The second point made in John 13, 34 and 35 was that we should love as he has loved us. Not the scripture I just mention is a big one on that point as well. But God is so good he gives us many more than one example.
Let’s dig into Gods love, how he loves us. Not just the idea that he loves us, but an example of what love looks like.
One of the very best examples of love in the bible comes from the book of Hosea. We have all heard this story its taught from often, but the lessons are deep. I will briefly explain the story.
Hosea was a prophet and a godly man, and the Lord told him to take as his wife a prostitute. An actual prostitute. This was not a woman who struggled with sin because she was not a woman who cared about her sin. She didn’t cheat on her husband once by accident, she wasn’t caught up in a moment or seduced there were no extenuating circumstances and her husband didn’t abandon her or mistreat her, none of the usual suspects no she was simply a prostitute by choice.
After a while of being married this woman ran off on Hosea. Hosea at this point had been through it all. His wife was habitually unfaithful not once or twice and it wasn’t a rumor it was a widely known fact that she had been all over town. His name and reputation were run through the mud. he had been disrespected, betrayed and he had every right to leave her to her own devices,
He had scripturally upheld reasons to leave this woman and just go on with his life. But God told him otherwise.
See Hosea was a man in tune with God, being in tune with God is both wonderful and scary.
We all speak about being spiritually in tune with God. it’s something we all claim to want very much, and we seek it but being in tune with God means not only that we hear and know his voice, but also that we listen.
Every day we spend with God is calling us to an ever-increasing level of accountability. In other words, the better you know God the more he will expect of you. Its like being the older sibling. Parents always expect more of you cause you’re the older sibling. In this case, Hosea was a Godly man and because of that relationship and that spiritual maturity God gave Hosea a very heavy assignment.
This woman who insulted you, who hated you who made a joke out of you in front of your friends and the community. Who betrayed you constantly, who mocked your faith and your values and who brought all sorts of untold hardship pain and embarrassment on you… and who after all that ran out on you… God told Hosea to sell all he had to go and buy her back from that sin.
This by the way is a mirror of the cross. Cause we too can be just as unfaithful, we too can be just a disrespectful and we too run off on God and he also gave everything he had to come and get us back from our sin. We saw that in the passage in Romans 5 a little earlier. While we were enemies while we were defying him and similar to this woman we were giving our worship to other things, other Gods, even worshiping ourselves, he died for us.
That’s the love of God. It’s not dependent upon us making him happy in fact the love of God is most evident when we are hurting him, and he still pursues us.
If all God had for us was love the feeling, Jesus never would have come because God would have been done with saving people in the garden.
Love can be a feeling and a strong one for sure, but the fact is that love is a choice and sometimes when we are struggling with loving people we need to remember that we are not acting out of feelings, but we are acting on a choice we made to be loving. And we made that commitment to God himself. To be like Christ is to love no matter what.