Love is the Greatest Gift of All on Valentine’s Day & Everyday!

Love

What Does Valentine’s Day Mean to You?

Today throughout the world many celebrate Valentine’s Day.   Setting aside a special time to appreciate those we love is certainly important.  Sadly, it has become a day with such commercial focus.  Just remember, we are called to love one another on a daily basis.  Celebrate those you love.  Do not limit your expressions of love to just a few commercial holidays.  Family and friends are a blessing to be cared for and honored each and every day.

How Did It All Begin?

Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day came into being?  It begins in the third century when Claudius II was the Roman emperor. He ordered everyone to worship the Roman gods.  Failure to do so was punishable by death.  Valentinus was a faithful Christian who continued to practice his beliefs.  He was arrested and sentenced to die.

While he was imprisoned the jailer brought his blind daughter, Julia, to Valentinus to study as he was a man of great learning.  Her desire was to see the world through his eyes. She prayed for her sight to be granted.  Valentinus encouraged her that, “God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him.”  They knelt and prayed and suddenly Julia received her sight.

The night before his death Valentinus wrote to Julia and told her to live her life close to God.  The note was signed, “From your Valentine.”  (Taken from an Expressions Hallmark card, 02-08).   I love to remember this every Valentine’s Day because it anoints what may have become such a commercial day with a powerful story of God’s providence, grace and healing.  May it bless and encourage you this Valentine’s Day and always!

Who Has Your Heart?

Today Valentine’s Day is a day of hearts abounding on greeting cards and home decorations.  Many wear red and celebrate with gatherings, intimate dinners and special gifts.  What are your plans for this day?  Maybe you are alone and find Valentine’s Day somewhat depressing.  Many do.  It does not matter what your situation is right now.  Think about where your heart lies.  What is most important to you?  Who is most important to you?

First of all, if you walk the Kingdom path with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are never alone.  I do not say this lightly.  As human beings it is normal to desire a partner in life.  However, there can be seasons or a lifetime that you will walk without that natural comfort.  If you choose to walk closely with the Lord you will not feel the loneliness felt by those who choose to walk without Him.  Give Him your heart first.  He will provide His very best for you.

Perhaps you are in a marriage but the trials of life have seemingly diminished the glow you may have felt when first getting to know your spouse.  Give the Lord your heart first.  Let Him work all for good in and through your heart.  Learn to walk daily in forgiveness.  Release yesterday and live in the fullness of today.

Let This ‘Heart Day’ Be Most Fulfilling!

We as disciples of Jesus Christ are called first to love God and second to love others as we love ourselves.  This is frequently rattled off in Christian circles but where do you really stand on this?  To love God is to follow His Word and His daily direction.  To be able to do this you have to be in close relationship with Him through time spent with Him and in His Word.  To love God is to honor Him with your speech and your actions every day.

To love others as you love yourself you must first love yourself.  This does not mean to be prideful but to truly love the you that God created you to be, flaws and all.  Learn who you are.  Grow your strengths.  Encourage yourself through your weaknesses.  Love you.  Then and only then will you be able to love others, flaws and all.  Then and only then will you be able to forgive and pray for your enemies and those who spitefully use you.

Loving God and loving yourself and others is what Jesus calls you to do in your life.  Love does cover much.  Love is faithful.  Love is kind.  Love is a soft place to fall.  This week really look at your life.  Look at the place you have in your heart for God.  Love Him first.  Love Him completely.  Next, love yourself as He loves you…unconditionally.  Love of others will follow.

It is always a heart issue.  Whatever you may be struggling with today, check your heart.  All begins and ends in your heart.  Remember your first love and put Him first.  With Him first you will be able to clear unhealthy heart issues and heal areas of your heart that may be impeding your relationships.    Make this the week you fully give your heart to Him to heal and restore!

It Is Never Too Late!

If you have not yet made the decision to accept Jesus into your heart, do it now.  Do not wait another minute.  Speak to Him from your heart (for it is always a heart issue).  Tell Him you have fallen short in your life.  Sincerely apologize for your sins.  Ask Him to cleanse you and come into your heart and be Lord over your life.  From this moment forward let His Spirit guide you along the narrow road that leads to everlasting life.

Quotes to Ponder This Week

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.~Jesus, Matthew 6:33

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  ~Jesus, Matthew 22:37-40

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you , and pray for those who spitefully use you.”.  ~Jesus, Luke 6:27-28

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”   ~Jesus, John 3:16

 “Let the witness of your pardoning love ever abide in my heart.” ~John Wesley (adapted)

Please Join Me in Prayer

Father we thank You for Your faithfulness and Your Son, Jesus Christ. During this week so focused on the heart equip us to focus on our individual heart.  Lead us to our first love and help us establish Him deep in our heart.  Take us deeper to healing and restoration through forgiveness and release of all that is not of You.  Circumcise all that does not belong.   Convict us daily through Holy Spirit guidance to maintain clean hearts for You.

Let us look forward with anticipation for Your plan for each life this year.  Keep us ever present to hear Your voice as You lead and direct our steps.  Lead us by Your light to Your perfect will in each of our lives. Great is Your faithfulness, oh God!   We thank You that You keep Your hand on America.  Forgive our sin and heal our land that we will remain One Nation Under God.  We pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen and Amen.

A Prayer Request

Please join us in prayer, covering the issues listed in this link:  http://drmicheleburke.org/esthers-warriors-ministry/

May God richly bless the United States of America, bring to light every single crooked place and keep her safe. May we arise united once again as One Nation Under God in this auspicious season in our country’s history. We continue to pray for truth to prevail concerning Benghazi and all issues as we saturate this country in prayer and stand for all that is right in America and for all of us who call ourselves American. These are treacherous times and now more than ever we must maintain our walk. Fail not in this hour.  #Pray for America.

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