Feb. 14 is the day we observe Valentine’s Day in this country. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the origin concerning the giving of letters, gifts and flowers associated with this day. Most accounts date back to the third century when the Roman emperor Claudius believed that a young single man made for a better and more faithful soldier than if he were married. Thus, he made it unlawful for a young man to marry. Insert St. Valentine who disagreed with the emperor playing the role of God and insisted on performing marriages to young couples in love. He was caught and executed for his rebellion. But, the story is told that, while in prison awaiting his fate, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter and signed it “from your Valentine.”
February doesn’t really have a lot going for it other than Valentine’s Day. We have some birthdays scattered about in this short month, but it’s usually just a month we would like to coast right through and get onto spring. However, this one small, insignificant, cold, wet, and blustery month will see more love letters written than probably all other months combined. Presidents, soldiers, fathers, first graders, and love-struck teens have all shared a love letter or two in this month. So, with that thought in mind, we must ask ourselves, “what would Jesus write to his bride today?”
I think it important to note that Jesus never actually wrote any of the gospels or epistles. He didn’t write any of the books in the Old Testament nor did he write the book of Revelation. Isn’t it strange that the most worshipped and followed person to ever live never actually wrote any of the Bible, but he did inspire every word? All the authors of all the books in the Bible and every word in both testaments all had one thing in common, they penned a manuscript for all mankind according to what God laid on their hearts. Jesus is the bridegroom to the church, and the church is the bride. One of many places this is spoken of is in Matthew chapter 25. Every groom madly in love with his bride can almost certainly be assured that he will write some type of letter to convey his love for her at some point. So again, with Jesus being the groom and his church being the bride, what love letter would Jesus write to his beloved today, and what warning or blessing would he speak?
One way to uncover what Jesus would write is to visit what he has already written. “But I thought you said he didn’t write anything?” Well, actually, he did. In the Old Testament book of Exodus, God did write something, and it’s called the Ten Commandments. In chapter 34, God gave Moses instruction to cut the stone tablets, and he would write on them the law for the people. God had rescued the entire nation from hundreds of years of bondage, and now he has set Moses as their leader and given them 10 laws to live by. Notice that he wrote those in stone and not on paper so they would last forever. Deuteronomy 9:10 tells us that God wrote these laws with his own finger, and Proverbs 7:2-3 says that if we keep his laws then we should wear them like a wedding band and write them on the tablets of our hearts as an everlasting covenant with him.
So if God is the same yesterday, today and forever, as mentioned in Hebrews chapter 13, and is unchanging, as indicated in multiple scripture references, then the very first thing that God wrote on stone and subsequently upon our hearts, if we allow him, is recorded in Exodus chapter 20: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. A quick look at that one introduction to the first command lets us know that God writes “to” his church, “concerning” his church and “for the love” of his church. Simply put, God is saying without me your lives are a dwelling place of slavery, you will drift into a land that you were never designed for and grow accustomed to the ways of the those you are in bondage to. Without me, laws of slavery will become your laws of comfort because it’s all you know. But with me you have 10 straight forward laws to live by. The 10 laws God gave the people of Israel were to unite them, to make them a nation, but most importantly to stay connected to him. The first four are in direct relationship with God and man. The fifth is our relationship with our parents, and the last five are man’s relationship with man. Get these right, fixate yourselves on righteousness, and follow these laws, and the tablets of our hearts will fall obedient to the Lord.
I guess we have to realize that God is actually writing us love letters today, and maybe he is simply saying, “You have lost your power and authority because you have lost sight of who you are. If you call yourselves my people then start acting like it because time is running out.”
It’s time to get a new tattoo on our hearts of stone written only by the finger of God. Come see us at Christpoint Church on the square in Sparta this Sunday at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. We have much to talk about. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.