This past Sunday, Pastor Carl taught out of Matthew 9 and the calling of Matthew the tax collector. The Pharisees were challenging Jesus, asking why he was fellow shipping with people who broke the law. Jesus quoted Hosea 5 in told the Pharisees to go and learn what this means, “I desire compassion and not sacrifice.”
We learned that before God gave the law to Moses, He told Moses that he was the God of compassion. God wanted Moses to know that His identity was based in His loving kindness, not the law. Our God is the God of love.
Hosea was one of the 12 minor prophets who ministered roughly 100 years after Elijah had the showdown with the prophets of bail on Mount Carmel. 100 years later in Israel was still wrestling with worshiping other gods in failing to fulfill God’s call of love. God had Hosea Mary a prostitute so that he could understand what it was like for God to be married to Israel, a country unfaithful the same way Hosea’s wife was.
When we are unfaithful, we can offer apologies, but nothing ministers like faithfulness. Israel offered sacrifices, but what God was looking for was faithfulness.
Today God is still looking for us to be faithful in our lives to Him. He wants us to live righteously, but more than anything he’s after our heart. He’s always been after our heart. And it’s His promise that if we will love Him with our whole heart he will fill us with His love and use us to reach the world.
This is the love we long for. This is the love the world longs for.
Jesus said He would fill us with His Spirit, and we would be witnesses. We wouldn’t just have a story about God, we would have a story that shares the love of God with others.
Gregory of Nyssa had a story about the righteousness of God and it caused him to be the first person in human history to write that slavery was morally wrong. It took 1500 years for Gregory’s writings to come to fruition but it changed the course of human history.
In Psalm 50:14-15 God spoke through the psalmist that the sacrifice God was looking for was a sacrifice of praise, the payment he was looking for was for us to keep our vows to God, and then we could call upon God in the day of trouble and He would rescue us.
Maybe the breakthrough you have been waiting for is hinging on you keeping your vow to God, being faithful in serving Him and bringing your concerns to Him.
Finally, pastor Carl taught on three ways to put this teaching into effect in our lives. Be purposeful in making time this week to step out in faith and1) Show love to someone who doesn’t deserve it. 2) Invite someone into the kingdom of God. Invite them to church where they can learn about this God of love.. 3) Serve God’s Kingdom.
As you do these things, since the pleasure of God in your life.