There is a book in the Bible called Hosea. It is a compelling love story. Here is the Cliff’s Notes version: a man named Hosea is commanded by God to marry Gomer who is a prostitute. Literally, God commands him to marry a prostitute. Naturally, she is not the most faithful woman to Hosea and has several children, and not all of them are Hosea’s, either. However, he never stops loving her and pursuing her with a relentless love. You see, this account of Hosea’s relentless love is an imperfect reflection of God's perfect relentless love for both the people of Israel and us. God constantly and ferociously pursues us and desires a relationship with us, and, more often than not, we are whoring around with little gods that we make in our lives. Whether it is our spouses, children, sports teams, bodies and health, careers, substance abuse, money, or success, there is an endless list of people and things that we are ready to worship and give all our focus and adoration to other than God.
Yet God with his relentless love never gives up on us. He went so far to show His love for us that He sent His only Son to be born in a physical body, to live a sinless life, to be put to death on a cross, to suffer the punishment that we deserve, and then raised Him from the dead three days later. All because He relentlessly loves us and wants to set us free. (If you've missed a week of the Relentless Love sermon series, you need to do yourself a favor and listen to it online at fbcstarkville.com.)
All Christ-followers have lived out this story of Gomer in our own lives to one degree or another, and we want to share a few of our stories of experiencing God’s relentless love. Starting Sunday, October 22 at 5:30 pm, we will be kicking off a four-week study called My Story of Relentless Love. Each week, Pastor Chip will interview church members about different topics. Week one we will talk to a woman and her husband about how God has helped her break the chains of addiction to prescription medications and healed their marriage. Week two we will talk to a man about his journey from agnostism to Christianity. Week three we will look at the examples of relentless love in the parents of special needs children. Week four we will talk with several families who choose to relentlessly love the orphaned children of this world.
You will not want miss a single week of My Story of Relentless Love starting Sunday, October 22 at 5:30 pm in the Warehouse OC. We hope to see you there.