frgavin on June 16th, 2013

“What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away. Therefore I’ve hewn them by the prophets; I’ve slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light. For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:4-6)

Have you ever been hewn by God’s word? Have you ever felt God cut you open during a sermon? Good. God hews and slays through his word. But here’s his purpose? “I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice…” He wants to bring you home. He uses his word to take cold, dead, hearts, cut them open, and make them tender again.

How does hewing and slaying do that? The same way a cut from surgeon’s scalpel brings healing to a failed heart. God’s word, sharper than any scalpel, pierces to the soul, dividing to joint and marrow, uncovering the thoughts and intentions of your heart.

Until you see and feel in your bones that you’re very far gone. Until you believe that your sacrifices and offerings, the good works you’ve piled up over the course of your life mean nothing and will get you nowhere because you’re full of pride, full of self—full of love for things that are not God and cannot save—until you hear that cutting word, and that word applies to each and every one of us—you have no hope.

But if today you hear this word and believe it, and know that there’s no cure in Syria, no cure from Rimmon, no cure in Binghamton, no cure in yourself, but only in the Great Physician, Jesus, the Word of God who has come to save sinners, if you hear that, and go to him, he will heal you, he will save you and come to live with you and in you. And then you will see that God slays you with hard words so that his Word can heal you.” From a sermon on the healing of Naaman

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