Encouragement for Today - Feb. 14, 2011
February 14, 2011
"My lover is mine, and I am his." Song of Solomon 2:16 (NLT)
While I spent the last few months thinking a lot about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, greeting card writers likely spent it focused on today - Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day is the second-biggest card-buying holiday besides Christmas. More than 200 million Valentine cards will be exchanged today.
Have you ever watched somebody pick out a greeting card? 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 15 or 20 minutes reading through cards, searching for the just right expression of their love.
You may or may not receive a paper Valentine today, one from a greeting card company, or one hand-made of red and pink construction paper stuck together with paste. But I know you and I are both the recipient of the best Valentine ever - one that shines like rubies, one that is bright white and blood red.
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, MSG).
"Whole" and "lasting" - two things we seek but rarely find in this world. Sweet friend, long after the paper Valentine cards exchanged today are discarded or forgotten, God's love for you endures.
Jesus is God's demonstration of His eternal love for us. Not only that, Jesus taught us how to live and love each other. He experienced criticism and rejection -- and yet gathered strength from God to turn the other cheek. He showed love to all around Him, regardless of class, status or nationality. He prayed for His friends 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 you and me, "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 God shares Himself with us through His Son and His Sprit, He says to us, "You are my beloved."
Hearing that is better than any sentiment a card-writer could pen. God Himself, given for you and me, demonstrates the ultimate expression of love. Like melt-in-your-mouth chocolates from a heart-shaped satin box, He invites us to taste and see that He is good and His love endures forever.
It's time to open your Valentine. 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.
have you received god's "valentine" in christ?
Stop by rachel's blog today to hear more about God's love for you and be entered for a Valentine's Day giveaway!
Pick up a copy of it's no secret: revealing divine truths every woman should know and let the words on these pages spark your love for, and fan into flame your life in Christ.
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follow this link for a tangible way to show Christ your love this Valentine's.
Do I realize the great extent of God's love for me?
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)
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