Broken Together: To Serve and Protect

The last couple of weeks we’ve continued in our series “Broken Together.” This week’s sermon, “To Serve and Protect” is available to listen to or watch right here.

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So, I was sick last week and didn’t get a chance to blog about Hosea and Gomer from Pastor Dan’s sermon, “For Better or Worse.” I’ll mention a couple things right here because I have always found this to be such a powerful story. In the book of Hosea, God tells his prophet to purposely marry an adulterous wife. Hosea’s life and marriage is going to be an example of God’s relationship with Israel. Hosea marries Gomer, and she cheats on him. God then calls Hosea to reconcile with her, even though she has been unfaithful. This story parallels God’s relationship with Israel. When God first calls Israel, they covenant with one another in, what many see as a marriage ceremony with the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. But Israel is unfaithful to her God. She worships false gods and prostitutes herself over and over. God could have left Israel, but He doesn’t. And that’s what always strikes me about the book of Hosea — God’s amazing love for Israel, His adulterous bride. If you have a minute today, read Hosea 11. It talks about God’s deep love for Israel. He says that He called Israel, taught Israel to walk. He asks how He could ever give Israel up — His compassion for Israel is unending. It is a beautiful picture of the love God has for us, and a convicting call for us to show that same love to our spouses, friends, family and even enemies.

So, on to this week! We talked a bit about Mary and Joseph and the amazing example of love, service, humility and grace that Joseph showed as a husband to Mary. As Pastor Dan pointed out, when Joseph found out about Mary’s pregnancy, he was going to divorce her quietly. This is incredible, especially when I think of my reactions to being wronged. I usually want to place blame and make it clear that I was in the right — to anyone who will listen. But Joseph, thinking Mary had cheated on him, went about breaking off their marriage in a way that would bring the least amount of shame to Mary. The grace he showed is incredible! Joseph showed mercy instead of judgment and he denied his own justification. And even once he found out that Mary hadn’t been unfaithful, he took on a situation that would have been unbelievable to most. He was willing to sacrifice his reputation for the sake of the Lord.

What we see in Joseph is a man who is willing to serve God no matter what. He loves the Lord first and because of this, he loves his wife so well. As Pastor Dan reminded us, 1 Corinthians 13 points out that love is not self-seeking. Denying ourselves is difficult. It does not necessarily come naturally. But through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us and the amazing example Jesus gave of self-sacrifice, we can live out marriages in which we love and serve one another.

What stood out to you in this week’s sermon?

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