In Hosea 14 verse 4 God says He will love Israel 'freely'.
But in chapter 11 He declares that they will need to go into captivity first because their inward bondage is not apparent to them.
That so speaks to me this morning. Grace is free love and yet we have restrictions on our lives don't we. We have things that hold us in. Responsibilities, debts, concerns and compromises are a part of every life I know. In order to have this we must endure that... or so it seems.
"Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, "Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips. Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, 'Our God,' to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy." I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon. They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit. Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them." - Hosea 14:1-9 ESV
In this world love comes with a price tag but God loves us freely and that is amazing.