With February comes thoughts of snow, cold and Valentine’s Day. All around us the air is filled with thoughts of love, flowers, chocolate, of course, Valentine’s and hearts
Besides the fact that February is the biggest month of our year for candy, cards and flower sales, it is also designated as National Heart Awareness month. The purpose of this promotion is making the general public aware of ways to keep our physical heart healthy and free of disease. To show support, you can purchase red ribbons to wear as an advocate and reminder to others.
Our Bible gives us insight to the contents and instruction concerning the care of our hearts……
Proverbs 14:33 - Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding.
Proverbs 4:23 - Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Jeremiah 17:9 -The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Psalms 51:10 - Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Amazing how all of these scriptures written over 2,000 years ago are so absolutely applicable and relevant to us and our society today. So, as we celebrate with all of those we love this month, let’s join the observation of National Heart Awareness. Does wisdom reside inside? Am I safeguarding with diligence the very source of the issues of life? Is my heart in need of a spring cleaning? What do I truly place value on? Heart awareness will reveal the answers.
"Love has a hem to her garment, it reaches the very dust.It sweeps the stains from streets and lanes, and,Because it can……..It Must!" - Mother Teresa
‘And He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.’
~John Mark McMillan, “How He Loves”
The imagery these words conjure up in each of our minds will be different, but I picture myself a sapling of a tree, nowhere near the mighty oak we all strive to be. I have few leaves left, as the winds of the world’s storms have left me barren and cold. But God, (one of my favorite phrases in the Bible) in his jealousy for us, His children, comes in as a hurricane. His winds blow fiercely, pushing out the chaos of the world’s storm, but instead of breaking us, it merely bends us, protecting us from the debris that’s blowing over us. That is His merciful love.
The Bible says in Deut. 4:24, “..God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” We, as humans, give this a negative connotation; God is this green-eyed “Monster-God,” ready to punish us for giving attention to other things, but that is not the case. Jealousy can also be defined as vigilance in guarding something, and God is what? He is our PROTECTOR! To be vigilant means to be ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful. God never sleeps nor slumbers (Ps. 121:4 KJV), and as our Shepherd, He keeps watch over us day and night.
His love is an all-consuming powerful love; He is our Bridegroom and we are his bride. Solomon wrote an entire book that intimately describes God’s love for us. “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.” (Song 2:16 KJV) He embraces us, and His love covers our faults. “Oh my love, how beautiful you are! There is no flaw in you!” (Song 4:7 AMP) In order to completely redeem us, God sacrificed His own son. “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us…while we were yet sinners!” (Rom. 5:8) He loved us before we were forgiven; and still made us His bride.
As His bride, we become one with Him, and we take on a different name. “…and you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth…Never again will you be called ‘Forsaken’ or ‘Desolate;’ your new name will be ‘God’s Delight’ or ‘The Bride of God,’ for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as His bride.” (Is. 62:2, 4 NLT) He not only changes our name, but our appearance as well. He gives us “the finest of pure white linen to wear,” (Rev. 19:8 NLT) and “dresses us with the clothing of salvation and drapes us in a robe of righteousness.” Then He “adorns us with jewels as His bride.” (Is. 61:10 NLT)
This love is eternal and it never wavers, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” (Jer. 31:3 NLT) Nothing can come between God and His beloved. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No! Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves us.” (Rom. 8:35, 37 NLT)
Despite what Satan would like us to believe, GOD LOVES US! Nothing we have done, no mistake in our life, no choice we have made will ever change that fact. God loved us before the world was made; He loved us before we were born; He loved us as sinners; He loves us now, as His beloved bride. The devil is the envious “green-eyed monster” because at one point, he was the beloved angel of light. We have now taken his place, and that is a huge advantage over him.
“Higher than the mountains that I face, Stronger than the power of the grave,
Constant through the trial and the change, One thing remains, One thing remains
Your love never fails; it never gives up; it never runs out on me.
On and one and on and on it goes, It overwhelms and satisfies my soul.
And I never ever have to be afraid, one thing remains.
In death and in life I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love.
My debt is paid there's nothing that can separate my heart from your great love.”
~ Brian Johnson, Christa Black, Jeremy Riddle, “One Thing Remains”
Faith Jennings is an avid reader and loves to study and dig things out of the word of God. Although she was raised in a pastor’s home, as a teen she walked away from God. She came back to God in her early 20’s and has been on a spiritual journey ever since. Through her life experiences she has learned much about the love, grace and forgiveness of God. Faith and her husband, Scott, have been married for 14 years. They have one son, Cameron, age 9. They attend Cornerstone UPC in Winchester, VA, where Jeff Dillon is the pastor.