TRYING TO COMPREHEND HIS COVERING OF LOVE FOR US
GOMER WAS UNFAITHFUL
BUT WHEN SHE WAS NAKED ON THE AUCTION BLOCK
HOSEA, OUR CHRIST FIGURE
Part of “getting the gospel” is understanding how deeply we are loved. We doubt His love because we know ourselves, our sin, and can’t imagine how Someone so wonderful could love us so deeply. But that is the gospel — the same God that loved Gomer the prostitute and Jonah the racist loves us. He sees us as covered in His righteousness. Anne helped us with that last week, talking about the covering, and showing us it visually through Rembrandt’s painting. (Nouwen said to look at the father’s cloak — like wings, that cover us.)
I have so enjoyed having Diane, our Canadian, with us on the blog. This is also a chance for you to get to know her a little. Diane has a rich Christian heritage. Her parents were missionaries in India when she was a little girl, and she sometimes writes of how thankful she is for the way they loved and modeled Christ. Diane lives, as I believe as her mother did, a life of quiet service. I remember when Jesus said of Nathaniel, that he was without guile. I sense that sincerity and purity in Diane, and am so thankful for her.
From the stories she has told of her husband Aubrey, and just by looking at his face, I told her he looked like a gentle man. She said he was very gentle. What a gift! Here they are, in their beautiful country of Canada. O Canada!
As God is on the move here, revealing idols. He is helping Diane see how her idols block His love. People can never love us the way God love us, even the gentlest of hearts pale in comparison to God’s GREAT HEART for us. Diane tells a simple every day story with which I think you will identify, based on the verse:
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
Sometimes it is in the petty annoyances that God whispers His lessons of grace to us. Keller defines
grace as “an undeserved gift from an unobligated giver.”
It is easy for me to forget God’s grace and slip into fear that I am not good enough. I fear being
criticized. Recently, it has fallen into my lap to type the bulletin for our small church. I constantly make
mistakes or omit something. Last Sunday, several people came up to me to point out an error in the
I made a joke at the time about it keeping me humble, but inwardly I was upset. I personally
hope someone else volunteers to do the bulletin soon, but I am learning that God never wastes a
pain. Now I am wondering what God is trying to teach me about my fear of not being perfect. God
is whispering His love to me in spite of my failures and insecurity. I don’t have to be perfect. I am
unconditionally passionately loved by God, even though I don’t deserve it.
Diane’s story convicted me — for I realize how often how quick I can be to point out an error. I did that in side-ways ways to my administrative assistants, and it beat them down. Little things I should have just covered, as God covers me, for love covers a multitude of sins (or typos)! We are all fragile, and we all need grace.
Diane also is a model of speaking truth to her soul — something we need to constantly do. We fail all the time in little ways and big ways. And the closer we get to the Lord, the more His light illumines our impurities. Often the godliest people are the hardest on themselves. George Whitefield said, “I sin when I pray, I sin when I preach…” It is good to see our sin, for it helps us repent — but if we do not also comprehend His GREAT LOVE, His covering, we are beaten down. We run to our idols for we fear He will not be there for us.
The Gospel shouts His love.
1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why?
2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?
Tuesday: Diane points us to an interesting passage.
3. Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-27
A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis.
B. Describe his honesty.
C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)
D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.
Wednesday-Friday Last thirty minutes of Keller teaching on Jonah. Here is his outline (for the last thirty minutes) for your note-taking
Gospel Communication — with these sub-points
- What does he say about intelligibility?
- About Credibility
- About plausibility
- About intimacy
Link: Click Here
What’s your take-a-way and why?