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by Phil Ware

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    Every person born in this world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique. (Martin Buber)

    We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves to be like other people. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — and how well I know it. (David from Psalm 139:14)

    When I was a gawky, goofy-glasses wearing, pre-pubescent kid, I would have bet a million dollars that Valentines Day was invented by some good looking, self-absorbed, rich, cheerleader-type high school girl who wore 4 pound corsages for homecoming and had every boy swoon in the vapor trail of her Charlie perfume. The rest of us got mercy valentines from our mom (if you were a guy) and funny cards from our friends (if you were a girl). Yea, some of us got stuff from grandparents, but whose gonna show anybody those things decorated with puppy dog pictures, hearts, and glitter? If you were a guy, if word got out you got one of those, you were guaranteed a serious case of abuse in the gym locker room.

    As a husband and father, I do think it is nice that we give cards to our kids and spouses. A little of that lovey-dovey stuff is sorely needed in our busy, hard, and uncaring “hurry up and perform or get out of my way” world. God showed us how important such expressions are when he affirmed his Son’s baptism with the words, “You are my Son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.” We’d do well to follow our Father’s example and offer such affirmation to those we love a lot more frequently than just the middle of February.

    Bottom line, we have a way of dismissing the love and affection of those we that are in our family — “They are supposed to do that!” We are not particularly blessed by what they do for us at this time of year, we’re just hurt if they don’t do it. So where do we go for our sense being valued if we are not one of those high school girls with the 4 pound corsages? Well, here’s my take on it.

    God wants you to know that you are your own deal... and he loves it! There is no one like you — not even if you are an identical twin! From the moment you were conceived, God knew you, loved you, began forming you, and had a purpose for your life! (Psalm 139:13-16) You are good stuff! You are made in the image of the Creator. (Genesis 1:26-27) You were loved so much, God sent his Son to bring you back to his family when you rebelled and went your own way. (1 John 4:9-10) He remade you in Christ to be his special new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Not only that, God has been shaping you through the experiences in your life, leading you in a direction that is good for both you and for his glory. (Romans 8:28-29) Your Father gave you Spirit-empowered gifts to use to bless others. (1 Peter 4:10-22) Your Father will not leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) Nothing can separate you from his love. (Romans 8:32-39) He loved you so much, he put the Holy Spirit inside you so that you can speak to him and know you are heard, even when you don’t know how to put what you need to say into words. (Romans 8:26-27) His love for you is so deep and so powerful, that when death comes to claim your body, it will not have YOU — the living part of you goes to be with his Son until the day Jesus returns and we go home to see God face to face. (1 John 3:1-3) Just to make sure you know that you have been loved every step of the way, when you stand in the glory of God and see him face to face, he will reach out and take away each tear and remove each hurt with his loving and mighty touch. (Revelation 21:4) God wants you to know that you are your own deal... and he loves it!

    So on this Valentines Day, if you are not one of those 4 pound corsage people, just remember you’ve been sent a better Valentine. The one who loves you most kissed your darkness and gave you this sunrise. He held your hand as you faced your day’s toughest challenges. He used the colors of his grace to paint you a sunset. And as you sleep this night, he sings over you and holds you in his love. Rest tonight, dear child of God, knowing that you are precious and loved. You are your own deal... and God loves YOU!

For the LORD your God ... is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song. (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)

How do we know what matters and what doesn’t?
   

 
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      Title: ""
      Author: Phil Ware
      Publication Date: February 10, 2003


 
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