Exploring God’s Relentless, Perfect Love

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DAY 1

“But the more they were called, the more they went away from me.  They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.” (Hosea 11:2)
OLD TESTAMENT BACKGROUND
“Baals” are references many times throughout the Old Testament. Their usual meaning was of owner or master. In some contexts, the term references the local pagan god of a particular group of people.

It is the natural tendency of the human heart to cling to something. It is innate for us to pursue happiness, love, and fulfillment, which often turns us to pursuing elements of the world, that ultimately leave us in an opposite state from that which we were desiring. Just as our stomachs hunger for food and elicit pain when they do not receive it, our hearts experience pain when they are left with a void that is not substituted.

[“In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky, and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.  I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness and you will acknowledge the Lord.”] Hosea 2:16-20

[For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.] Romans 8:38-39

We were made and born to worship
It is in our spiritual DNA to worship something. The problem is we tend to worship the wrong things. We worship our jobs and the paychecks they bring, we worship our dream homes, we worship our “fashion board” on Pinterest, and sometimes we worship other people. We worship what we don’t have that we want to have. At times, if we’re honest, we even worship ourselves and our reputations.
Instead of begin whole, joyful, and loved like we are trying to be, we end up as discontent messes with all kinds of improper idols.

We cannot simply talk ourselves out of worshipping the wrong things, though we often try to do so. Our misplaced affections must be dislodged by the expulsive power of a new affection. We must find a stronger affection that can overcome those with which we have filled our hearts. Jesus is the only affection that can overcome all other affections. We
must allow ourselves to be captured by His relentless and perfect love.

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