February is generally thought of as “The Month of Love” because of “the day of love”—February 14, Valentine’s Day. If you are anything like me, you probably have some memories of grade school (or as a parent of your own child) and the “mandatory” valentine card that was to be given out to each student. You couldn’t miss anyone; everyone in your class had to receive a card, so no one’s feelings would be hurt.
When our four children were growing up, Kim and called it “Frantic February 14th” (unless the day fell on the weekend, making it “Frantic Friday”), as we rushed the kids to finish their Valentine’s cards (the perforated kind that came in a box of 32), stuffed them in little Valentine’s bags with a small box of the Classic Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, and hurried out the door to get the kids to school on time. I feel a little stressed even now as I recall those mornings!
There was one saying on those candy hearts that I remember well: “Be Mine.” I thought I would offer you a word of encouragement during this “month of love” with what I call the Biblical “Be Mine” that flows beautifully out of these words from the prophet Isaiah.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
A love letter
I don’t know where this message finds you, or whether you will be receiving a reminder of someone’s love for you this Valentine’s Day, so I wanted to remind you of a Valentine that you have already received: It is from Jesus, and it was written just for you. It’s called the Bible, and it is God’s love letter to you. Over and over again, from Genesis through Revelation, God says to you, “Be Mine.”
The most important difference between this biblical “Be Mine” and the “Be Mine” messages shared between schoolmates is that the one that came from Jesus was not mandatory! God the Father was not standing over God the Son warning ominously that “If you don’t get all these cards finished, you can’t take any of them to school with you!” No, the biblical “Be Mine” from our Lord flows freely, without compulsion, from a heart that willingly sought you, deliberately caught you, and lovingly bought you with His precious blood on Calvary’s Hill.
As Charles Wesley wrote almost 300 years ago, “Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” Amazing love!
Here is something else to remember regarding this biblical “Be Mine.” It has nothing to do with you. Jesus says “Be Mine” to you simply because He has loved you with an everlasting love. The most important “Be Mine” in the universe is the one that comes from the lips of our Lord, and it comes to you . . .
- Unmerited . . . and
And yet, as good as all that is, it gets even better! Jesus said “Be Mine” to you when He knew you had no interest in being His. The apostle Paul explained that Jesus said “Be Mine” to all of us, “while we were still sinners” on the run from God (Romans 5:8). God came after Adam and Eve, who were hiding from God after their sinful rebellion in the Garden of Eden; He came after you and me too.
Here is something I often repeat from the pulpit: Jesus didn’t die to make you good. He died to make you His, and in making you His, He is making you good. It truly boggles the mind to think the Creator and Sustainer of the universe died an agonizing death to pay for the penalty for our sins, even though we were completely alienated from Him!
This was one of the main reasons the religious leaders were opposed to Jesus: He associated with sinners. Jesus said “Be Mine” to tax collectors . . . to prostitutes . . . to adulterers . . . to lepers. Jesus said “Be Mine” to those whom the religious leaders said “Be gone!” He hailed the hurting and the hopeless. He called the children and the ceremonially unclean. He welcomed the weak and the washed up. He received the rebels and the rejected. There was no one beyond His reach then and there is no one beyond His reach now . . . The invitation to “Be Mine” is offered to all who will but come to Christ by grace through faith.
You are mine
Is this the confession of your life today? Before we close, let’s go back to Isaiah and see what is written after God says, “You are mine.”
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:2-3).
Our loving Lord says “You are mine” and follows those words with the promise of protection when the waves of challenge wash over you and the fires of the furnace of affliction threaten to consume you. May that truth set you free throughout this “Month of Love” to rest in your redemption, no matter what trials you face. And because you can rest in the unimaginable grace and love of Jesus Christ, you can now show His love to everyone you meet. I hope you’ll tell them about the biblical “Be Mine” that was sent to them too.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!
Dr. Tommy Boland is senior pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach (www.thecrosscc.org). He blogs regularly at tommyboland.com.
For more articles by Dr. Tommy Boland, visit goodnewsfl.org/tommy-boland.