Hey there! It seems like ages since we talked. I hope your New Year’s got off to a great start. To be honest, mine has been a little rocky. But I am not surprised! Anytime we put our efforts into starting over or beginning something new, there will be obstacles. I have learned those obstacles are allowed by God to refine us, to mold us, and to strengthen us for the long haul which we call life. Sure, it’s not exactly fun to go through, but the payoff is greater than the frustration, and that is something you can trust in.
So how do we endure the many disappointments and hurts that come in those seasons? We continue to lean on Jesus. Sometimes I just have my hand resting on His arm. Other times I feel like I have wrapped myself around His leg like a kid clinging to his/her parent in total fear. But here is the thing. Jesus can handle it. Even when I have a death grip on His hand, this I know – He still loves me!
So this Valentine’s Day, I want you to remember how much He loves you! I can’t think of two more fitting verses than John 3:16 and 1 John 4:19!
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT
We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19 NLT
These are very familiar verses. Some of us have heard them a thousand times. We may even have them committed to memory. But today, I want them to speak straight to your heart. Let’s slow down for a while today and really take some time to absorb them.
I absolutely LOVE (no pun intended) that this Valentine’s Day is on Sunday. Not only will I celebrate the love I have for my husband, but first, I will celebrate the love of my Savior. It is extremely easy for us to forget in the day-to-day rush that He left the comfort of Heaven and came here to be among us. That He suffered and died a sinner’s death though He was perfect and holy. And that His resurrection provides a hope for us that we could never achieve on our own. Never.
I hope you enjoy your day, and that it brings you great happiness. I’m going to enjoy a little chocolate myself. But among the rush of feelings that this day will evoke, take some time to remember the One who gave it all for you; whose love is so pure, its transforming powers cannot be denied.
And remember this:
Jesus, I thank you that You love us even with all our faults. I give You praise for all that You have done. Forgive me when I allow the things of this world to blind me from Your grace. Tug on my heart daily, and remind me whose I am. I love you Lord and all that You are – my provider, my protector, and my friend. Today, I fall to my knees to worship You, the one true lover of my soul. Amen.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Elaine
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
This week I am starting a blogging challenge put on by WordPress. It is a great tool to help bloggers get their creative juices flowing and improve their ability to develop content. Each day we get a new question to blog about.
Monday’s question: In 300 years, if you were to be named the patron saint of X, what would you like X to be?
Interesting question, but here’s my answer. In 300 years, I do not wish to be remembered as a saint. I do not wish to be remembered at all, except as a sinner saved by Jesus. I would be OK if my epitaph read, “Here lies a messed up, wrecked person that found new life in Jesus” versus “Here lies one of the greatest saints, who accomplished many good works.” Having said that, I thought the question of sainthood and the start of our new message series at Believers Church, #FollowMe, was a perfect conversation piece. So, here goes!
How does Christianity relate to sainthood? I believe there are many Christians that strive hard to be seen as a saint, but shrink back at being labeled a true Christ follower. However, as Christians we are to be Christ-like, not saintly. Sainthood, can be achieved more readily than being Christ-like, as sainthood only requires that we are ‘seen’ as good. Being Christ-like requires that we ‘be’ good and therein lies the challenge. Following Jesus should not be equated to being saintly. Sainthood is a man-made label.
You see, Jesus was not a saint. He was and is the true Son of God. His power is greater and more awesome than a mere human could muster. In fact, Jesus knew how to shake things up and leave those around Him in awe and wonder. He was also kind and compassionate beyond belief. This is my Savior. I cannot measure up.
In spite of myself, He asks that I do one thing -follow Him. He calls me to throw off the nature of this world and take on His.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV
He knows I am weak in character, flawed beyond belief, and helpless without Him. Yet, He loves me anyway. No, I could never be a saint. Saints do not need a Savior, sinners do!
I appreciate the fact that there are those who wish to honor the great humanitarians of our day by bestowing such a title. Some have done tremendous things in the name of world peace and love. However, unless we realize our need for Him, we are nothing but works, and works will not save us.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT
No, I don’t want any parts of sainthood. Just give me Jesus and His free gift of salvation, and we’ll call it even.
To join us for the #FollowMe series, feel free to visit the Believers Church website where you can watch or download any of the messages. We would love to have you! http://www.believerschurch.org/
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.