Why does God want a relationship with us? Listen to the podcast or watch the featured video. Then, reflect on some questions and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 19.
Once you’ve listened to the short podcast or watched the featured video, take the time to reflect on these questions:
God wants to relate to us like a loving spouse, not as a demanding boss. What are some of the key differences between these two relationships?
What comes to your mind as you think about God’s unrelenting love for you?
What might change in your relationship with God if you loved him the same way you’d want a spouse to love you? Think about it.
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
How did Carissa’s message challenge or encourage you today?
God promises to love Israel like a husband vows to love his bride. But Israel didn’t love him back-–they cheated on him. This broke God’s heart but not his promise. God’s commitment to love his people is stronger than anything else. So while Israel still experienced the consequences of their unfaithfulness, God called them to remember his love and promised to heal the relationship. Jesus came to fulfill that promise for Israel and for us. And it’s because of Jesus that our hearts can be healed to faithfully love God in return.
Review verse 1 and 3. As you reflect on your past, what is one specific way you placed your trust outside of God’s counsel to protect yourself? What do you think that choice cost you and others?
Review verse 2. How has seeking God’s forgiveness helped you and others heal from the cost of mistrust? What does relying on God’s grace and forgiveness practically look like for you?
Jesus came to fulfill God’s healing promise. Review verses 4 through 8. Carefully reflect on the metaphors listed in this passage. What does dew produce in plant life? How is that similar to what the healing love of Jesus produces in the lives of his people? (Bonus: Read Hosea 10:12-13, Galatians 5:22, and John 15:4-9)
Turn your reflections into a prayer. Express your gratitude for God’s desire to be in an intimate and committed relationship with you. Admit any ways that you or your community might be committed to something besides God. Ask for his forgiveness and seek his help to trust and faithfully respond to his healing love.