Receiving a personal letter from an old friend is always a treat for me. You remember those, right? The kind you get in the mail? Well, of course, the closer the friendship, the greater the significance of the letter and the deeper its reach into my heart. Much of the delight is no doubt the offspring of the knowledge that someone special to me was thinking especially of me. And some of it comes perhaps from simply having an opportunity to reconnect with that old friend, celebrating our companionship and the building of memories in former days, not to mention the sharing of our victories and disappointments in the present, as well as our hopes and fears for the future.
So, if such earthly letters can bring pause to a human heart, injecting into it much needed joy and encouragement, then how much more can a man or woman of God find an abundance of delight in the love letters of the Lord?
His Scriptures wonderfully declare the affection that God has for you and for me, clearly and passionately unveiling His tenderness, love, and jealousy for His people’s hearts. And if our sometimes small and careless exchanges of affection are nothing more than “sweet nothings”, the Words of God are “sweet everythings”, recording for us His love and faithfulness through what He gave up just so that we can be with Him forever.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3 ESV).
I thank God for the “letters” that He sends to me everyday as we visit each other in the reading of His Word. I thank Him also for the “letters” that He sends out into the world, appealing to those who have not yet given to Him their hearts. Christians (men, women, and children who have turned from sin and self and through faith in Him have received Jesus) become such “letters” as they choose to give God room to lead them. They truly become “handwritten notes”, signed with the signature of God Himself as He reveals His goodness through them. “… You are a letter from Christ… written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3 ESV).
Just think! Through your life, God Himself can send messages of love, affirmation, hope, and peace. His promises from His Word can reach the people of the world as you permit yourself to be led and shaped by them! The best sermon that anyone could preach then is not merely spoken by the mouth but is articulated through everyday living. The little choices that we make, the little attitudes that we adopt or tolerate within ourselves, and the little deeds that we do to give God glory, all suddenly have a great deal of power and importance and aid us in those things that we don’t consider “little” but deem as significant or meaningful. They tell the story of how God is so important to us that we would desire for Him to exert His lordship over ALL facets of our lives.
In the same way, the best articles that are written are not written with pen from ink but in our learning to deny self and to instead identify with Christ as we make our number one priority the exaltation of Jesus in all that we say, all that we do, and all that we are. The page of every day of our lives has the potential for telling anew the good news that only can be found in the incredible and beautiful story of Jesus’ love, His death and resurrection being the only answer to life’s problems and the world’s woes.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit. Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart…. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for
Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 4:1, 4-6 ESV).
What story does your life tell? What kind of “love letter” from the Lord is your character, your courage, and your compassion? Will you choose to respond to God’s love with trusting obedience and compassion towards those who have never personally entered into His loving mercy? How will Who God is affect how you live your life this day? May it be a day of new beginnings as you seek to decrease that He may increase through you (see John 3:30).
(Thom Mollohan and his family have ministered in southern Ohio the past 23 ½ years, is the author of The Fairy Tale Parables, Crimson Harvest, and A Heart at Home with God. He blogs at “unfurledsails.wordpress.com”. Pastor Thom leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org).