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Devotions for Life

Gifts of Love

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16a).
 
Valentine’s Day is a special day, one of professing love. Just about everyone from little children to senior citizens give cards that say “I love you.” Lovers give all sorts of gifts from diamonds to chocolates.
 
Valentine’s Day is named after one of three early Christian Martyrs. The one I like is the one who continued to perform weddings for young couples when the Roman Emperor forbid marriage for military aged men. That story to me is the love connection.
 
We like to express our love with material things to loved ones. Of course, we like to be on the receiving end as well. However, love is best expressed in self-sacrifice for another. One writer explained when he knew that his wife really, really loved him. Unbeknownst to her, he watched her pouring the soda into their glasses at supper. One bottle was old and flat, the other new. She poured the flat soda into her glass. That little act spoke volumes to him about her love for him.
 
God loves His creation, especially people. But we chose to turn our back on Him. God still loves us with a love that is beyond anything we have experienced in this world. He loves us even when we hate Him (Romans 5:6-8).
 
The Father sacrificed His beloved only begotten Son. God demonstrated His love by that sacrifice, his gift of love to each one of us. It is a gift that calls for our response to love Him back. It is only when we understand the cost and our need of redemption that we respond with love and gratitude.
 
Song: “The Love of God” by Lehman
 
Loving Father, God, I am humbled and awestruck by the extent of Your love for me. Sometimes I fail to love You back. When I do, remind me of Your sacrifice of Your Son, the gift of love that You gave me. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
 
Ed Wittlif, Denver, Colorado
es_witt_504@yahoo.com

 



Everything New

Revelation 21:1–22:6

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Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

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Riches And Treasure

“Considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:26).
 
The wealth of Egypt during the days of Moses was legendary. Because he was adopted into the Pharaoh’s family, Moses had the opportunity to partake in the riches and treasure that was more than one could imagine. Nevertheless, by faith Moses chose to endure ill-treatment with God’s people. Moses saw that the future eternal reward was far greater than earthly riches. By faith Moses could overcome the temporary temptations, dangers, and reproaches that came his way. He believed God, having complete confidence in the Supreme Provider (Hebrews 10:35, 11:1 and 6).
 
Today we have the opportunity to partake in all the spiritual wealth of God through His Son, the Christ (John 3:16 and 36). The revelation of God’s mystery, the riches of His glory, that is, “Christ Himself in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2c-3). Spiritual treasure points us to a storehouse of great value found only in Christ. This is opposite of what the false teachers offer, “Empty deception” (Colossians 2:8), which has no value at all.
 
In Christ, we find true “Wisdom and knowledge” that comes from above in terms of spiritual insight. Riches and treasures of great value, in ancient times, were often hidden in safe places until they were needed. Today, in order to find God’s wonderful spiritual wealth, we must search where His riches and treasures are hidden: in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
 
What will happen if we keep seeking true treasure? We will find it (Matthew 7:7-11). What do we have in our “Earthen vessels? Treasure (II Corinthians 4:7).
 
Song: “Heaven Holds All to Me”
 
Wonderful Father, I praise and thank You for the unsurpassable treasures offered through Jesus. There is nothing on earth that compares even faintly with what awaits in my heavenly home. May I always focus my heart on Jesus and the spiritual riches that He offers. In my beloved Savior’s name. Amen.
 
Tom Walker, Englewood, Colorado
tsaawalk@aol.com