I wrote this “Letter from a Holy God of Love” and read it Sunday to illustrate God’s incredible love for a sinning world. I adapted Hosea 11:1-11 from the Message Bible and made it into a personal letter. I followed it in the sermon Sunday with a story about cleaning the toilet in the boys’ bathroom while Taylor (my youngest son) was in the bath. I was scrubbing excrement and a whole lot of FUNK off the toliet while Taylor was laughing and having a good ol’ time in the bath. This moment-in-life reminded me how God works to scrub our lives free of the filth of sin while we are playing around of the bath tub of life.
Speaking of excrement, did you hear that Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living (IFL) has been dropped from a nation wide radio network. Todd Rhoades reported the story yesterday on the Monday Morning Insight blog.
Apparently, Swindoll was dropped for crude and vulgar language. What?!? Not Pastor Chuck…no way! It seems that Pastor Chuck has used words like “heck,” “balls,” and “crap” in IFL broadcasts over the years and the radio network had enough of it. I couldn’t help but laugh at the uproar this has caused. Ha-ha! Give me a break…
On a different note, Jenni and I celebrated 12 years of marriage last Sunday and we have our date night tonight. Spider-Man 3, Outback and Starbucks are all in the plans. Actually, I need to post this blog and get out of here!
Here is the letter….
A Letter from a Holy God of Love
When YOU were only a child, I loved YOU. I called out, ‘My son!’ (My daughter!) –called YOU out of your slavery to sin.
But when others called, YOU ran off and left me. YOU worshiped the popular sex gods, YOU played at religion with toy gods.
Still, I stuck with YOU. I led YOU. I rescued YOU from human bondage, but YOU never acknowledged my help, never admitted that I was the one pulling YOUR wagon, that I lifted YOU, like a baby, to my cheek, that I bent down to feed YOU.
Now YOU want to go back to YOUR OLD LIFE or go over to YOUR OLD FRIENDS—anything but return to me!
That’s why YOUR LIFE is unsafe
—every plan to improve things falls to pieces.
My people are hell-bent on leaving me. They pray to gods of money, sex and self for help. Those gods don’t lift a finger to help them.
But how can I give up on YOU? How can I turn YOU loose? How can I leave YOU to be ruined and devastated. I can’t bear to even think such thoughts. My insides churn in protest.
And so I’m not going to act on my anger. I’m not going to destroy YOU. And why? Because I am God and not a human. I’m the Holy One and I’m here—in YOUR very midst.
My people will end up following me. I will roar like a lion—Oh, how I’ll roar! My frightened children will come running from the west.
Like frightened birds they’ll come from THEIR OLD LIFE, from THEIR OLD FRIENDS like scared doves. I’ll move them back into their home WITH ME.
Adapted from The Message Bible (Hosea 11:1-11)