Just can’t get away from it this week. One of our grandsons turned 13 and the next day our daughter turned … well just say she is still less than 40. Then we have Valentine’s Day, and the next day another grandson has a birthday, turning 9 years old. Just can’t get away from it.
This little guy on the porch just turned 13!
This little girl is … well, several decades older than she was in this picture!
And this little guy is now 9 years old.
I really am not talking simply about aging, although that certainly stares you square in the face sometimes.
I’m talking about LOVE. When birthdays come, we rehash and revisit the day of that blessed occasion. Pictures sometimes are produced but, even without the Polaroid or digital image, we remember and we smile. Children are God’s gift to us.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5 ESV
I have heard it said that grandchildren are a gift from God presented as a reward for not killing your own children when they were teenagers! I don’t believe that for a moment, but I do believe that there is a special bond between grandchildren and their grandparents that the children cannot understand. How often do we hear (usually with a fake pout on the face) “You didn’t let me do that when I was a kid!” Our response is, of course, “You don’t understand. This is not my child — it is my grandchild. There is a difference!”
And, of course, love between parents and children, between grandparents and grandchildren, between husband and wife and between all the other significant people in our lives is celebrated at Valentine’s Day. I understand that this is a day most likely created by the greeting card industry, but it is a good day and I’m glad we have it. In our hectic world, we don’t take the time to say “I love you” often enough. So celebrate your love with your Valentine and then remember to continue the celebration for more than one day!
The reality is, however, that our celebration of love upon one’s birth or throughout the child’s life, or on the special day created for such celebration, pales miserably when compared with the love that God has for His children. Consider just a few of the hundreds of passages in Scripture that speak of God’s love:
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,… “
Exodus 34:6 ESV
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 136:26 ESV
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:7-8 ESV
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 ESV
Notice that last passage — Paul says that he is convinced, he is sure, that nothing in creation can separate us from the love that God has for us through Christ Jesus our Lord.
The world may think we are irrelevant. Society may write us off as being of no value. Your boss may not value the effort that you put into your work every day. Your family might take your service to them for granted, never saying a positive word about how you look, what the meal was like or anything that you have done for them. You may have been abandoned and rejected by those you love.
But, Beloved, you are loved.
God, the creator of the universe and the One who holds the universe, including your life, in His hands, sent His only Son to be a sacrifice on the cross in an act of atonement for sin. He did not die as an atonement for His sin as He was sinless. No, the wondrous truth is that Christ was the sacrifice for your sin and for my sin. Read Romans 5:7-8 again.
What incredible love God has for us that He would send His Son into this filthy, sinful world so that God’s justice would be satisfied when sin was paid for and so that His grace could then extend to sinners who believed on the name of Jesus as their Savior, Lord and King.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 ESV
I pray that this offering by Selah of the song “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” [with lyrics] will be a blessing you.
This Valentine’s Day while you tell those around you that you love them., be sure to praise the Lord for His love and grace. In fact, let praise to God be the first thing you express every day! Try this as an experiment. I suspect your day will take on a whole different dimension!
Father, I praise your holy Name for your love and mercy extended to me on a daily basis. I thank you for sending Jesus to be the sacrifice required to pay for my sins, and I thank you for your Holy Spirit’s presence in my life to guide and comfort me as I walk through this world. May I worship you in thought, word and deed and may praise be continually on my lips, even the first thing in the morning.