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Listen while you read: "Just As I Am Without One Plea"1 (Lyrics)
At the restaurant, I handed out little bags of candy hearts, the kind with words printed on them, to each of the volunteers with whom we were working for the month of February in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Valentine's Day was a good excuse to go out to dinner, and we were in a festive mood. "Let's play a game while we wait for our food," I instructed. "See if you can arrange the words on your hearts to make a Valentine message to your spouse." I had randomly assigned hearts to each bag. Quiet reigned for a few minutes as we shuffled the words on our candy hearts to come up with something to say. When my turn came, I turned to Terry and said, "My dear GOAT…" Everyone laughed. At the time, I didn't know that GOAT was an acronym for "Greatest Of All Time."
Another lady said to her husband, "Kiss me," and we witnessed that exchange. Although a bit stilted and limited to the hand that we were dealt, each spoken message conveyed the love that we each had for our spouse in a lighthearted, fun way.
Love letters are not sent so much now, in these days of instant communication. They used to be really flowery and romantic, and people used their words to express frankly what they were feeling. Contrast that to sending a text on a smartphone. Sometimes, it's hard to discern a person's intent, and words written in haste can so easily be misinterpreted, not to mention the auto-correct feature wanting to put different words into the message.
2 Corinthians 3:2b-3 – Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. (NLT)
The apostle Paul recognized that the people with whom he worked were now different through their encounter with Jesus. Their changed lives reflected the glory of the Christ Whom they carried within. People were drawn to the light of the gospel through them.
We have all known people whom we just wanted to be around because they had something appealing. When I first went to a week-long church camp at the age of twelve, I hung around the two leaders during my free time. I didn't realize that it was the love of Jesus that they portrayed that drew me to them.
Words written on candy hearts are preprogramed, stamped by a machine. Believers, on the other hand, are each a unique message to the world around them, written individually by the Spirit of God. Let's remember that we are love letters that others can read and ultimately be drawn to God.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You have written Your love letter on our hearts. Help us to live in such a way that others will be drawn to You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Thanks for the encouraging words, Alice.
Thank you, Alice. Lovely message for Valentine’s day!
Well-said and beautiful, Alice! Thanks for a day brightener.
A lovely reminder on Valentine’s Day. Thanks and God bless!
AN ABSOLUTELY PERFECT DEVOTIONAL! Thank you, Alice.
Lovely message, thank you!
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Lovely, beautiful, and applicable devotional. Thank you.
Thanks, Alice. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Terry. Enjoy your love for each other and God’s love as well.
Thank you, Alice, for another of your special devotionals. Beautiful analogy you have presented today of how we can share the spirit of our Lord with others. Blessings for writing.
Well said, Alice!
Thank you for writing to us. I saw a love letter from your heart where the Holy Spirit lives.
Be encouraged as a writer.
What a great and inspiring message. I felt the same way about our counsellors/leaders when I attended summer Bible camp as a kid in Muskoka. The surroundings and faith-driven people who led us were life-changing!
Good morning, Alice,
I found it interesting that GOAT would be on one of those candy hearts which I remember well from my childhood. Great idea to fill in the time at the restaurant. Gets everyone’s mind thinking. Creative.
Creative writing in your devotional bringing it together with the love letter to Jesus that is written on our heart each and every day. I loved that you were drawn to the two leaders because of their love for Jesus.
I totally feel closer to God as I read your devotionals and imagine the interesting life that you have had. Thanks for sharing and shining forth the light of Jesus. Blessings and peace.
Lovely devotional, well said Alice!