Hosea 11 – God’s neverending love

I read one of the most beautiful passages of the Bible yesterday. The chapters before this one are full of God’s wrath, but then the Lord shows a different aspect of himself:

““When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.
“Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent?
A sword will flash in their cities; it will devour their false prophets and put an end to their plans.
My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them.
“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.
I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities.
They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.
They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the Lord.” (NIV, for once)

I was really moved by this passage. God looks so personal, so loving, so human in a way – and not human, the Holy One who doesn’t remain in his wrath! This is the strongest illustration of the personal, caring God Father I know.

This helped me to see the cross in the right light, because I take it for granted way to easily. It helped me understand how much the Lord hates sin, and how much he loves his people! The only proper response we can give is Romans 12:1

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (NIV again, it helps us not to overlook the “mercies of God” part)

Praise the Lord!

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Courtship – how my relationship life will look like from now on

After spending a lot of time with prayer, in the word, and with Flo, I now know very concretely how I should (and will) behave. I’ll try to break it down for you in an understandable way.

Courtship, not dating

As was already visible from my previous posts, I learned that courtship was the way to go before The LORD. Anything else would be foolish, at the very least. What this means:

  • I will not begin a relationship before I can assume responsibility for her:
    1. Spiritual Leadership in Scripture
    2. Ephesians 5 – Give Life for Her – Protect her and care for her – for good or for ill
    3. Economic care
  • Then, I will go trough her father, so as to protect her from being confronted by a man.
  • I will aim for engagement without waiting for an unnecessarily long time.

Healthy distance – too bad for you, flesh

Following Titus 2:7, I will stay clear of her. This means that

  • I’ll keep the distance of a large study bible between us.
  • I’ll only hug her on greetings and farewells or special occasions.
  • I won’t, EVER, be alone with her.

I hope these resolutions are understandable to you. All I can do now is keeping a distance, getting to now her better by watching her, and growing in holiness and godly manhood. Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to her dad within 4 years or so.

The Garden – Appendix A from “Her Hand In Marriage”

A beautiful illustration of courtship.

As my horse trotted warily up the road, I could see the walls of a beautiful garden ahead. outside the gate was an equally beautiful woman. At the sound of my greeting, she turned and dropped a curtsey. “Good sir… Good morning.”

I looked at her, and then at the garden walls extending out to the right and left. Behind her was the garden gate. I said, “I am very thirsty… for something clean.”
She smiled, and her smile made me thirstier still. But she said nothing. “Is there Water here?” I asked. “There is a stream within my garden.” Her statement was simply a statement of fact; there was no invitation at all in it. I asked “May I come in and drink?” “No,” she said. “The lord of my mother’s garden does not permit that.”

“Why is this? Other women have let me drink from the gardens they tend.” I glanced at the fruit-laden branches witch were visible over the top of the garden wall. “You have a lovely garden, but those who let me drink had gardens  just as beautiful.” She laughed at this, and her laugh was merry indeed. “I have no doubt you have been in some lovely gardens. But was the water clean?”
“No,” I said, and in spite of myself, turned my head and looked down. She continued with a question. “Is that why you are no longer in the gardens tended by these women?”

I was ashamed so I did not answer her. Instead I looked past her into the garden. The path through the gate disappeared after a few feet, leaving the view of anyone on the road. “It seems like a shame for such a garden to go to waste.”
She seemed both puzzled and amused. “How does it go to waste?”
“Does any man drink from your stream?”
“No, but no man fouls it either.”
“But is that not a waste? Was not your stream made to quench the thirst of travelers?”
“I’m afraid you are seriously mistaken. It was made to quench the thirst, not of travelers, but of the lord of the garden.”
“Oh,” I said, “This garden has a lord?”
“No,” she said.

“Then I don’t understand. Are you speaking in riddles?”.
She smiled. “No, I am not. The garden will one day have a lord, although it does not yet. The stream is for him alone.”
“And who will your lord be?”
“When my mothers lord gives a blessing, the one whom I appoint.”
“How can the lesser appoint the greater?”
“How can it not be so? When my lord comes, I will grant to him my garden. But until I do, he is just another traveler.”
“And what do you look for? I am sure there are many who knock at your gate.”

At this she blushed slightly but looked straight at me. “I will not have a lord who does not have a lord himself – my lord must have taken an oath of fealty to the Landlord.”
“The Landlord? Who is he?”
“He is the owner of all the gardens along this road. In order to come into my garden, my lord must take an oath before the Landlord to tend the garden well. He must also swear that he will enter no other garden.”

I had never heard such words as these before. “How long must he stay out of other gardens?”
“Forever.”
“But what if he is born to travel?”
“Then he is not born for my garden.”
“I see,” I said, becoming a little angry. “Then why have I never heard of such an oath? I have been in many gardens.”
“Yes, you said that before. But was the water clean? Were the gardens tended? That is what happens when there is no oath.

“So that is all? If someone takes an oath before this Landlord, you will make him your lord?”
“Well, what else then?”
“There are many men who think they can tend my garden well, and who would be willing to swear an oath before the Landlord saying so. But that does not mean that my mother’s lord, or I, share their confidence.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that I know the extent of the garden. I have a knowledge of it that cannot be gained from the road. But no man can share that knowledge until after I have made him my lord and husband. So I must have the measure of the man before.”
“So what must a man do? It seems like much work.”
She smiled once again. “There is much work. There is also much fruit.”
“So what must a man do?”
“The first thing is to-”
“Yes, I know. He must swear to the Landlord. But after?”
“He must return to me, and ask to see my mother’s lord.”
“And what would he say?”
“That depends on the man.”

At this parting comment, she turned and walked slowly back into the garden, pulling the gate closed behind her. I spurred my horse, which began to trot down the road. I did not know what to think, but I needed to find this Landlord.

Ephesians 5 – Voddie Baucham

Notes from a sermon I listened to a while ago.

The Love we are supposed to have to our wife is not some overflowing emotion, but the Love Christ  has for us. We are to sanctify her!

Turn to the Lord to receive motivation to love her, not to her.

We are to view her as a child of the king, who’s been entrusted to us, and our desire is that our love, that overflows for her, would be a sanctifying influence in her life for the love of Christ who loved us.
We do not only love her that way because she is a part of christ’s body, but she also is a part of OUR body.

The sexual union between a man and his wife is a living, breathing, all-inspiring expression of the ecstasy of the union the church awaits. We do not think highly enough about sex. We don’t respect, honor it enough.
so, don’t we dare make less of it!

Status

Hey everyone,

I am back from my holidays to France, so I will start posting sermon notes and stuff I didn’t  publish yet. I will start reading 2 books, so more content on that will come within the next 2 weeks.

Future Men, and Her Hand In Marriage, by Douglas WilsonThey talk about Manhood, and courtship in the modern world.

A dating sermon – Paul Washer

Another awesome sermon, I listened to this one on Tuesday ( 2 days ago)
Again, my full notes are available.

I will quickly sum up a few of the most important points.

Requirements for (any) relationship:

  1. Spiritual Leadership in Scripture
  2. Ephesians 5 – Give Life for Her – Protect her and care for her – stay with her if she needs you
  3. Economic care

Interest in Girls: Signal to start preparing → assume responsibility – Manhood (NOT SIGNAL FOR STARTING)

If clothing is a frame for your face, it is from God.
If clothing is a frame for your body, it is sensual, and God hates it.

If you spend enough time alone with a girl you are attracted to, you will fallFlee from youthful lusts! They are more dangerous than the devil!

 

please listen to the sermon and read my full notes if you are interested in this topic.

Is a girl more because of her relationship with you?

I found a very interesting statement in chapter 9 of EYMB:

I had little to offer a girl, but I wanted everything from her. It didn’t register with me that this was someone’s future wife, or that she was a real human with real needs that I could meet. Instead, it was all about me and making me feel good. Had I been godly, she could have become more because of her relationship with me. Too often, she was less because I took from her what only her husband should take.

This passage really hit me hard. What is more important to me: taking as much as possible, or giving as much as I can? I promised before GOD that every girl I know now or meet in the future, be she my friend, girlfriend, fiancée, wife, or even none of these, will become more, hopefully even grow spiritually because of me. And you know what the best part about this is? I know for sure that the HOLY SPIRIT will help me in making this happen 🙂

Hello world!

Yesterday, the 25th of July, 2012, was a turning point in my life. Realizing that I was much too loose in my fight against sexual immorality and porn, I started “Every Young man’s Battle”, which I had read before – but this Time I didn’t want to stop short. I wanted to do it right. After doing 2 Sessions in the workbook, based on 6 chapters in the book, I felt GOD’s presence in me stronger than ever. I prayed a lot and read a lot, until I decided, among other things, to start a blog documenting my daily life with the LORD.

Cover of Every Young Man's Battle