I was driving around town one day and noticed someone’s bumper sticker. I have a habit of reading every bumper sticker I see. Not sure quite what it is that draws me to them. Some times they’re very uplifting and I think, “What a nice person that is.” Some times they’re very vulgar and I think, “That poor person, I sure hope they find Jesus soon.” Not being a very social person, I tend to learn about people through their actions: watching them interact with other people, what they’re wearing, where I’ve met them, and reading their bumper stickers. So when I read bumper stickers I assume (not very correctly, I’m sure) it gives me a clue as to whom that person really is. After all, why would they put it there if they didn’t want people to read it and promptly associate them with the saying?
Anyway, this bumper sticker made me think of the next well-celebrated holiday, Valentine’s Day. So then I started thinking about the Valentine’s Days before Ted and I got married. Brittany was my valentine for most of it. It was awfully cute to give her a Valentine bear, almost as big as her, and a small box of chocolates. But some don’t have a Valentine at all, and then it’s just another holiday spent alone watching the reruns of “Sleepless in Seattle” on all the networks. I want you to know that you are not alone. You are God’s Beloved.
My New Testament studies have brought to my attention that Jesus was not just a victim of persecution. He was in complete control at all times during His trial, and crucifixion. My book, A Survey of the New Testament[Gundry], says “It is ‘the Jews,’ the very leaders to whom Jesus said, ‘destroy this temple’ [his body], who take and crucify Jesus. But true to no one’s taking his life from him and his laying it down on his own initiative (“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again”- John 10: 17-18), he carries his cross by himself. (19:17) He did this because He loves us so much. John 15:13 says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” We don’t fully comprehend this love because it is so awesome. Ephesians calls it the “love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge,” in 3:19.
So do not feel alone this Valentine’s Day. Jesus loves you more then anyone ever could. And He is always with us. For you are God’s beloved.
Are you still wondering about that bumper sticker? Well, it was the title of this little snippet: “We are all God’s beloved.”
Have a Blessed Valentine’s Day