A Matter of Faith: A tangible valentine

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    By Jan Davis
    PREVIEW Columnist

    Valentine’s Day is a special day marked on the calendar to celebrate our deepest love for spouse, family and friends. Reservations to favorite restaurant are made weeks in advance and flowers ordered. For some, a short getaway is planned to escape the day-to-day routine and share hopes and dreams for the future. Phone calls, cards and gifts are exchanged with those who live faraway as an extension of a shared love.

    Young hearts choose Feb. 14 to pledge their love to each other. Men fall to one knee and place a ring on the hand of their sweetheart. Surrounded by friends and family, couples exchange wedding vows and unite in marriage.

    Yet, when and how do we acknowledge and convey our love to God?

    We receive Jesus as our Savior and exchange our tattered heart for a new one. On bended knees, we ask him to forgive us of our sins. We declare our love and commitment to the One who gave his life as a substitute for ours.

    He fills the emptiness of our hearts with peace and joy. In a relationship with Christ, we find acceptance, appreciation and fulfillment. We surrender our lives to him, as tangible valentines, and receive the eternal gift of salvation.

    The Bible instructs us to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. We worship him as Lord and accept his plan and purpose. We dedicate our lives to service and bring honor and glory to his name.

    Our love is unrestrained, not based on earthly rewards but timeless treasures. We exist to serve Jesus. The Holy Spirit activates our spirit and we become God’s hands and feet. We provide food for the hungry, clothes for the needy and shelter for the homeless. Because of his unmerited love shown to us, we extend a hand of friendship to others. These gracious acts of kindness become gifts of love to a hurt and lost world.

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” — John 3:16 (NIV).

    Because of Jesus, we received the greatest gift of love.

    I love you, but Jesus loves you more.