May 6 - An Unfathomable Love (Hosea)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
We will continue with our new members class this coming Sunday at 10:00 in the Choir Room. This is for those who are interested in learning more about our understanding of church membership. Please pray that the teaching would be helpful for those who are considering joining Christ Covenant Church.
Bryan Launer will be substitute teaching for the Talking Points class at 10:00am in the youth room. This class briefly addresses a variety of current issues in our society, applying a Christian worldview to each of these topics. This week we will discuss sexual harrassment.
1 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
4 I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
5 They shall not return to the land of Egypt,
but Assyria shall be their king,
because they have refused to return to me.
6 The sword shall rage against their cities,
consume the bars of their gates,
and devour them because of their own counsels.
7 My people are bent on turning away from me,
and though they call out to the Most High,
he shall not raise them up at all.
8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
9 I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.
We are beginning a new series looking at the Minor Prophets of the OT. We are stepping out of Romans for a brief break. Romans is a long and dense book. A shift in gears can help us with attention and engagement. Looking at the prophets will teach the same glorious message of the gospel but from a different angle and time.
The Minor Prophets are called minor because they are smaller in size. The book of Isaiah is bigger than all 12 minor prophets combined. Though small in size, their message is anything but small. The series title is 'Judgment and Mercy' as there is a foreboding nature to these prophets. Some call the 12 ‘the dark continent of scripture’ and yet hope is present in each case as God as merciful is seen in clear ways.
These prophets functioned as preachers, reminding God’s people of God’s holiness and mercy. They were sent by God to call his people to return and live for his glory. Their preaching included warnings of judgment for man’s sin as well as offers of God’s amazing mercy, forgiveness, and restoration through repentance and faith.
Please consider reading through Hosea (14 chapters) to see God reach out to a people with mercy in spite of their rejection and rebellion. God's mercy borders on reckless. As you read this book you will find the whole story of God's redemptive love.
Review and Apply
Have you ever read the '12' prophets? Why or why not?
What connection do you see between God's love for you and your faithfulness to him?
In what ways do your marriage/friendships reflect God's redemptive love to one another? Give a specific example of sacrifice, forgiveness, and/or forbearance that you exercised toward another.
What sins of spiritual idolatry have you been guilty of this past week? In what ways have they manifested in specific ways in your relationships?
What does repentance mean? When did you last repent?
In what ways did God appear more gracious to you in this book?