You Are Loved by God

“Marry a prostitute.”

Sorry, Lord, I misunderstood you. What did you say? “Hosea, I want you to marry a prostitute and have a family.”This is what God tells Hosea—a teacher of God, a man of respect. God doesn’t give him an explanation, He just tells him to do this. So Hosea marries Gomer. (Bummer of a name, huh?)

As the story progresses, they have kids and things seem normal. Then one day Hosea wakes up to find Gomer gone. She’d left him and gone back into prostitution.

So God tells Hosea, “Go again. Go find Gomer and love her, just like My love for My people.”
Hosea goes door to door, searching for his wife. He’s searching in back alleys, in parts of town where he’s never been. And he’s talking to men and women who’ve seen better days. Then (as the story implies) he stumbles on an auction where Gomer is being sold to the highest bidder.

Hosea buys her. He buys back his wife, the person who’d left him, embarrassed him, and cheated on him. He doesn’t care about the price or the past. Hosea doesn’t demand anything from Gomer; he just buys her back. Unlike the other men before him, he doesn’t purchase Gomer to employ her, but to cure her.

Then Hosea makes a promise to Gomer. He promises to never leave her and to always be faithful to her. He doesn’t condemn her, but comforts her. He doesn’t accuse her, but assures her.

This story is a picture of God and us. Hosea is an image of God, and Gomer represents us. While we were dirty rotten sinners, God pursued us, bought us, made us new, and made a promise to us that cannot be revoked. God found us in our chains and set us free. He entered our mess and made us clean. God didn’t save us because we were good or had our life in order. God saved us because He loved us and wanted us.

God’s love isn’t changed by the things we do or don’t do. He proved this by going to the cross when we were His enemies. He took our sin long before you or I ever knew about Him. He loved you before you existed. When He was on the cross, you were on His mind.

No one is too far gone. And you haven’t fallen too far to be disqualified from God’s love. His love has no limits. Even the worst of people are loved and pursued by God.

That’s the beauty of Jesus. He doesn’t demand that we have our life in order for us to come to him. Religion says, “Clean yourself up, then go to God.” Jesus says, “Come to Me, and I’ll make you clean.” Religion says, “Climb up to God and save yourself.” Jesus says, “I climbed up that cross to save you.”

God loves you because it’s who God is. He cannot cease loving you, or He would stop being God. His love for you isn’t based on your qualifications, status, or what you have to offer. His love for you is without condition. If you think you have to earn God’s love, you’ll spend your entire life performing for Him and never enjoying Him.

God doesn’t need you. He wants you. He doesn’t love you so that you can do things for Him. He loves you because He is captivated by you. It’s His passion and joy to love you. It’s all He wants to do. His heart beats for you.

There’s never a moment when God won’t love you. You cannot exhaust His love. He doesn’t get tired of loving you. Jesus says He loves us the same way the Father loves Him. Do you realize how loved you really are?

In the Gospel of John, the author ( John) never mentions his name in the entire book. Instead, he calls himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Isn’t that cool? He didn’t say “the disciple who loved Jesus so much” or “the awesome apostle.” John knew God’s love for him, and he made it his identity. His identity wasn’t in his love for God, his profession, or any label the world could offer; his identity was found in God’s love for him.

Try that out next time you meet someone new. Instead of saying something like, “I’m John, and I’m a businessman” or “I’m Lisa, and I’m a housewife and mother of three” try saying “I’m John (or Lisa), the one whom Jesus loves.”

Hearing God’s Opinion
“Hey, beloved, I’m madly in love with you. I’ll never be mad at you. I promise. Nothing you or anyone else does can tear My love away from you. My love for you is unshakeable. It’s My passion to love you. I care for you, and I promise that no matter what you face or go through, I’ll be there with you to comfort and remind you that no matter what happens, I’m fully devoted to you.”

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