By Pastor Jack Hartman
Scripture: Hosea 14:1-4,8-9
Text: 1Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall!
2Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously that we may offer the fruit of our lips. 3 Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.” 4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. 8 Ephraim, what more have I[c] to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper; your fruitfulness comes from me.” 9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.
Introduction: Because this is Mother’s Day when we focus on love, I want to share with you God’s love story. This is a true story that is recorded in the first three chapters of the book of Hosea. As we read in our text, Hosea declares that God will love his people freely. How did Hosea come to that conclusion? What does it mean that God will love his people freely? I will answer that question and use a three act play to do so.
By Pastor Jack Hartman
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:23-28 (The Message)
Text: Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me. After supper, he did the same thing with the cup: This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you. Each time you drink this cup, remember me. What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt. Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.
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