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The Power of Love: Transforming Beasts Into Beauties

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
August 7, 2016 6:00 am

The Power of Love: Transforming Beasts Into Beauties

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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Good morning Summit good to see you all here at this particular campus was a good morning to those who are checking us out across different campuses were great great church. This is what a joy it is to be here have long been a big fan of the summit churches have long admired what God is doing here in the section of the vineyard and have actually taken plenty of notes and have tried to cut-and-paste some things you all are doing here in the various places of ministry. I've been here I've been in and around the country. Also just give a word of of honor to your pastor, Pastor JD Greer's lovely wife Veronica. God has really gifted them to the body of Christ at large, and especially to you all and my heart is just been encouraged by their faithful witness, inspect, especially the summer as I'm sure many of you are familiar. What a breathtaking act of humility that Pastor JD Greer showed up Southern Baptist convention and unfortunately we live in a day and age where humble is not only always synonymous with lead pastor of what God has blessed you all with a humble lead pastor and if you are grateful to God for your pastor, would you just join me in giving God, you have your Bibles I want you to meet me in Hosea chapter 3 of your old school, like me, you turn pages.

If your new school. Take out your devices and don't click on your Pokémon go apps click on your Bible actually meet me in Hosea chapter 3 Is Your Navigating Your Way there.

What a joy it is to be here with other great leaders of this church. Chuck Chris Ricky Harris and will dilute rockabilly locks or call Roscoe's chicken and waffles. My fault Dane's chicken and waffles last night that was good and met KJ what a great team that you all have here. Well, last year I preserve about 20 different sermons here at the church and so this year they said what what one sermon pastor is Brian put that have got put on your your heart and they said were doing a series here. Going to the whole Bible, which I love Tom Nelson says that the goal of the believer should be to be able to palm their Bible. That's a basketball metaphor, we should be able to get a grip on the word of God to be able to examine it, use it and apply it appropriately.

And I love this series you all are doing. I've been asked to share with you all out of a section of the Old Testament known as the prophet specifically going to be in the section of the prophet said today known as the minor prophets to call the minor prophets not because they are insignificant, but because these prophetic books are typically smaller than what we would call the major prophets or the longer prophetic books specifically only holding on Hosea chapter 3 pick me up in verse one.

Hosea's talking is is and the Lord said to me underline this phrase go again. Love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulterous, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel. Will they turn to other gods love cakes of raisins. So I bought her for underline this phrase. 15 shekels of silver in the home or delete thick barley and I said to her, verse three, you must as well as mine for many days you shall not play the horror belong to another man so will I also be to you children of Israel shall dwell many days without fingerprints without sacrifice or pillar without any father household gods. Afterward, the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God.

David 13 they shall come and fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.

We pray with me. Father, I do again. Praise you for the opportunity to be here, Lord, my role the next few moments we have together so not to try to change anybody I can even change myself. My role is to the words of Matthew chapter 13, just scattered the seed of your word. My hope Lord God is that scattering the seed of your word that this word falls on good ground that it takes roots and it produces a harvest again. I can't change anybody can't change myself. But I do stand on the promise of Scripture that says that your word will not return void that it will accomplish what you said it would that your word in tandem with the Holy Spirit is powerful, combination, Lord God that can reroute and redirect lives. So, so that in Lord God, I pray that you would stand in my body.

Think with my mind. Speak with my tongue. Those things you would have us know say and do give me great clarity and power under the direction of your Holy Spirit Lord, would you be so kind as to save someone's soul today either at this location across all of our locations make someone pass from death to life. For those who do know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. May they be convicted were appropriate challenges were appropriate, encouraged, where appropriate, but ultimately changed my grandma used to say, God, would you put shoe leather on this message today show us how to walk therein. It is to that degree that I pray in Jesus name, amen and amen. While the clock only 33 minutes and 46, 45, 44 seconds clock on a chocolate preacher okay so I got grew up.

I grew up in Atlanta and one of my great hobbies that I enjoyed in the 80s was collecting baseball cards. Parenthetically, me, my mom had words because when I went to college. She called herself cleaning out the garage and getting rid of these useless cardboard things with statistics and pictures on them.

Thousands of them. She got rid of. So I had to be reminded of one of the 10 Commandments to honor your father and mother but anyways I collected baseball cards and I can remember. I can see him now the little Fleer baseball card packs and you rip them open and there'd be the pink stick of gum in your pocket in your mouth and then you start thumbing through the baseball cards. On occasion, you would find someone to find a card that was either valuable or you knew was going to be valuable when it would happen what you would do as you would take this card. This card that was what's called in mint condition is perfect, no frayed edges no blemishes you would take this card in mint condition and you would drop it in a plastic sleeve to preserve and protect this card and you would do that because you understood that that wanted to keep it in mint condition that if it got freighter had blemishes or damage on it value would decrease. You wanted to keep it as you found it in mint condition that this is wonderful in the realm of baseball cards, but this is not how things work in the economy of God when you got saved, you did not come to God in mint condition.

You can come to God with all of your theological eyes darted in all your theological D.T's crossed. You came to God in the words of my cousin is a hot mess you had blemishes in marks on you. Fact if I could use another metaphor week we came to God as is who piece jalopy's good friend of mine. He specializes in restoring car. He loves to find cars that people see little to no value in loves to find these cars that people would pass over him, and he buys them for pennies on the dollar. He takes these cars and over a period of time, days, weeks, months, thousands upon thousands of hours he invests in them. He restores them. He loves taking cars from messages to masterpieces. That's what God does with us. We came to God as a hot mess. But God now, having justified us that cleared us righteous. One time act at salvation now engages us in present tense salvation called notification that is his act of restoring that God finds us in the middle of our mess. That's why Romans five verse eight says that God demonstrated his love towards in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, but Tim Keller says that that God when he saved us all us as is as is as is saves us as is. Yet by his grace never leaves us and is he is restoring that the great truth to salvation is every body should be able to look through the rearview mirror of their journey with Jesus and conclude two things. One, I am not all the way where I should be. We sing a song written by James Cleveland Hargrove Knoll black Baptist Church James Cleveland wrote a song can bequeath into the black Baptist Church when he wrote please be patient with me. God is not through with me yet so that we should conclude while not all the way where I once was. At the same time. Secondly, I should conclude I am not all the way where I once was. I am still on the move.

He is changing me, my my past don't know if you're getting is only saying a man and not understand them in a different context in permitting my white brothers and sisters. Your amen tends to be. I get not guilty I'm just have to work a little bit longer.

This 28 minutes and 53 to 52 seconds that I have psychopath who said to me for he says he said in front of 13,000 be present when I first got saved ISA cuss at the drop of a hat if you wanted a different location, we just had a moment here and I will recap. Use it because at the drop of a hat, but now since following Jesus. He said that fast anymore, not condoning, cursing, but I love the theological implications of that he says I am.

I'm changing I'm growing I'm progressing any so-called Christian who says Christ is been in their life for X amount of times what they haven't changed. You need to check out your salvation with Jesus is to embark on this journey of sanctification primary weapon of mass transformation that he uses in our lives to take us from where we were to where we shall be, is the weapon of law. God uses his love, not deal not say, not condemnation. Romans 81 there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He uses his love. Jesus said it this way in John chapter 13 that by this will all men know you are my disciple not by the arguments you have on Facebook, not by your political mission, not by what church you attend by the amount of quiet times you not by your ability to argue fine points of theology, but by this will all men know you are my disciples, by your love. Jesus understood that God changes us by his love, and yet he is arms of love are his people, so that God saved us, by his love changes us by his love uses other people to incarnate that love as instruments of his love and restoration in our lives.

New Testament scholars tell us that it is love that is the ultimate New Testament virtue. Many future weddings. You may have had first Corinthians 13 read in Paul right now by faith, hope and love. These three but the greatest of these is love. Paul to the Ephesians talks about the spirit filled life when he says in Ephesians chapter 5. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be with the spirit record Phil play Romo play Romo. It was used of a pregnant woman in her last trimester. It was used of a woman who was overflowing with baby it was usable woman who was shown enough pregnant was usable.

Woman was so pregnant she couldn't bend down to tie her shoes woman who couldn't get comfortable at night. It is a woman so full with baby I know you just met her, but stepped to her and ask her when the baby is due because you know, likewise, Paul says, may you be filled with the spirit, may there not be any guessing who's in control of your life. May they look at you and say third trimester with the holy. Overflowing with the spirit that look like to be play Romo with baby with the spirit.

What is it look like Paul tells us in Galatians chapter 5 but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patient crimes, good faith with self-control. The leadoff batter is low all summit they say a lot of things about you. May they ultimately say look at how they love is a question I would entertain for next 24 minutes and 1413 seconds that we have together. What does love look like pastor you been hovering at 35,000 feet.

This is very real pretty, as it look like to love pastor what is it look like for me love my teenage child, what is that look like an IV.

This word I got a 15-year-old son came to me that the days I can't wait that to get about this house situated only one thinks I will have a party and Cupid shuffle to the left look like me or my spouse ain't right. What is that look like the love look like the neighbor I got one there and they Riverdance it all over it.

What is it look like the love what look like single person to love that roommate was always drinking up all your orange juice.

What is it look like to love that tenant is always paying that relate.

What does love look like the book of Hosea God is frustrated. You have a conversation with Hosea, maybe it's just graduated from seminary new profit preacher got anything Hosea. I'm frustrated with my people have entered into holy matrimony with them that the Hebrew word for that is called is said God's covenantal love that God is saying. I've I've said I do to these people and I've yelped myself with them and frustrated Hosea, because while I am them. They are faithless, here I am, Hosea II never give up on them.

I never quit on them but they are cheating on me. In fact, if I could use God's own vernacular. He says the Hosea they are whoring after other gods. Here I am, blessing them day after day. I make my sunshine on them. I send the rain I could bring the crops I open up the windows of heaven and pour them out blessings they don't have room enough to receive and what do they do for a sense of thank you think she's on me by worshiping other God, I guess. Hosea maybe you're thinking I should just quit on them. But that is antithetical to my nature. First John would say of God.

God is love. God just doesn't love is who he is. He is love.

Hosea I want to show my people how much I love them.

I want to show them that my relationship with them is not quid pro quo show them that my relationship with them is not transactional. I want them to understand that even though they were on porn last night. I have not given up on them. In fact, Hosea, what they should understand about my love is a should see my love against the backdrop of my foundation.

My old knowingness understand the love of God, you must see it. Against this backdrop that nothing ever surprises God.

Nothing ever occurs to God before God got you relationship with you you you you everything you have ever done to break his heart are doing and will ever do. And yet he still said I want you sent me coming to you on your wedding day and putting your spouse for life up on the big screen and showing you everything she's ever done to break your heart is doing and will ever do it.

And yet you still say I do so Hosea is I want you to do life. I only use your life as a cosmic show and tell for my love for my people. Hosea pop in your chariot. On the other side of town you going to be a girl named Gomer she's not an ex-prostitute she's a prostitute. She's the kind of girl is Rick James would say he would not take home to mama Rick James is a chocolate person. The euro does, she's out there now. Just imagine Hosea going out what I just graduated from Southeastern seminary. My ministry is just getting started.

I got the M.Div. degree hanging on the wall in my office. You want a preacher to marry a prostitute. Now that's strange. God yes Hosea, but that's the point I'm with you.

See what we must understand as we excavate this text is Gomer is not just some person in the pages of antiquity. We are all Gomer. We all prostitutes whoring after other gods. We all have idol factories in our hearts we worship status gods and financial gods and sexual gods and money gods and you just go down the list. There's not a day that goes by in which we don't cheat on where all Gomer what our text wants us to understand his God is showing us his love and not only is he showing his vertical love towards us in some small way as best as we can.

Leaning on the spirit of God.

He is calling summit church to incarnate this same love horizontally. The first thing we must understand about love. Can't you just see them preacher with the prostitute first lady Gomer love is strange. I don't know if you've ever seen this guy before you can put the image on the screen Dick Hoyt and his son Rick Hoyt Dick Hoyt and Rick is a picture of strange love, father and son. Rick is disabled. They run scores of marathons. Can't you just see the strange sight of her dad pushing his son and once the dad was asked why do you run so many marathons with your son like this and he responded because my sense is that I'm never more alive than when you're pushing in some way every single day to be in relationship with God is to have God push us is to be yoked with God. We disabled people spiritually to be in relationship with God is to be in relationship with one in which we bring nothing to the table. God says in some small way, I'm calling you to incarnate this love to other holes in your life that when you love them. The world scratches its head close in your life that you're in relationship with who seemingly brings nothing to the table what God wants Hosea to know if this ultimately is not about you, but I want you in such a way that the world is wild by that love love they see me. Secondly, love is painful text opens up. He said Hosea go again read the whitespace is a factor because in chapter 1 he comes in today until we get married. They end up getting married.

They have several kids together, but now in chapter 3 go again signifies something's happened to the relationship falling apart. There's been an estrangement to the relationship.

I don't know how it happened.

Maybe Hosea came home one day from preaching in an imperious Kind of tired, get filled with a sense of euphoria.

It's that good. Kind of tired and he's ready to just fall into bed and kiss his wife and he opens up the door and there.

His wife is in bed with another man. Maybe that's how it happened. I don't know. But however it happened. Hosea reached his breaking point. Maybe if it's me I'm single.

Good God will be with you anyways kicks her out the house in a couple days later God comes knocking on the door. Hosea's heart is, you ain't done go again go again go again this is not about whether or not you should take that person who cheated on you back. This is see for the larger point of what it is. Hosea I want you to go again and go again and go again because every time you send that's what I do with you. I go again and I go again and I go again I never give up on you. What Lamentations 3 says where it says the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to join and they are new every morning great is your faithfulness way sinners woke up this morning we woke up because God decided one more again to go again, but it is in this act of going again. That love gets tough because for José to go again means to open up his heart all over again to being vulnerable and being stepped on being hurt and that's where some of us get lost because revolving hurt some of us we can hurt and we go into the self protective mode. We something happens to us and we we we throw up some boundaries and we begin to what I call emotionally moonwalk CS Lewis spoke to this moving passage is wonderful book before loves. Listen to what he says. He says to all is to be vulnerable love anything in your heart will certainly be wrong and possibly broken. If you want to be make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.

Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries.

Avoid all entanglements clocking up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness casket safe, dark, motionless airless, it will change.

It will not be broken will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable, my years of pastoral ministry. I see this all the time over the wound should something happens you can only get so far with us because we made up in our minds will never feel that pain again, you cannot love without being vulnerable and opening up yourself to the possibility of pain in herein we see gospel motivation is not this what God did when God gave his only son in great pain to us.

I've got three boys Quentin Miles and Dave and I love you and my church family, abundant life, but I'm not giving one of my three yet God is only what Jesus did on the cross vulnerable to let the cupping and paying all to be a Christian means to love and to love means to be vulnerable and to be vulnerable group holdings to open myself up to the possibility pain, so I cancel my black brothers and sisters in this thing of racial reconciliation and they get bitter and angry and upset because someone said something inappropriate want take their ball and go home and I tell them go back to the table is our brothers and sisters did a thick skin for hearts for so many Christians the older they get their skin gets thinner in their heart gets thicker strange love is painful, not at this moment that they are going to got to go again to understand that the kindest coaches in Scripture, God, I know you wrote it, but but but there's a line in Leviticus 2720 got use to commit to document the right to divorce her, but what God you actually say that I can stone her just reminding you God I have the right accordingly to get out of this thing got to just yes I know what I wrote but look at verse one go again, and love people would feel about him trying to get into all the nuances and intricacies of it.

I really gotta fly in the last 815 14 together but but you need to understand this Hebrew word for love is a very rare word for love. It's not the typical word for love if this works. People were full of things to flirt tried another way, it it means to step to her networking it means to get your Macon not networking it it it it it it means to romance it means to buy flowers it means to buy chocolate to take her out to dinner. In other words, this word means to romantically pursue.

In other words, what God is calling Hosea 2 is not to look for theological signs and to just do what the word kind of gives him the right to do what he's calling Hosea to fly higher altitude and to lay down his right foot on fire ethic of love José I know what my word says you can take her to the curb.

I know that can stop at a grocery store on the way home and pick up some flowers love lays down rights with my girl for long time. Can we see her tonight man and when you get married.

It's a collision of two sinners and and both of us kind of have a long list of idiosyncrasies and a lot more if you think she's my wife does what my wife is an over-the-top German folk neat freak. She came to me one day couple years ago in marriage, and she says, honey. I've noticed him something about what you do in my bathroom, and it is her bathroom.

She she says when you get finished brushing your teeth. I know she just kind of set your toothbrush down on my counter. It is her counter and in the residue from the toothpaste coming off the toothbrush leaves a stain on my counter makes it harder for me to watch what I love you to do is to suggest is to finish brushing your teeth. If you can just take that toothbrush in England in such a way to where the bristles of that brush are dangling over the edge of the sink so that when it links to click the link on my counter, but it leaks into the sink. I'm going has lost her mind. Holy Spirit is I know that makes sense. Shut up and do it we just we just bought a new house.

It's really her house and I came up to shower and first show she hands me a squeegee Jesus when he would really help in cleaning up my shower and it is her shower. If if at the end of your shower you would take the squeegee into squeegee I'm going. This woman lost her mood, Holy Spirit, or something to take 20 seconds out of your day. Thanks, laughing at me. I do a lot of marriage counseling and one times marriage counseling is like watching a tennis ball match. In counseling these couples in their both making great points, going your advantage.

This advantage does your advantage.

Boost your advantage. This is, and at some point you want to go. Great points will fight the higher altitude and laid on the rights Jesus in the sermon on adhesive. Hey, if you're in becomes you, force you to carry his pack one mouth to me a favor carry with them to this is interesting because he's talking to a Jewish audience and is making a reference to their Gentile oppressors to the Romans and by Roman law, there is actual audit stipulated at any given point, a Roman soldier can come to you and talk to his pack and under law, you are obligated to carry them out. Jesus is saying at the end of the mile. Don't just go fulfilled my right is no love done just checkboxes goes the extra mile north of 5.3 type A personalities.

This is three points today. Praise God for last services. No clocks in right here. Why should I lay down my rights by the last two points of view. Your day is ruined unless you get the last love costs.

Love is not blind once I laid on my rights because friends at the heart of the gospel. Jesus laid down his rights for us to file out with Delta diamond status with Delta.

It's nothing to brag about it kind of symbolic density will be too much time away from home, but the perks of diamond status is, if ever. There's an empty seat in first class. I pretty much get it. I love sitting first class free upgrades but had learned the hard way that the Chilean first class when traveling with my wife, who has no status and she's an in coach and I'm sitting first class snack on.

This conflict is not conducive to healthy marriage is on learning to do when trouble with my wife is no status. I got all the status. I'll still take the first class upgrade, but because she's in coach no status actually sit down next to her in coach. Which means I'm sitting in someone's seat a person see I'm sitting in will come at me and start barking at me, you're sitting in my I will shut them up real quick by blessing them with my first class ticket. Now watch. I haven't lost my status. I just refuse to use my status for my own selfish benefits. I give up my right and in giving up my right to people are blessed. Jesus was sitting at a first-class section of the universe called heaven and he saw us sinners with no status here on in coach and Jesus took on flesh and walked among us in the coach section of the universe called earth to live the life we could never have lived, died the death we should have died also that we can get the upgrade back to heaven. He lay down his right and now he calls us in some way shape and form to incarnate that with her roommates or neighbors or spouse frat house college campuses. This love thing is tough. It's hard to love Gomer, but what makes it easier is you gotta see your own self is something whatever they say about me. They absolutely say look how they thought we thank you for your word.

Bless you for easier said than done. I know, easier, easier and easier said than done. I know father. This is our hearts, but I pray that we would walk if you're here you don't know Christ as Lord and Savior.

One of our campuses.

You know Christ as Lord and Savior is trying to tell you where you will find that kind of love only way you will find it is in God through Jesus Christ.

He loves you that much. You've been cheating on him all your life in God is still an altar still wanting to say I do you turn that down my prayer that you would surrender your heart and life to the one who loves you immeasurably to the one who loves you and me. Gomer's of us all godly loving repression. Jesus

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