Last night, the enemy set me up big-time…and I gave him everything he wanted, to my great shame.
I allowed stress and fatigue to get the better of me and the results were nasty.
I woke up this morning with a heavy heart, confessing all to Jesus with tears streaming down my face, knowing that His mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Even so, I was having a hard time shaking the feeling that I didn’t deserve to be forgiven, although I knew I was. ( I John 1:9)
I felt led to check my email before I headed out to start my day and saw that I had a message from a sweet friend in my inbox. It read as follows:
For God so loVed the world
that He gAve
believes In Him
shall Not perish but
have Everlasting life.
My computer is not cooperating with me to align those bold letters into a straight line, but you can clearly see that they spell “VALENTINE.”
Through tears, I read the last part of my friend’s email where she wrote: “This took me at least a half an hour to do. Pretty pathetic, huh? I can’t believe I stuck with it!”
I know why she stuck with it…because Jesus had a love message to send me, a way to reach my heart and decisively break the stranglehold that the enemy had on it, as he tried to convince me that I didn’t deserve to be forgiven.
The risen, living, breathing, magnificent Jesus IS my Valentine.
His love for me is not dependent on my performance. He already knows all my deep flaws and miserable failures. Past, present, and future.
And every single one is covered by His grace and mercy.
He loves me because He IS Love. He chose to love me, even before I knew Him. (Ephesians 1:4-8) He set His affections on me, even when I was His enemy (Romans 5:8). Any beauty that exists in me is only a reflection of His brilliant and radiant beauty.
All I have to do is re-visit the Cross to know that my sins are paid for by the Perfect One who would rather die than live an eternity without me. Because of the Cross, I can claim the forgiveness that is given me to me at such great cost and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am cleansed and my slate is wiped clean by the nail-scarred hand of my Savior who made it all gloriously possible.
As Kay Arthur writes in her wonderful Bible study Faithful, Abundant, and True: “Jesus paid it All! You cannot pay a thing! His sacrifice was sufficient! Your sins are remembered no more by Him. Why are you remembering them? You are forgiven forever and ever! Don’t you ever say, ‘I can’t forgive myself.’ You don’t need to forgive yourself. Nothing is biblical about that statement. It’s a hiss from the serpent of old, the devil himself, to put your focus on yourself rather than God. You confess your sin, God forgives, and that’s it!” (p. 42)
I have made restitution to the person I hurt last night. I have asked for forgiveness from both that person and from Jesus. Both have graciously granted it.
I am restored.
I choose to live this day in light of His fresh grace and abundant mercy.
And throughout the day, I will enjoy these beautiful lavender roses from my earthly valentine. 🙂
I am a blessed woman.
Happy Valentine’s Day!