Grace For The Journey
Today is Valentine’s Day. When our girls were young, they exchanged Valentines cards with their classmates and friends. Kay and I would sit down with them at the end of the day and go through the cards and candy they were given. Every time we helped them sort through the candy and cards, we would come across the ever-popular little candy heart bearing the words “Be Mine.” It always got me thinking about the most unlikely Valentine in the world. Do you know who it is? It is you . . . and me . . . along with everyone who has been set apart by faith to be a member of the bride of Christ.
Jesus said “Be Mine” on the day He saved you,
And He is still saying that to you today.
How are you responding to the heart’s cry of Christ?
Far too many of us respond with what others call “leftover Christianity.” That is . . .
We do not give
The One who gave us His best
We give Jesus what is left over after we have taken good care of ourselves first. We meet our needs and satisfy our desires first, and then we give Jesus our leftovers: what is left over from our time . . . what is left over from our talent . . . and what is left over from our treasure.
Let me hit you
With a harsher word
For “leftover” Christianity:
The Bible declares in Jonah 2:8-9, “Those who regard (cling to) worthless idols forsake their own mercy (forfeit the lovingkindness and grace that could be theirs). But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.”
If I were to write a book on the life and ministry of Jonah, I would call it ‘Surprised By Grace.” Jonah didn’t even want to give God his leftovers! He wanted nothing to do with God’s plan for his life . . . until God introduced Jonah to a fish named Grace. It was grace that swallowed up Jonah for three days, so that he could come to his senses and follow God’s plan for his life.
I want to emphasize . . .
That the grace that we forfeit
When we cling to worthless idols
Is not saving grace.
Once we are His we are always His,
No matter what we do;
That is the good news of the Gospel.
What we forfeit
When we turn our hearts away from God
Is the abundant and overwhelmingly rich
Experience of His daily grace in our lives.
When we love anything above God, our experience of His grace shrinks down to the size of whatever it is we are loving. At this level of living . . .
We don’t sense the richness of His pleasure,
The satisfaction of His purpose,
The power of His passion.
Yet, in spite of all the times we turn away from God, He still calls out to us “Be Mine!”
This is a love that is hard to comprehend.
This is a love that sent Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins.
This is a love that can never fade away
. . . That will never be taken away!
This is a love that is
Unmatched, and unimaginable.
So how will you respond to the greatest Valentine gift you have ever been given? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior so that you can enjoy fully His love, His life, and His liberty? Where in your life is God calling you to leave your worthless idols and return to Him? I encourage you to let His “Be Mine” be the number one priority in your life.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”