A valentine to the chosen

Today is a fun day for many and a not-so-fun day for others. 

I still remember the pressure of hoping my carefully decorated shoebox would contain some valentines from my classmates! In my day, it wasn’t a requirement to give everyone in the class a valentine. A few of the kids, especially the classroom bully, didn’t get many. And looking back, the classroom bully probably needed a valentine more than anyone else.

Valentine’s Day can still be a lot of pressure for some in our culture. This is a good day to be sensitive to others around us. God might call us to be a valentine to somebody today. 

God’s valentine to you 

God “so loved this world” he gave us Jesus. When God sent his son to become our Savior, he said, “I love you more than you can imagine.” 

When Jesus stood silent before his accusers and accepted our punishment on his cross, he said, “I love you more than you can imagine.” 

When we set aside our own needs in order to serve someone else in the name of Christ, we are saying, “Jesus loves you more than you can imagine.” 

Your valentine to others 

Scripture teaches us how to live a life that offers the love of Christ to others. 

Paul probably wrote his letter to the church in Colossae when he was under house arrest in Rome. Epaphras was a convert of Paul’s who likely established and led the church in Colossae. Epaphras came to see Paul, concerned about what he saw happening in the church.  

Colossae was a smaller city surrounded by larger, more important cities of that day. It was located in what is now modern-day Turkey, along an important trade route. If you live in Texas, think of Colossae as a town that might be chosen for the next Buc-ee’s. (For those of you outside of Texas, check out the link. You don’t know what you are missing!) 

Colossae saw a lot of people who were simply traveling by each day, giving the Christian church there a great opportunity to share the gospel. Sadly, many of the travelers saw the church as an opportunity to share their own “message,” which often conflicted with the truth of the gospel.  

Paul encouraged those living in that city to be careful with their theology, their calling, and their character. His words to that important church are a valentine message to us for the sake of others. Paul wrote: 

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12–14). 

Our Christian character can be a daily valentine that we share with people around us. God gave his love to us for every day, not just for certain holidays. 

A Valentine’s message to the “chosen ones” 

I still remember the class Valentine’s party when I was in the fifth grade. 

Jeff, a boy in the class who “liked me,” came up to my desk with a box of chocolates and a store-bought, real Valentine’s card! (It was too big for the shoebox.) He was as red in the face as the foil of that heart-shaped box of chocolates. I was probably blushing as well. 

The other kids stopped to watch him deliver his gift. It was a fifth-grade moment for sure! I still remember Jeff and that Valentine’s Day that made me feel special and chosen. 

Everyone who has placed their faith in Christ is a “chosen one.” We are loved more than we can imagine. That love is the best source for our sense of “self.” We should pause on this Valentine’s Day to remember that we have been made “holy” and are “beloved.” That love should create in us “compassionate hearts” and a life marked by “kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” The character of Christ within us will enable us to “bear with one another” and “forgive each other.”  

Jesus in us will forgive when we cannot. Jesus in us will love others that we might not naturally choose to love on our own. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). 

Who shared God’s valentine with you? 

Most of us probably can list several people who have invested their time, their love, and their compassionate help in our lives. None of us live our Christian lives on an island. If we aren’t careful, however, we will live our lives in our own circles and miss those who are outside of our “group.” 

Is there a “bully” who needs a Valentine’s message today? 

Is there a shy, quiet person that most people don’t notice that you can choose to bless today? 

We often think of Valentine’s Day as being for just a few special people in our lives. Who, outside of our circle, needs a message of God’s love today too? 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

If this is the only valentine you get today, I hope it will make you smile. God is love. The Creator of the Universe has chosen to love you more than you can imagine. You are loved today, tomorrow, and for all eternity with his powerful and perfect love. 

Buy yourself a rose or a box of chocolate. Give someone else what you would enjoy receiving yourself. You have been chosen, and you are loved with an “everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).  

Happy Valentine’s Day.
Love, God.