This morning as I clicked “shuffle” on my Christian Spotify playlist, the song “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus” by Steffany Gretzinger started playing.

I thought, “Aww, this song is so sweet!” But little did I know how perfect it would align with my devotions for the day.

Before I continue and tell you how great this song and my devotional aligned, I have to give a little background.

A couple weeks ago I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina. I knew I wanted a book that would hook me and keep me occupied throughout my travels. Choosing a new book is always risky because there’s a chance that even if the cover is aesthetically pleasing, I may be bored with the book. So instead of choosing one of my many new, unread books, I picked up Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

Now, let me stop you right here. If you have not read this book, stop reading, click the book title above, and order this book. I PROMISE you will not be disappointed. Male or female, I think this book is a necessary read.

Ok, let’s keep going. 🙂

I had read this book a few years ago and literally couldn’t put it down. The second time I picked this book up the outcome was the same: I finished it in three days (it could have been two if I wasn’t exploring Charleston taking tons of pictures)!

There was something different as I read Redeeming Love for the second time. Instead of just looking at this story as the best love story I’ve ever read between a man and a woman, I viewed it through Biblical eyes and a love story between God and His people.

If you’re not familiar with this story let me give you a little background. Redeeming Love is a fictional story based off of Hosea and Gomer. Hosea was a godly man and Gomer was a prostitute. God told Hosea to marry Gomer and so begins the amazing love story of redeemed love even through sin and betrayal. The book of Hosea compares the relationship between God and His people to a real-life marriage of Hosea and his wife.

So as I reread Redeeming Love, I was struck by how much God loves me even through all of my sin. I wanted to understand this story even more so I started reading the actual book of Hosea in the Bible.

This book is a little depressing. God’s people are sinning in almost every way possible. There are idols, prostitutes, adultery, and much more. All God wanted was a relationship with His people but they kept speaking against Him and sinning.

Redeeming Love and the book of Hosea show a very important fact very well: God never changes. He forgives even though He is angry. He provides for you. And He always offers a fresh start no matter what you’ve done.

YOU are God’s one, true love.

Even in the fictional book, Francine Rivers does an amazing job of showing how time after time, no matter what this prostitute does, she is loved by God and by her husband.

Let’s circle back to the song I listened to this morning. The lyrics say:

No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There’s no other friend so kind as He.
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me;
O how much He cared for me.
I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus,
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true.
I would tell you how He changed my life

Friend, God loved you so much that He sent his son to die for you. Jesus endured the ultimate sacrifice so that our old selves would die and we can be made new in him.

The love God has for you is incomprehensible. However, I got a glimpse of it when reading Redeeming Love and as I work through the book of Hosea.

God has an unrelenting love for you, His bride. I hope that fills you with love today!

– Lauren McDonald