…Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, who I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. – Isaiah 43:6-7
Today is Valentine’s Day. It is a day many will celebrate with great joy and gladness. Social media will explode with photos of flowers, candy, and gifts. There will be a heightened feeling of anticipation and surprise as the day goes on.
Not everyone celebrates this holiday nor feels in such high spirits throughout this day. Some people may be experiencing this holiday after losing a spouse, after a separation or divorce, after the loss of a close family member or friend, or even during a troubled marriage or relationship. Too quickly this holiday of love may turn instead into a holiday of grief, sadness, and brokenness.
I wanted to use today as a reminder to everyone that we are all children of God. There is no greater love on this earth then the love our Father in heaven has for each one of us. This love is never broken or never disappointing. This love is always overflowing and will absolutely, unequivocally never end. The love our Father has for us, is the love we should be celebrating today on Valentine’s day, because it is the truest love of all.
I chose Isaiah 43 as our scripture today because it reminds us of this beautiful love that is unlike any that can be experienced here on earth. It talks in great depths about how God has chosen each of us. He has created each of us. He made us because he loves us. Because of that love, he is with us in difficult times and even those times we as humans doubt and feel like there is no way. God is always paving a path for you. He is always making new things out of the old. Just like when he separated the waters of the sea for the escape of the Israelites, he is always trying to separate the waters of this world for you and I.
This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together; and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past, See, I am doing a new thing! Now spring up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:16-19
I want all of us to spend a moment remembering the most beautiful Valentine that each of us has been given. That is the Valentine love of God. The beauty of that love, is that it is given to us every day – not just on February 14, but on every single day of the year. Now that’s a Valentine I will get my heart behind!
Today I want you to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love yourself just as you are. God loves you just as you are. You are enough for him every day. Have that be enough for you today. And remember to spread that love to those that may be hurting today. Buy them a cup of coffee, drop a Valentine chocolate at their door, or call them and tell them that you love them. HAPPY VALENTINES’ DAY!
STUDY – Isaiah 43 – NIV
1But now, this is what the Lord says –
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
You will not be burned;
The flames will not set you ablaze.
3For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
4Since you are previous and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth –
7everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
8Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
9All the nations gather together
and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were
so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are my witnesses,” declared the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
Nor will there be one after me.
11I, even I, am the Lord,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12I have revealed and saved and proclaimed –
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
13Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?”
14This is what the lord says –
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I will send to Babylon
and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,
in the ships in which they took pride.
15I am the Lord, your Holy One,
Israel’s Creator, your King.”
16 This is what the Lord says –
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel.
23You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with grain offerings
Nor wearied you with demands for incense.
24You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins
And wearied me with your offenses.
25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.
26Review the past for me,
let us argue the matter together;
state the case of your innocence.
27Your first father sinned;
those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
28So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
I consigned Jacob to destruction
and Israel to scorn.