Encouragement From The Word

Valentines

For some people, the one day that’s scarier than Friday the 13th is Friday the 14th…when the 14th lands on a Friday in February!  (Okay, there’s also tax deadline day, but that’s another story.)

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day.

As a child, I remember that it was customary to bring a valentine for everybody in my class at school.  Looking back, I think that seemed a bit artificial, but there was value in leaving no one out.  At the same time, I sort of wished I could have just brought one valentine…usually for the prettiest girl in the class.

Though Valentine’s Day is in no particular way a Christian feast day – not even among most of those who celebrate saints’ days – my childhood experience does reflect something of God’s view on love.  That is, God has a valentine for everybody.  After all, Jesus said that God so loved the world – not a select few.  God’s love for everybody is what sent his only Son into the world…that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.

Here’s a way I’ve seen it depicted visually.  Spend a few minutes pondering this image, and give thanks to God that he sent you a valentine in Jesus.  Will you send one back to him?

john-316-coloring-valentine

Encouragement From The Word

Remain In My Love

While not everyone finds Valentine’s Day a very fond or comfortable day because they might not have a “sweetheart” with whom to share it, if we look at it as a day when God’s love is celebrated, the perspective changes.  So, whether you’re attached or unattached, happy or sad in love, be encouraged with the love of God in these words.  Read them through slowly, like a love letter.  Read the passage twice, and if any word or phrase jumps out at you, take that to God in prayer as your love-relationship with him grows deeper today.

 

I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.  When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.  You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.  This is my command: Love each other.”  (Jesus, John 15.9-17, NLT)