:21] And so we confess that we own up to our sin and we say, God, I fall short of who you are and we say God based on what Jesus Christ has done, based on the fact that he died to pay the penalty for my sin. And he rose again to give me a new life. Will you give me a new heart? Now that can love you. Will you give me now the power of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of the living God inside of me, so that I actually can now give you everything I've got that I could now actually see the amazing grace that you have poured out in your love for me. And I could actually love you now in response. See that conviction of sin. That confession of sin that leads now to me asking God for a new life, for a new are through faith in Jesus Christ and by the power of the spirit. Now I have the ability and the spirit causes me now to walk in God's ways. And I'm able to see God first and I'm able to put others is more important than myself and the law which led me to a conviction of sin. Now calls me to a standard. That's our second dash. Here's the second thing the law does. Now as a new creation in Jesus Christ. Now, as a person where he took away my heart of stone and he gave me a heart of flesh. Now I really can love God. So now that's the standard of my life. God is calling me as one of his people to love him completely with all that I've got. In response to his love for me. Now, sometimes people, they balk at something like that because they say, well, well, who can love God with all their heart? Who can be perfect? I hear what you're saying. We're not going to be 100 percent perfect here in this life. But that's what God's calling us to. That's the standard we're going for. And so when I realize I'm not loving God, I turn from that. I confess that. And I set my heart to love God and I will suffer no rivals for the love of Jesus in my soul.

[00:42:16] What I've called you as a Christian, the greatest command tells me that there can be no competitors for Jesus his place in my heart.

[00:42:25] I can't have any idols. I can't have any things that I decide will give some of my art to Jesus, but I kind of want some of this, too. No, it has to be Jesus Christ first. That's what he's looking for, that I could say. I love him with my whole heart. Not a divided heart. Not halfway for a hammer, 90 percent for him, but still 10 percent for something else. No. With my whole heart, with a united heart, I seek after Jesus Christ. And I love him with all that I've got. That's the command now. So maybe I don't know where you're at here this morning is as you come in, maybe you realize you've never loved God with all your heart. There's there's never been a time in your life where you could say that was true about you. Maybe you come in now and you see that high standard that God calls us to and you realize I have other things that I love besides God. Maybe you're convicted. Maybe you need to cry out to God this morning for that for that new heart so that you can love him.

[00:43:22] But I'm here today to speak to God's people here at CompassHB HB to people that he has saved and he has given you that new life in Jesus Christ. And I'm here to call us to the standard that God always calls his people to, and that is that you and I would love him and he's not going to settle for anything less than the first and greatest commandments. Let's get this down for point number two. We need to make the first commandment. Our first commitment. Write that didn't make the first commandment. Your first commitment that you're going to go for the goal of being able to say that you love God with all of your heart. You're going to take his command seriously and you're going to heed the warnings about what happens when you whore, when you play the whore and love something else besides God and you make him jealous. In fact, if you keep reading in Deuteronomy six, go down to verse 14. Sometimes we just read the famous passages. But if you just keep reading through Deuteronomy, you start to see the argument develop and it says in Deuteronomy six 14 after it says, To love God with all your heart, you shall not go after other gods. Well, that makes sense. How can you say your loving God with all your heart while you're going after something else at the same time? You shall not go after other gods. The gods are the people who are around you.

[00:44:41] And here's why. For the Lord, your God in your midst is a jealous God. And when you go after other gods, you've got to watch out because of gods. Jealousy lets the anger of the Lord, your God be kindled against you and he destroy you from the face of the earth, which is exactly what Hosanna is showing up saying is going to happen to the northern kingdom of Israel, which happens to him in 722 B.C..

[00:45:06] If you I mean, if you don't love God with all your heart and you're one of his people, there's going to be consequences in your life. That's the implication. It's like you're going to. We can't settle for my loving God with all my heart. I don't know. Mostly kind of. I guess not. That's not OK, because you're either loving God with all your heart or you're letting your heart go after something else besides God and you're making him jealous. It's it's one or the other.

[00:45:34] And so this is something we've got to really sit with and we've got to really have some soul introspection. As we begin this series, we got to ask ourselves, are we committing the same sin as these people of God in ancient Israel? Are we saying that we love God?

[00:45:50] But really our hearts are being drawn to what the world is doing around us, and we're starting to get very comfortable in the things of this world and the commitments we have here in this life. And we actually have some commitments here in this life that are now rivals in our heart as to which one we're going to love more or pay more attention to or give more affection to.

[00:46:12] So we need to really make sure we need to check our hearts and we need to see. Can I. Can I say I'm trying to keep the first commandment in my life? Can I say that's my first commitment is loving God really?

[00:46:23] No one for me. So I'm going to ask everybody who goes to this church, every one of us who's one of the people of God, I'm gonna do it. I'm asking you to do it. I want us to all go home either later today, maybe tomorrow morning, sometime this week. And I want us to make a list of all of our commitments. Can you write that down under number two? Let's make a list of your commitments. What are the things that you have committed to? If you're married?

[00:46:47] Well, there's a big one right there. You've made a covenant with someone that you're going to love that. Do you have kids that you're committed to? Do you have a job? Have you signed some kind of legal contract to it to work for somebody? Are you committed to a job? Maybe you've committed to a house payment. Maybe you've committed to paying off a car. Maybe. What kind of commitments have you made? You have like leagues or where clubs or children's sports teams or extracurricular activities. Like what have you said? This is something I'm going to do with my life and I've committed to this. Let's get all the commitments down there on a page and then let's put next to that commitment either a greater than sign or a less than sign. Is God first commitment over this other commitment? Or do I have to admit that this commitment sometimes is equal to or even if I'm may be honest, God is less important to me than some of these other commitments in my life.

[00:47:43] I can't say I'm loving him with all my heart, because even though it's a good thing that God gives me maybe something I'm supposed to do or somebody I'm supposed to love. The truth is that's dividing me in my heart. And I can't say I'm loving God with all of it. I can't say I'm loving him first. In fact, let's even dig deep here. Let's even open up our bank statement and let's see where our money goes. And let's say, what do I give my money to first?

[00:48:09] What's easy for me to spend my money to? Let's even do this. Let's open up our calendar on our computer and let's look at how we're spending our time. Let's even fill in what we did with our time around, the appointments. What did I do here this evening? What did I do this morning when I got up? Let's try to see what is a week in my life look like. Could I look at that calendar and I could I look at that bank statement and could I say that my goal is to love God with all of my heart to put him in the first place?

[00:48:39] Let's do some real introspection here and let's say that if my God is a jealous God, I don't want him to be jealous about me. If my God tells me that I better love him. I want to see. I want him to see that that's what I'm aiming to do. And when I fall short, all own up to it. But I'm going to make it my goal, my direction that I'm here to love.

[00:49:02] My God. That's my first commitment in life.

[00:49:07] In fact, sometimes on the bottom of this list, not only our commitments and then maybe like our bank statement and our calendar, maybe then we need to say, well, actually, here's some sins that sometimes I give into or maybe a sin that I choose to regularly do because I clearly am not seeking to love God when I disobey him and choose this sin. I mean, that's going to make it pretty clear when I'm now sinning against God, how could I possibly think that I'm doing that out of love for God? We need to really look into our hearts. And here's here's my concern in bringing this up as we talk about this is I'm afraid that the way this kind of conversation of checking our hearts and seeing if we can say we love God. I'm afraid that the way this comes across is that it feels like, well, I've got to go put God first.

[00:49:55] That's what people think they're going to go do. Maybe after hearing the great command or the the first commandment. OK, so I've got to somehow summon it within myself and kind of figure out what I'm going to do to put God in the first place. So let's just get this very clear. I'm not asking anybody to put God in the first place. I'm telling you, God's already in the first place. God loved you first before you ever did anything or felt anything for him. He loved you first.

[00:50:25] That's why you should love him with all your heart, because he already loved you.

[00:50:30] I mean, what more could he give? He gave his one and only son who poured out his life for you. He shed his blood to pay for your sin on the cross. I mean, he loved you when you were an enemy, when you were against him, when you were out there doing your own thing. God loved you first. That's why you should love him. I'm not asking you to summon anything about yourself. I'm saying, look what he did. Let's go meditate on what he did for us and then let's see if our response even makes sense or even is worthy of the way that God loved us. Let's look at his commitments to us. Let's look at the money he's given to us. Let's look at the time in the years he's given to us. Let's look at the sin that he's forgiven for us.

[00:51:15] And then let's see if we're even doing anything that resembles love for him.

[00:51:21] So the reason I'm asking you to make the first commandment, your first commitment here at our church this summer is because he loved you first. Let's get that down for point number three. That's the motivation.

[00:51:33] That's the reason why the fact that God's taken away mercy from these people, the fact that God's saying they're not his people. The fact that God's using this marriage relationship between Hosanna and Gomer to paint a picture of his relationship with the people of Israel, all of that shows us what a close, intimate relationship God has with us as his people. I mean, we think marriage is a pretty close relationship, a one flush relationship. We think those weddings are a pretty big deal.

[00:52:04] Well, God says that that is just a picture of his relationship with us as his people.

[00:52:10] And the reason he's taken away mercy and saying they're not his people is because he had given them mercy and called them his people, something that first Peter, 210, says he does for us. God loves us as his people. Anybody want to say amen to that right now? I mean, you are loved by God. He sent his son to die for your sins.

[00:52:31] And if you believe in Jesus Christ and turn from those sins, you enter any eternal relationship of love with God. So let's just make it very clear. We are against religion here at this church, which is you going and trying to muster up in your own heart a love for God. It starts with you. It's something you do. And ultimately, the end object of it is you to earn some kind of favor with God. No, we're of the mindset that we could never earn favor with God.

[00:53:04] All we would do is make God jealous. That's what we would do. And we would make him angry. No, it's because God loved us, because he brought us into a relationship with him.

[00:53:17] That is why we respond by loving him to obey the first and every commandment. It's a response to a relationship with God. That's the difference between just people going through the motions of good works and people doing things because they love Jesus Christ.

[00:53:36] And that's what we want to see here.

[00:53:38] That's the kind of people that we want to be. Go to Deuteronomy, Chapter seven if you just keep reading. God explains. It gives you the command. He says, what's gonna happen if you don't keep the command? And then he tells you why you should keep the command. Look at Deuteronomy. Chapter seven. Verse six. This is what he says to the people of Israel. For you are a people holy to the Lord, your God. You're set apart. You're his own special people. The Lord, your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession. Out of all the people who are on the face of the earth. And that's what God's saying to the Jewish people and in Israel. And that's really what he says to every one of us as individuals when he saves us in verse seven.

[00:54:19] It was not because you were more in number than other people. It's not because you were such some great nation of Israel that the Lord set his love on you and chose you. In fact, you were the fewest of all peoples. But it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the House of Slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh King of Egypt.

[00:54:43] Know, therefore, that the Lord, your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. I'm not asking you if you know that God loves you with your head. I'm not asking you if you know the doctrine of the love of God. I'm saying right now in the present. Do you believe by faith from your heart that your God is the kind of God you would never go back on his covenant? Who has a love that is steadfast, a love that would last for a thousand generations, a thousand lifetimes?

[00:55:21] Do you believe that's how long God's gonna love you? That's what it's saying here.

[00:55:26] Hey, here's why you would keep these commands. Here's why you won't let your heart go after something else and make God jealous, because look at why he loved you and why did he even love you. Like, what is there about you that made him love? You know, it's because that's who he is. That's because he chose to love you, because that's the kind of steadfast covenantal love that God has.

[00:55:49] He's going to keep on loving you for all of eternity. I am convinced that nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

[00:56:00] Not just do you know that God loves, but do you live your life like God loves you? And so you want to love him in response. That's why you then live the Christian life right there, because he first loved you. Trace it back. Trace back your whole history as a Christian. Trace.

[00:56:20] Trace it all the way back to what was the first thing you feel like you did. Right. I mean, who knows how many good works you've done now? Maybe you can remember that first time you were really singing out in worship. Maybe you can to remember that first time you went to go and tell somebody that gospel you didn't care what they were gonna say. You just wanted them to know that Jesus died for them. Maybe you can remember that first time when you felt something for Jesus and you believed in him and you were saved. Go back to everything you've ever done for Jesus in your entire life. And when you get back through all of that, you'll see that he loved you before all of that.

[00:56:56] And it's his love is the reason if you have done anything good for God out of a real motive of love for him, it's because he loved you first. That's why you did it.

[00:57:08] And that's what we're here to learn. I mean, Hosea's sounds pretty intense when you get into it, but a God who wants to love me, who wants to show me mercy, who wants me to be one of his people, who wants to love me even when I don't love him back. That's the kind of God I want to learn about all summer long.

[00:57:25] That's what we're here to do.

[00:57:27] And so we're going to learn about God's love for us and how that then should motivate us to love him in response. Why would we ever make him jealous? Why would we play the war and let our hearts worship some other God or have some other idol or some other commitment that's now competing in our hearts with God when he loves us the way he does? Well, of course we want to love him back.

[00:57:50] See, before God ever asked you to obey one of his commands. He loved you. And that was the motive. That was the reason why you should obey. Even before the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, if you go back to Exodus 20, before we even get to the first commandment, God says, I am the Lord, your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

[00:58:14] That's who I am. That's what I did for you.

[00:58:16] Now, let me tell you what commands you need to obey.

[00:58:20] See, we start with command number one. You shall have no other gods before me. But there's a little bit. Even before the first command, it's that I delivered you out of slavery. I saved your soul.

[00:58:31] Now, here's how you should then respond out of love for me.

[00:58:35] Good first, John, Chapter four and we'll see this year. I do not want to make God angry with my life. I do not want to make God jealous. I don't like the idea of God thinking about me, that I'm playing the whore in my relationship with him. Anybody else. So with me on this, anybody else not want to make God jealous? I was talking with somebody here at our church about the book of Isaiah, and they were like, yeah, you just make sure that everybody realizes where the prostitute in that story. You just make sure that, OK. Point taken. We're it. We're playing the whore. If we don't love God with all of our.

[00:59:14] That's a pretty serious statement. I could see God being a little bit angry. In fact, I had this professor in college that I absolutely loved and his name was Dr. Jack Simons.

[00:59:26] And he was this guy. He was a pastor. And then he became a writing professor and he was teaching us and inspiring us to become writers in the way that he inspired us. But it was by calling us dreamy losers and running us down all of the time. And he would say things like, most of my students have never amounted to anything. And it had this. He was like one of those people. That's crazy, but also a genius at the same time, you know, how those go together. And he had this way, as he would like come after you. It just made you want to actually not be the loser that he was describing, which was totally you. You know what I mean? And it made he inspired you. And so people. They took his classes because he was just this inspirational teacher. But also they took his classes because they were easy. Like I took this one class called Creative Writing, which really all you had to do was write one short story the whole semester. You write one short story. Right. And so we're coming towards the end of the semester and the assignment is going to be do. And he walks in and there is something different about the disposition. It's not fun, love. And Dr. Jack, you're in class today.

[01:00:32] I mean, his face is red. It's so red. It's turning purple. It's so purple. You're starting to get concerned for his health like something is clearly wrong. And he says, I've heard disturbing rumors. I've heard very troubling things. And I'm just going to ask you, because the story is due on Monday and it's Friday.

[01:00:50] And I just want to know right now who here has started their story that we've been working on all semester. And by the grace and mercy of God, I had written the first paragraph of my story.

[01:01:06] And so I was able with integrity, to raise my hand as if I had started this like a diligent student. And we sat in a circle, in a workshop. And the entire class, that's half of the class that I'm looking at. Not one of them raises their hand as if they've started the story.

[01:01:25] And he just starts shaking and he turns some color that's not human.

[01:01:30] And he says, I was in Israel on a mountain and God spoke to me. He says, and I'm here to tell you, not one of you is going to get away with it. Not one of you. I will not stand here like a prostitute and take your money. And I pretend I love you. No one here is getting away with it. And he storms out of the class. And I'm trembling. I'm gathering my things together. I'm running to my computer and I'm typing all weekend long.

[01:02:07] Right. Because here was someone that I could tell. Loved me, genuinely, cared about me, loved me enough to tell me the truth. And I had made him angry and I did not want to do that. Do you feel that in your heart for God? Is God a God who has a motion? Is he a God who has will? Is he a God? That by what you do or do not do? You could bring him pleasure or displeasure. You have a real relationship like that with God. Does it matter to you that you might be doing things in your heart, in your life that make God jealous?

[01:02:45] Does that bother you? You tremble about it at all.

[01:02:49] Do you want to go and do something about it to show him that you love him? Because he loved you first thought, it says here at first, John, chapter four, verse 16, it says, We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.

[01:03:06] Hey, we're here because we believe in God's love. We know about it. We've experienced it in our lives and says here we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. In fact, we're going to go so far as to say that God is love and whoever abides in love, if there's anybody who knows what love is. That's because they abiding God like the way we find out what love is, is through a relationship with God. That's how we get taught. What love is, is through God. Loving us in his son, Jesus Christ. And it says that God abides in him, the person who loves God. That's the person God has a relationship with this by. This is love perfected with us so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear for fear has to do with punishment. And whoever fears has not been perfected in love. But we love because he first loved us. You can know the love of God in such a way that when you consider your sin and the reality that the wages of sin is death and that after death should come judgment for sin, you could sit here and know that God loves you so that you will never be judged for your sin, that all of your sin has been forgiven and you could now have no fear about what's going to happen to you after you die. One hundred percent confidence that you're going to be with God because you know he loves you right now.

[01:04:35] That's what this passage is talking about.

[01:04:38] Because there is originally there supposed to be fear. God has said I'm a jealous God and you better love me with all your heart. And we haven't done it.

[01:04:49] I mean, I knew as a young child, as I was taught by my father, the word of God. I knew that there was a standard that God had for me and I was not living up to that standard and I would never live up to that state.

[01:05:02] And something beautiful happened to me when I came to that realization. Fear happened to me and I began to understand the fear of the Lord, which was the beginning of wisdom in my life. And the fact that I didn't want to make God jealous, the fact that I didn't want to experience judgment after I died, that started to get me very interested in Jesus going on the cross to pay for my sin to be judged in my place. So I would never experience condemnation.

[01:05:32] And I started to love Jesus Christ and I started to want to live for him. And I started to see that what he had done for me was worth giving my life for.

[01:05:42] And I began to grow in the knowledge and the understanding of the love that God has for me in Jesus Christ to now where I can say I have no more fear of judgment after I die.

[01:05:55] That love of God has cast away that fear, and it's replaced it with this complete confidence that Jesus loves me, not just because the Bible tells me so, because I have seen his love in my life and I have seen him even teach me to love him because he first loved me.

[01:06:15] And I want you to have that same confidence I would wish for every single person that we would know, the love that God has for us to be one of his people, to experience his mercy, and that because of God's love for us, that we would love him back here at this church. I pray that we would never lose our first love that we could say this summer. I love God more than I ever have before. Let's pray with me, God. Thank you so much for just this introduction to the book of Hosanna.

[01:06:45] And God, I thank you for just telling us how you feel and giving us this picture of Hosanna marrying a woman who we know is going to cheat on him and is going to pursue other loves and is going to, in your words, Lord, play the whore.

[01:07:01] And yet, guy, we see that you continue to love your people, you continue to pursue them, and you continue to offer them mercy, if they will turn from their Senate, you continue to offer them a relationship where they can love you because you first loved us. And so, God, I pray that we would know your love in a in a fresh way here this morning. I pray that your love would make a difference.

[01:07:25] In our lives this week, God, I pray that we would go and make your first commandment for us our first commitment in life, that we would go and want to love you with all of our heart because we are motivated by how you have loved us. By giving your son Jesus Christ to die for our sin. We thank you.

[01:07:43] For the love that you've poured out on us abundantly, love that is beyond what we deserve. Love that we could never earn Guy. And yet you have chosen to love us anyways, and so, God, we thank you. For your indescribable gift, and we pray that our response here at this church would be that we want to love you to.

[01:08:03] And that we would evaluate our lives and God, if we do have an idol. We do have a rival in our heart, God, that we would confess that as sin, that we would stop making you jealous and that we would offer you all that we've got in response. All of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind. God, let us live to love you and thank you for your love for us. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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