Love’s adrenaline

th-6So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. (Genesis 29:20)

My how time flies when you’re in love. Funny, I would have thought it would be the other way around. That it would seem like forever, waiting.

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A romantic God

th-5“Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” (1:2)

Hosea is not your typical romance, but it is a true picture of how God romances us. He loves us in our sin. He promises Himself to us, and though He knows we will slip away to other lovers, He finds us and buys us back. He even pays our going rate. How humiliating to Him, but in His love, He is willing to do whatever is necessary to have us back. Of all the romances in the Bible, this is not the most beautiful, but it is probably the most real. God is the true romancer.

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Okay guys, it’s Wednesday

Gentlemen, start your engines — your romantic engines, that is. It’s Wednesday, and that’s significant. It’s significant because you are going to bring your wife roses today, for no other reason than it’s Wednesday, and you are thinking about her, and you want to let her know that Wednesday is a phenomenal day with her in it.

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Ruth and Boaz

th-2The story of Ruth is another beautiful love story of redemption from the Bible. A severe famine in the land of Israel forces Naomi, her husband and two sons to move to the land of Moab seeking food. There her two sons take Moabite wives: one is Orpah and the other, Ruth.  When her husband and two sons die, Naomi is left destitute with her two daughters-in-law and no heir, and no other sons to offer them. Hearing the famine is over in Israel, she decides to leave them and return home. The two widows try to go with her but she turns them back. “Should I have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown?” (Surviving brothers are to take the wives of their deceased brothers to maintain their inheritance.) Naomi feels that God has dealt bitterly with her and simply wants to return to her land, even though she returns empty. Orpah kissed Naomi good-by, but Ruth clung to her, delivering what has become a traditional wedding vow for centuries:

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Redeeming love

thI hate to say it, but depending on your particular schedule, it’s pretty much down to one more week of summer. One more week for that Francine Rivers novel, because, of course, you want to read a romance — something with high entertainment value that doesn’t require a lot of mental effort and rewards you with a guaranteed happy ending for the time spent. That’s what summer’s for, right?

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Shiny happy people

th-12At an event where I am speaking this week, I asked a gentleman I met about his kids. He replied with a casualness that shocked me, “My first two are alcoholics, then I have one in high school and this here is Christian.” Christian looked to be about 7 years old. I marveled at this man’s casual candor, not to mention calling his first two kids alcoholics in front of their 7-year-old younger brother who didn’t flinch, by the way. This must be just basic family knowledge. It wasn’t until I heard him talk about his kids some more and asked him to repeat what he had said about his first two, that I realized he had said they were “out of college.”

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In the company of sinners

th-11If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)

Make no mistake about it, there is a lot of self-deception in Christianity. If we aren’t actually saying we have no sin, we are at least acting like we don’t, and if we are acting like we don’t have any sin, we must believe we don’t, or we have at least talked ourselves into believing that whatever sin we might be guilty of is so minor compared to everything else out there, that we render our little smidgen of sin insignificant for the most part.

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Walking, talking and getting cleansed

th-14We are looking into the first letter of John in the New Testament this week. John was the disciple called beloved of God. Of all the disciples, he was the closest to Jesus. But John is also different. Marti says that if John were around today, he would undoubtedly be diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. That’s because he doesn’t think straight like the apostle Paul and the rest of us; he thinks sideways like Marti. He thinks in circles instead of straight lines. You follow his thinking for a while and suddenly you notice you are back to where you started, only this time you’re seeing something you didn’t see the last time you were there. It may sound the same or use the same words, but it’s different. If you want to know what I’m talking about, sit down and read 1 John … round and round you go.

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