Dear Ones,
Happy Valentine’s Day! Al and I celebrated on our way home and had a wonderful retreat. Thank you for your prayers on our trip. When we got nearly home, we had an e-mail that our friend who I have asked prayer for died. She is now with Jesus, the One who is love, and no more suffering. Please continue prayer for her family.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Today is Valentine’s Day and we all think of love, talk of love, and show love to others with gifts and doing special things of self-giving and appreciation. All these acts of giving are wonderful but let us not forget the greatest love ever, is the love that God has for us. He is the perfect lover for He loves us even when we are not loveable to others and maybe not even to ourselves.

While on our trip, I began reading a book of a young woman whose openness to God was so inspiring, and His love just poured out of her to all those around her. She had a hard beginning as she lost her mother when very young, and she died when only 24, but in that time, she touched so many lives. I would like to share a few of the things she had to say so that we may love the Lord in deeper ways and give Him all that we are. But just like Valentines are often secretly given, I will keep her identity a secret that we may apply what she has to say to our own lives today.

We don’t have to be rich and beautiful to be loved, because God loves us in our littleness and poverty. In fact, the poorer we are the more we may rely on God rather than ourselves. It is like when we approach God in our weaknesses, it is not a liability but an asset. We don’t have to feel bad that we are not better than we are because the littlest in God’s kingdom is the greatest. God knows our faults and we all have them, but we can cast them into the fire of His love, just like that of a trusting child, and they will be consumed for God is full or mercy and love.

We don’t have to be fearful of God, but rather open ourselves to His ways and transforming love. He loves us for our own sake and wants us to love Him also for His sake. He doesn’t hate us when we sin but rather hates the harm our sin does to us. We can never be good enough to earn salvation but our serving others is an expression of our love for the Lord. All love must be freely given or it isn’t love. We must be humble and childlike for Jesus said, “Whover humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 18:4)

Let us be single minded in our love for the Lord so that we express love to Him whether we are experiencing good things or hard things. Let us also be true to Him and not chase after other lovers, only Him. The young person I write about was so eager for heaven and humbly waiting to be with the Lord.

Challenge for today: Put Jesus first in your life, that you may love like Jesus.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy