The Lord Still Loves, Even Though…
Written by: Krissie Stempuzis-Wendel
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Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the
people have turned to other gods and love to worship them."
- Hosea 3:1 (NLT)
Hosea has been a difficult chapter of the Bible for me to read in this current season. It’s a story of betrayal, corruption, judgments, and consequences. It's heavy and full of overwhelming grief. Sin bleeds from its pages. Its climate is similar to the world we live in now. There are days that I can’t process everything that is currently going on in the United States, let alone the world. Animosity, hostility, division, injustice, and selfishness saturates our country, our world, and even my own heart.
Full disclosure: Some days, I don’t like associating myself with “Christians” much. And, there are a significant number of people in my life that I’d rather not love right now.
In the verse above, the wife that God is speaking of is Gomer, Hosea's wife. The unfaithful, repeat sinner in need of repentance and restoration. I’m a Gomer y'all. And yet, I’m the one struggling to love people that don't live and think like me. Even though I know that love shouldn’t keep score (1 Corinthians 13:5), that's exactly what I do.
“Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.” - Hosea 3:1 NLT
LOVE, EVEN THOUGH...
THE LORD STILL LOVES, EVEN THOUGH...
What does it look like to love the person that voted for the other guy or resides on the side of the oppressor? What does it look like to love the wrong-doer and the abuser? What does it look like to love someone with views that align with injustice? What does it look like to love people that bleed hate? What does it look like to love someone beyond only praying for them? What does it look like to love, “even though”?
I don’t know exactly what those answers look like for you because I’m not even sure I know what they look like for me. What I do know is that God does. God knows and He is in it all and faithful through it all. He is what I cling to.
Hosea. 2020. Both full of overwhelming grief with sin bleeding from its pages. It would be great if we could all just get along and play nice. Live in a story with a happy narrative, right? But Hosea and the current state of our country (if you live in the United States like me) is the exact type of story that God wants us to step directly into. Because our mission field is the battlefield. If we’re not careful though, we’ll lose sight of Jesus and His Gospel if all we focus on is the battle itself. What if instead of focusing on all that’s wrong with the world, we turn our gaze to look at all that’s right with Jesus? It is He that will sustain us.
Hosea is also a beautiful story of surrender and healing, repentance and forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. It’s a story of a pure and unconditional love that can only come from our one, true God. The unwavering faithful One. Its story in entirety is what our world and my heart are in dire need of. Both are necessary. God wants us to step into each other’s brokenness and love people right where they’re at. The way others live their lives shouldn’t dictate how or if we love them. A quote by Thomas Merton puts it beautifully. “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”
The most simple and powerful way we can share Jesus with others is to love everyone, always, and unconditionally. God takes care of the rest.
1. How has God loved you in your “even though” moments?
2. Who is someone that is difficult for you to love right now? What would it look like for you to show them unconditional love, “even though”?
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unwavering faithfulness. Thank You for being our sustenance through the good and the bad. Please help me to gaze at Your truth and goodness more than anything else. When the world overwhelms me, I will place it at Your throne. Though undeserving, You love me despite my mistakes. Please help me to love others despite their mistakes. Help me to love everyone, always, and unconditionally. Thank You. In Your loving name, Amen.
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