Week 1: The Preacher and The Prostitute
Do you remember playing hide and seek as a kid? The thrill of running around as fast as you possibly could to find the best hiding spot while one of your friends counted quickly. It sometimes feels like we still play this game today. But instead of hiding from our friends, now we hide from God. Some of us have run for a long time. The story of Hosea is truly an amazing display of how deep God’s love is for each of us. No matter how far we drift from God, He never stops pursuing us!
1. ICEBREAKER: What would your reaction be if God asked you marry a prostitute tomorrow? What if they had a funky name like Gomer? Would you still do it then?
2. Read Hosea 3:1. What was God’s purpose for having Hosea marry a prostitute? (To display God’s love toward an unfaithful bride, the Church)
3. Why does God refer to His church as a bride? How does this change the way you live?
4. Relationships can be complicated… Would you consider your relationship with God right now to be simple or complicated, and why?
5. Read Exodus 34:14 and Deut. 4:24. What is the difference between Human jealousy and God’s jealousy? (Human Jealousy: Willing to hurt people; God’s Jealousy: Willing to BE hurt FOR people)
6. The speaker said two important things: “God pursues us for relationship even though it’s messy.” How do you feel God has pursued you in your mess? Do you ever feel like God can’t love you because of your failures?
7. The speaker also said, “God’s love is not limited by our failures”. How can you choose to think differently?
It’s great to know that God pursues us even in our mess. We don’t have to get it all together before God will take us back. Spend time this week being thankful for God’s grace in your life. One of the best ways to be grateful is to share with someone the difference Jesus has made in you. There are people in your world that will only hear the Good News because of you. Who will you share your story with this week, outside of lifegroup?
CHANGING YOUR MIND
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord… Romans 8:38-39