Reflections: The best Valentine ever!

What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? Is it a diamond, a rainbow, mountains or art? One of my favorite sites is a sparkling lake with snow capped mountains behind it.

What is the most amazing thing you’ve ever heard? Perhaps it’s a favorite genre of music, the giggle of a toddler, or a babbling brook. I love the sound of a pipe organ overwhelming a massive cathedral with its rich fullness.

What dream have you had that would make your life perfect? What car, house, accomplishment or wad of cash do you dream of that would overwhelm you? I dream that those I love would be safe, have what they need but, most importantly, know and love God intimately.

God has given us many sights, sounds and dreams to enjoy. However, there is something better. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9) This love verse promises us sights better than we can visualize, sounds beyond current perception and fulfillment of dreams greater than our wildest imaginations. So, the question then is, “How do we love God?

Do we believe we love God by doing good deeds, being nice, not stealing or dutifully going to church once in a while? Those are desirable, but it’s not enough. Demonstrating our love for God should result from the realization and acceptance of God’s greatest gift to us. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8). It’s pretty simple really: we cannot fully obey God’s laws so we deserve punishment for breaking them. God knew we could not be perfect so He sent His Son to die on a cross taking on the punishment we deserve. When something this special has been offered to us that we don’t deserve and couldn’t earn, our response should be lovingly and thankfully accepting what is offered and then living life according to God’s directions.

Perhaps Valentine’s Day can help us put this concept into perspective. As this special day approached, many of us looked for ways to show our love to those close to us. There may have been flowers, a special dessert, dinner, jewelry, or tickets to a concert or sporting event. Our choices came from our heart’s desire to please the one we care about. If our special person had not accepted our gift, ignored it or even worse, threw it back at us, we would have been deeply grieved! God desires the kind of relationship which includes our acceptance of the gift He offers after which we seek to learn all we can about enriching this relationship with Him. As a result of nurturing that love relationship, then, we have a future promise of that which is better than we’ve ever seen, heard or imagined! “…God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:3b-5). God offers us a gift of His Son’s death as the best Valentine ever. Accept that gift and grow in the relationship it offers!!

Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Andrea Johnson at 857-1945 or ajohnson@minotdailynews.com

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