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Scandalous Love

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2021 9:00 am

Scandalous Love

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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April 20, 2021 9:00 am

As we kick off a series titled, Come Back to Me, we’re discovering a beautiful and surprising picture of the gospel in the story of an unusual marriage.

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Katie Greer is mind blowing things in Scripture is that we see God reaching out to her, but people were not paying him any attention at all is that gives us the most mind blowing view of the love of God, one that is almost too difficult for us to believe the MetLife pastor out there in legend JD Greer. I'm your host Molly benefits to working on three new teaching series called come back to me to study the minor prophets part of the Bible that most of us probably don't know much about that is working to see there's a lot to learn from these short Old Testament books restarting up in the book of Hosea, discovering a beautiful and surprising picture of the gospel story of the usual marriage yesterday titled this message scandalous dive into a collection of books that you have probably skipped right over in your Bible reading mass because they contain difficult names like tobacco or hi DIR. Valachi, the great Italian profit in the Hebrew Bible, the 12 minor prophets that are the last part of your Old Testament constitute one book often referred to simply as the 12 or the book of the 12 most people skip right over them because first, they're called minor and so you think well how important it may actually be called minor and second if you do read them. They tend to sound pretty gloomy and do me, but these 12 books are not called minor because they are unimportant. They are called minor because they are short ride.

We all like sure things right. Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah. They tended to write these really long verbose books.

The minor prophets were more like think of them is that most popular blog post of ancient Israel that got repeated around these were mostly written after Israel had turned its back on God and so in the minor prophets, God lays out his plan for restoration for Israel any points forward to a coming Messiah who was going to heal and to redeem what Israel said had messed up. The good news for that in you for good news in that for you is that if you have a life that you have messed up because of your sin, then these books are written for you. That's what the written about is the written about people that have brought misery into their lives because of dumb decisions that they make.

And honestly I don't know anyone of us would say yeah that's not me. All of us have made these decisions. This is about the path of restoration about redemption. Plus, like I told you if you are a Christian. One day in heaven, you are surely going to run into many who met her back again Malachi and they're going to come up to you. I promise you whenever to say how'd you like my book and if you've never read it, then your to be embarrassed to be awkward in my job is to save you from the moments are working to spend a few weeks in the minor prophets Hosea is the first 12 because Hosea sets the stage for everything that's going to come after him in this book he's going to give us one of the most bizarre and yet riveting illustrations of what God's love for his people is actually like.

I honestly it's downright scandalous. First let me get into that story of my own, I do fly to Florida this week for meeting down there and when I got to the airport. I got the good news that I had been upgraded to first class which is always a really good day right and so when I got upgraded to first class.

I went to my new seat in first class and sat down right next to Mike Huckabee I know who Mike Huckabee is I've watched all the presidential debates.

I have even seen his talk show a few times I I know who he is but honestly in that moment I don't have on a filter for sitting next to a celebrity. So all I know is I recognize this guy from somewhere in my first thought is I think he's one of my seminary professors from years ago. The second thought I had a kid you not think about had his baby.

He is a leader one of our campuses. That is, haven't seen in a while and you know the worst thing to do in a moment like that. Is that what you will know the person so I just am always like you try to be super friendly. On the bad. I wasn't going things will arrive for you, looks up at me, me, says why there and the moment that the words came out of his mouth was I how you idiot, that is Mike Huckabee. So I sat down next to him and I thought my second ball that I had was sometimes occasionally I'll sit on a plasma sit next to me and they've been tortured one time and they like hey I got you the pastor for the next two hours I was asked the bazillion questions and and maybe, maybe not. I get annoyed and so I was like it's my turn to be annoying I get to ask him every political question I can make up for the next two hours, so I didn't really do that but I he is very gracious. I found out by the way told about, now that he is the church that he is a part of. He is a part of the parking team at his church and he picks people up in the parking lot in a golf cart and drive them to the front door of his church, you better believe I will use that next time we try to sign up volunteers for our parking team.

Oh yeah, you're too important to busy on the weekend free to volunteer. One day he set a pick up this little older lady in the parking lot.

I got out of her car and she hopped in the golf cart check about 30 seconds in silence as we are driving toward the door. She said anybody ever told you you look like Mike Huckabee disable yes ma'am, I've heard that before. He said we drove on the been 10 seconds and she said anybody ever told you you sound my my company. Yes ma'am. I've also heard that to be pulled up to the door and and she looks at me she said are you Mike Huckabee is yes ma'am I am scheduled to be said no you're not in got out and walked in.

So now I cannot tell y'all that because I certainly obviously not. I'm not trying to endorse Mike Huckabee's politics one way or another, but it simply to say that using the presence of a celebrity. Most of us are not quite sure how to act right. Including me. You just you celebrities. You tend that we tend to be groupies and in front of celebrities. Groupies are people who show an inordinate amount of attention the people who show no attention back to them and that's what a groupie is you pay attention to somebody is not paying any attention to you, having a told you before that a lot of people are like that with movie stars or singers when a lot of young teenage girls today that are in love with Ryan gosling or Bruno Mars or Brandon Murphy and you adults by the way, don't judge, don't judge, because I know for a fact that some of you ladies when you were in middle school. You were convinced that you were going to marry Donnie from new kids on the block right. Instead you married Phil from accounting. A responsible man who is slightly overweight, balding worst penny loafers and now and now you look at these girls that are in middle school dreaming about Justin Bieber RA Bieber Timberlake. It and then you're like sorry sweetheart in a never gonna happen, and maybe say that with a little bitterness in your heart. Maybe. Maybe you say that you know what that's okay because part of discipling the next generation is teaching them to live on planet Earth.

Life is too short.

This is too short to be a groupie, a groupie expresses inordinate amounts of love toward somebody who shows no interest at all in them having one of those mind blowing things in Scripture is that we see God taking that posture with the sinful human race.

Not, of course, in the sense that he is enamored with our greatness.

But in the sense that from the very first pages of Genesis to the final chapters of Revelation, we see God reaching out to a group of people were not paying him any attention at all.

Which brings us to the book of Hosea Hosea gives us the most mind blowing view of the love of God, one that is almost too difficult for us to believe. Hosea chapter 1 verse two Hosea has to go down in history as the man who received the worst ministry assignment ever rose want to go would marry a prostitute and have children with her.

You seminary students. How would you like for that to be your sign when you graduated from seminary all your friends get in the side of churches or write books they can teach opposing you're told to go marry a practicing prostitute is continue on in her prostitution, but a way to make matters worse, and conversely, her name was Gomer right leg or whatever biblical names for your daughter. I would not suggest you choose, knowing of the gunrunner was a dude and it was goofy private on the Gomer Pyle but God had a purpose for this verse to this will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute, but turning against the Lord and by worshiping other gods spiritual adultery might be the primary biblical illustration of sin. It's a very gripping analogy because there are few things that tear your heart out as a spouse as much as adultery. Adultery is a betrayal of love. Adultery is when you give to somebody else. What you really ought to be finding in your spouse, your dinner, see if you read the book of Isaiah this week. You might've noticed this that one of the primary sends that God identifies in Israel is that she looks to other nations for help instead of looking to God for help when Israel was afraid when she faced financial worry when she was worried about her harvest coming in that that fall orbits bring rather than turning to God. They ran down to Egypt or Syria and they said you gotta help us now, that may not on the surface sound that immoral but you see what happened to something had replaced God in their heart as their trust and their love and their treasure, our primary sin is that we have let other things take place that God is supposed to occupy in our hearts. So let me just ask you to consider.

Where is it that you turn first. When you are worried, for example, say that you're single and you really want to be married or say that you're lonely not happy with your life what you do you look patiently to God doing things his way or do you take things into your own hands and do them your way. You see, I know that we have people who come to our church every week who are, for example, living with somebody that they're not married to, because they just don't want to do it God's way.

They're not content to be patient and wait on God. So they taken matters into their own hands. The primary immorality. There is not the premarital sex.

The primary immorality is that they have refused to trust God with their future and taken matters into their own hands.

We got people committee essentially the same center were not living with somebody else, but are just worried and obsessed all the time about what that's going to be in the future you're looking you let something else in your heart.

Take the place that God in his love was supposed to play. Where do you turn when you're stressed when when things are really difficult is that you can't wait to get home so you can you can take a drink of some kind for or maybe you go shopping in your bylaw to stop for maybe three minutes, a hobby that you indulge in the primary sin is not the drunkenness or the excess spending. The primary sin is in the fact that we turn to something else for comfort besides the promises of God or take one more Use your finances what you most look to for financial security was and I want you to understand this. One of the reasons of Scripture make such a big deal about tithing your firstfruits back to God is that it reveals who or what you really trust with your future. God does not tell us to tie their firstfruits with me 10% of everything he gives us, we give the first 10%.the God didn't do that because he needs money even do it because he's trying to test your generosity. He does it because he wants you to see who you really trust for your future security.

If you trust him money as your future security. Of course you can give it away. You'll say things I want to give that away because what if I have a rainy day.

What if I don't have that one day when I needed. I got that for the future. And when you say that you are revealing with your own words what your real immorality with ruling rallies not withhold & the real immorality is that the trust you ought to be giving to God about your future. You put on the money you're running out to each of you running down to a series just like made it God was supposed to be there joy he was supposed to be there delight their confidence or security their trust, but Israel like that prostitute had sought those things in something or someone else and that betrayal of God broke his heart.

So God said to Hosea, I'm in illustrate that for everybody. So go love a woman who is going to be unfaithful to you. Hosea by the way, didn't just go through the formalities you look very verse three after it talks about taking Gomer so she conceived and bore him a son. He genuinely tried a lover. He tried to start a family with her. They began to have children and so after they begin to build this family and after they get it established. Chapter 2 Gomer returns your old ways. Look at verse five in chapter 2, she said I will again go after my lovers. She does it in broad daylight so that everybody's like a in that Hosea's wife.

She shames him publicly. Eventually she leaves him for some man just pays her for sex. To make matters worse, this new guy.

This new lover begins to abuser and so Hosea in chapter 2, he pleads with her to come back just come back in and be the wife and the mother.

I have created this home for you, but in mainly she Walt New York in chapter 2, verse 80. If this even gives the man that she is now shacking up with. He gives her money so the heat this man was abusing her can take care of his IK hears you some money and take care of her needs and to make sure she's close.

She never even acknowledges that the money that's taking care of her while she's living an adult through this other man is coming from Hosea will eventually this new lover get so tired of her that he tries to sell her back into the sex slave trade men got appears to Hosea with the second assignment chapter 3, verse one. Go again. Love this woman again who is an adulterous know what you keep in mind that Jos is a real person just like you or me what had to be going through his mind by her back after I bore wines and I gave her a home and I redeemed her, and I restored her and she humiliated me.after given her everything you want me to go and put myself through that again.

Why would I do that, God says because I'm trying to make a point. But the rest of verse 1 billion love this woman even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, even though they they continue to turn to other gods so Hosea would've gone to the auction scholars tell us that Gomer would've been stripped down naked so that potential buyers could see what they were bidding on their stance Hosea in line with a bunch of men who just won a buyer is a prostitute and I will user body for their needs but also sell her out to others in their stance Hosea just wants to love her and protect her and provide for. Which leads me to the first reflection I want to give you on the love of God number one God's love. When we properly say it scandalizes us is not a one of us in Hosea situation that would not have felt perfectly justified and just walking away.

Sometimes we wonder things like how God could have the audacity to judge us as if God's anger toward our sin is just too harsh, but any time you and I get put in a situation similar to what God is the end we rage with righteous anger and yet God kept coming for us what Hosea was doing by the way, was not required by Hebrew law and fact. In Leviticus 21 Macon noted that God had said very clearly that a man in Hosea situation to divorce his wife he can walk away can even have her stone for that kind of unfaithfulness. This was a divinely appointed loophole.

But God say that Hosea God says I'm not looking for a loophole in God's love drove him beyond the legal requirements of the law. He could very easily have walked away and been fully justified in doing so, inexplicably, inexplicably, God sent his love upon us.

Chapter 11 verse eight might be. In my opinion the most remarkable verse in the entire Old Testament Chapter 11 verse eight.

How can I give you up Israel. How can I let you go.

My heart is torn within me. I love that verse because it shows us something absolutely staggering about the love of God, the God who created all the universe, the God who created stars and galaxies in the God, for whom our planet is just a speck of dust in the midst of billions of specks of dust and were just a speck of dust on that speck of dust that God had so united his art with us that he couldn't let us go, and I recently talked with this essay, a theologically minded guy who visited our church to didn't like the phrase that we see in the song.

What a beautiful name.

It is a phrase we say in where it says you didn't want have on without us.

I said I don't like that phrase because it makes it sound like God is needy, makes it sound like gods in heaven is lonely and he really needs us to be happy and so God came to earth to get eyes because he didn't want heaven without us and we were so important, and he said I only wish an ever-present God is needy yell. I understand that concern but look at that verse look exactly a diverse, how can I give you up.

How can I let you go. According to this verse God bound up his happiness and ours. That's how you feel when you love somebody your happiness is bound up in theirs. It is like a told my wife when we had our our fourth child.

After a poor child through three years old.

I said you know I don't think I'm ever to be happy again and she said why not. I said because I learned is apparent now that I can only be as happy as my least happy child and now that I got for kids statistically one of them for the rest of our lives is gonna be unhappy about something which we did. No point and I can be able to rise above the level of their unhappiness, which means I am doomed to be unhappy until the day that I die because that's how you feel when you love somebody, right your heart is so bound up with bears that you can't be happy until they are happy. That is how amazingly God feels about us and what is even more amazing. Listen, is that we mourn his children. We were his enemies.

When he did this. We saw this in the book of Ephesians that might Ephesians it and say that we were his wayward children. We were his enemies. We were children of wrath. I explained to you that God's choice to forgive us is not like me, forgiven my daughter for telling a liar for taking an extra cookie out of the cookie jar.

God's decision to forgive us would be like me forgiving and bringing into my family a kidnapped kidnapper would murder one of my daughters when we were God's enemies. That's when he set his love on us hell about theologian JI Packer described Alexis by his own free voluntary choice.

He didn't have to do it. We can walk away and been on the poor you walk away, but by his own free voluntary choice. God will not know perfect and unmixed happiness again until he has brought every one of his children to heaven not heard it compared before to adoption when a family adopts a child.

It's not that they were unhappy and lonely before the adoption. I am your lease is not why you should get into adoption. It says that after they have chosen to enter into the adoption from that point forward. They have bound their happiness to the happiness of that child. In one sense, my friend was right. God did not need us. God was happy before he made us he would be justified. Had he destroyed us after we send but God by his own voluntary choice so wrapped up his emotions in our pain so that he could not be happy again until we were happy that kind of love demand something from you. You see, you gotta have one of two reactions to what you gotta shake your head in disbelief and just walk away or you gotta fall on your knees and abject surrender one reaction.

You cannot have is boredom and that is precisely the reaction. Most people in church have for the love of God there bored with it which shows you that never actually understood because if you understood it, you need to disbelieve it, or you would fall on your face and say oh my God I can't believe this is true there's a second thing we learn about the love of God from the store number two God's love even for serrated him I'm sorry for the SAT were there, but I just couldn't come up with a better one door eviscerated means a little. He cut his heart out purchasing Gomer the second time evidently broke Hosea financially. Here's how we know to verse two there in chapter 3, so I bought her for 50 shekels of silver in a home or not.

Let the barley you. So how does it show as it did it eviscerated him financially on scholar say in those days the going price for a slave was 30 shekels of silver, which means the back that he bought 15 shekels for 50 shekels of silver, and paid the rest in kind. The only reason you could get away with that is if you didn't have the full price. So the fact that he had to pay half the price, and by the rest in kind, or on credit that shows that he D in order to purchaser yet didn't get into his savings account. It eviscerated him financially in order to purchase or even out the rest you see that pointing forward to Jesus who is not just financially eviscerated eviscerated but literally eviscerated save on the board at his own blood so that we can be restored in order for him to say Bosnia to give something that he didn't have an abundance of an out with his own life.

That was his own life.

Reconciliation always comes at a great holding the gates of heaven opened for us all we need to do is just receive it. You're listening to Summit life in a message titled scandalous live from pastor JD Greer if you join us late or if you'd like to share this message with a friend. Be sure to visit our website.

JD so JD, the minor prophets.

This is a section of the Bible that a lot of us aren't super familiar with.

So what are you hoping listeners will get out of this study.

Okay Molly, here's a little known fact, I was actually dreading the series about a profits but I thought people in my church criticize me that I never liked so I got into them and just found what I knew was good to be true, but they just forgot that there was so much rewarding gospel so much about the love of God that just exudes through these minor prophets their minor prophets with a major message either major on the love of God see the gospel is not just something that pops up in the first part of the New Testament. It's Jesus said written into literally every single page of the Scripture.

That's our whole focus Summit life no matter what the subject is matter what part of the Scriptures were teaching from we want to show that the gospel is they are that the whole Bible is the story of God's relentless love coming after the people that he is saving. So when you support this ministry financially you're helping us bring that message of the gospel to more people across the country and even really Molly around the world with we get a monthly partner program called gospel partners to make it easier for you to be a part of this mission, so we want to invite you with the listener to partner with us financially, if you are being blessed by this. If you find yourself growing daily in the gospel and wanting other people to be able to experience this would invite you to commit to a monthly gift that that helps us be able to get these messages in this gospel.

People around the country and in other parts of the world.

You can learn more about that and anything else we talked about today is good, JD Greer, delivering you to get on board with that mission may help us more people centered five your regular monthly support makes it all possible. We are so grateful if you join the gospel partner team does give us a call and we'll get her number is eight 683-3520 or if you prefer, you can sign up online. JD the gospel partner access to all of the resources throughout the year. Resource we need a devotional when you make a generous point.

I will go online to JD I Molly be sure to listen Wednesday minor right here on my

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