Preparing the Heart for Good Friday

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
What is bad news for us is only made ‘good’ through the cross! Notice the responsibility: ‘our trangressions’, ‘our iniquities’, ‘we have gone astray’, ‘we have turned’ but Jesus takes it all upon himself on the cross. Take time to confess, repent, and acknowledge your culpability in the cross!

I Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
What makes no sense to this world, is for us who believe, the very thing that gives our life meaning! The message of the cross is God’s power saving, forgiving, delivering and sustaining. What a cost Christ paid, what pain he accepted! Praise Him for his sacrifice, acknowledge your debt of gratitude.

1 Peter 2 :14 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
All our sin is covered by the cross! Every heartbreak, disappointment, failure, and act of shame has been pierced through, condemned to death. Declare death to your guilt! Let the cross of Christ cover your pain and release your regrets. Die to sin! Live for righteousness! Christ has made the way!

1 John 4: 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Look to Christ on the cross and see how bad things are, that He had to die for us! Look to Christ on the cross and see how good things are, He loved us that much! Receive His love, revel in it! Let the love of Christ mold you, shaping your heart & filling your soul with His purpose.

The Gospel of Hosea

I absolutely enjoyed studying the book of Hosea last week. It is an incredible story of God’s faithful, redeeming love towards his unfaithful people. It goes a little something like this…

Chapter 1
Hosea, go marry an adulterous woman
with a really weird name (Gomer)!

What? Are you sure God?
Your marriage will be an example to Israel of their unfaithfulness

Thanks for the opportunity, I think.
Hosea, I want you to name the children to be born:
1)after an old place of shame 2)no mercy 3)not mine

O.K. if you say so!

Chapter 2
Hosea, my people have been unfaithful, they are a disgrace.

Please be merciful God!
Oh Hosea, by the way, I still love them and want them to be mine.

Thank you Lord for your unending grace!
I want to bring my loved ones back,
turn their shame to hope, give a fresh start…

God you are so good to us!

Chapter 3
Hosea, bring your adulterous wife back home,
go love her like I love my people.

It would be my honor Lord!
Hosea, even though she is your wife, and you love her,
you will have to pay  a price to redeem her.

That’s fine Lord, no price is to great for my love!
One day your Redeemer will pay a great price,
the life of His Son, to redeem his people.

Forgive and save us O Lord!

Here is my talk from Cornerstone on this: 1-23-2011 Scandalous: Hosea