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Since Valentine's Day is an opportunity to express love and affection, what kind of expression might I offer to God, the Source of true love? Hmmm.

Listen to this podcast here:  https://www.pastorwoman.net/podcast/episode/1c6f6aa3/happy-valentin...

Coffee in hand, I opened my Bible to where I left off, and got my answer.

One day, I will get to sit down and talk to Paul the apostle, who loved and gave all for God, but for now I learn so much from him. Consider with me these thoughts of his toward God:

For from him and through him and for him are all things.

To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 11.36-12.2

Because God is the source of all things, because he loved us first, because he gave us Jesus that we might live with him forever, the best valentine we can give to our loving Heavenly Father is ourselves. But wait--there is a caveat here--we do not just offer him our leftovers, our half-baked intentions, no - it is more than that. Paul writes that we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.

For millennia, God's people had offered animal sacrifices for their sins, so the people to whom he was writing would have been well familiar with the proper way of offering a lamb on the altar before God. Your attention? That lamb was not alive when it was put on the altar, so this is something different. Back to Paul, "offer your bodies as a living sacrifice" . . .

he is calling for us to offer our bodies,

souls, minds and spirits to God,

all of who we are, to live for him.

This is true worship, Paul says. 'But wait - I thought worship refers to going to church?' 'I thought worship means the 20 minutes we sing praise songs and hymns in church?' Not according to this. Both of those notions fall short.

I am actually really taken with these three verses--the last verse in Romans 11 and first two in chapter 12. The words are so grounding and instructive. Write them out for yourself - ponder them. Here is a link to see and learn from three different translations: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2011.36-12.2&am...

[I find that when I write out the words of Scripture, I learn more.]

So, on this Valentine's Day,

->because God is the source of all that is, seen and unseen, I want to live fully for him, just as Paul teaches us. Then he breaks it down by saying the world/the culture should not be our lord. Not social media, Fox News, Netflix... no

->with intention, I aim to be mindful, not conformed to the world's way of thinking or interpreting things, but transformed/made new to live righteous and holy before God. Holy, righteous--seriously?

You and I can do this by fixing our gaze firmly on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, while the Holy Spirit teaches us, and helps us in our weakness, praying for us. In so doing, we will be fulfilling the will of God for our lives.

Happy Valentine's Day, God!

May these words be your thoughts toward God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AwLTeMyq20

With love,

Christine

PastorWoman.net

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