I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you. Jer. 31:3
Since Valentine’s Day is this week, I thought I’d share one of my favorite cards of all time. Abby made it for me in 2006; she was just barely 7-years-old.
It’s awesomtastic, right? You might even say it’s buttaful. She’s 15 now, and you would probably guess that I will get no such sentiment from her this year about how I smell or look. No worries. I’ll just pull this one out and smile knowingly.
Anyway, I was after a few teenage-appropriate expressions of love last week and ran across this box of chocolates in the Valentine’s Day section at Target. It made me LIM. Maybe it’s because words are my thing, but the whole card buying tradition is a little strange to me. If you want to make me laugh, then by all means, get me a funny card. But if you want me to know how you feel about me from the bottom of your heart, then I’d rather you write it or tell me yourself. When I read a sentimental card from the store with your signature slapped at the bottom of it, I’m not quite sure who to thank.
There’s something about uniquely personal, hand-written expressions that just beats everything else.
The Bible is like that. Of course I love that people write about the Bible, especially since I am one of them; but I also think it would be a terrible waste to set aside the real deal in favor of someone else’s take on it. Just look at those words up there at the top of this page. How is someone else going to tell you God loves you better than He already has?
From beginning to end, God’s story is also His love letter to you and me. To make sure we understood how unique and special it is, He used 40 different people on 3 different continents speaking 3 different languages over a span of 1500 years to get it all down. And they all agree about the message He wants us to know – He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to take the punishment for sin, and now we can live with Him forever.
So, compared to reading the Bible itself, the 140-character tweets of pastors and teachers and the spiritual quotes your friends post on Facebook come up short. Reading the latest Christian best-seller is inferior. Even the most well-crafted sermon can’t make Scripture better or more powerful than it already is. Those things are meant to help us dig deeper into the Bible and treasure it more, not replace it.
If you went out to the mailbox this week and saw there was a letter with a return address from God, you’d hold onto that thing. You might be a little nervous at first, but then if you opened it and read how much He loves you, you’d read it over and over and over again. It would be your greatest treasure.
God has sent you that letter. It’s an old letter, but at the same time, as new as your next breath and as personal to you as it is to me. I hope you’ll read it.
Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wonderful things from Your instruction. Ps. 119:18