Encouragement for Today - Feb. 13, 2009
February 13, 2009
“My lover is mine, and I am his.” Song of Solomon 2:16 (NLT)
While I spent the last few months thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, another group of people likely spent it focused on Valentine’s Day: greeting card writers. Valentine’s Day is the second-biggest card-buying holiday besides Christmas. More than 200 million cards will be exchanged this weekend. That’s a lot of love.
Have you ever watched somebody pick out a greeting card for someone special? Growing up, my family owned a chain of Hallmark stores where I worked as a sales clerk. The occasional customer would breeze in, look at two or three cards and then head to my cash register. However, most would spend 10, 20, even 30 minutes reading through cards, searching for the just right expression of love.
In Christ, God sent us the ultimate Valentine. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16, The Message). Whole and lasting, two things we desperately seek but rarely find in this world. Long after the greeting cards I might receive are forgotten, I know that God’s love for me endures.
Jesus demonstrated His love for us and taught us how to live and love each other. He received criticism, testing and rejection -- and yet gathered strength from God to turn the other cheek. Jesus prayed for us, and His enemies. He even suffered crucifixion in order to save us from our sin. Jesus is God’s perfect expression of love. His life and death are God saying to me and you, “Be Mine.”
Yes, God loves us so much that He gave us His most valuable gift, Himself. And after Jesus rose from the grave and ascended back to heaven, God sent His Spirit to remain with us. As He shares Himself with us through His Son and His Sprit, God says, “You are my beloved.” Hearing that is better than any sentiment the best card-writer could pen. God Himself, given for you and me -- as well as anyone willing to open their heart to Him -- demonstrates the ultimate expression of love. Like melt-in-your-mouth chocolates from a heart-shape satin box, He invites us to taste and see that He is good.
Close your eyes and hear Him whispering to you today, “Be Mine.”
Dear Lord, Thank You for first loving me, and for showing me what love truly is. I’m so grateful You invited me to be Yours. Like a bouquet of exquisite roses in a simple earthen vase, I treasure Your presence in this “jar of clay.” May others see You displayed in me this Valentine’s, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
My Prince Will Come by Sheri Rose Shepherd
Want More Love? For teens by Kathy Wierenga Buchanan
Stop by Rachel’s blog
Take some time to read through scriptures about love. You can read through them in Paul’s writings online here at Biblegateway.com.
Do I realize the great extent of God’s love for me?
How do I respond to that? What does it look like to “Be God’s?”
John 15:12-13, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (NIV)
1 John 3:16a, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” (NIV)
Romans 5:5, “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (NLT)
1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105