The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

Romans 5:6-8 (NLT)
6  When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

We are preparing to celebrate yet another holiday that is more for the benefit of the greeting cards and flower industries than anything else. However, there are some good aspects of Valentine’s Day. Whenever we celebrate the gift of love and those whom we love it is also a good thing. Yet we often need reminded of what it really means to love. This story that I found this week I think shows what love really means. “During the U.S. Civil War, conscription was not absolute. The drafted man could always hire a substitute if he could afford it. Starting in 1862, the U.S. government allowed this escape from military service on the theory that, so long as each name drawn from the wheel produced a man, it made no difference whether the drafted person or one hired to take his place appeared for service. (Answers.com). There is a story about a farmer named Blake who was drafted. He was deeply troubled about leaving his family because his wife had died and there would be no one to support and take care of his children in his absence. The day before he was to leave for the army, his neighbor Charlie Durham came to visit him. “Blake,” he said, “I’ve been thinking. You’re needed here at home, so I’ve decided to go in your place.” The farmer was so overwhelmed that for a few moments he was speechless. The offer seemed too good to be true. He grasped the hand of the young man and praised God for this one who was willing to go as his substitute. Sadly, Charlie was shot and killed in his first battle. When the farmer heard the bad news, he immediately rode out to the battlefield. He found the body of his friend and arranged to have it buried in the churchyard near the spot where they had often stopped to talk after the services. On a piece of marble he carved the inscription with his own hands. It was roughly done, but with every blow of the hammer on the chisel, tears fell from his eyes. He placed the marker on the grave of his substitute. The inscription read: “He died for me.” Isn’t that what love is really about? The reality is “there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.” That my friend is what Jesus did for all of us, and the best part is all we have to do is accept it. Have you accepted His love?

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

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