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MY WONDERFUL VALENTINE . . .

MY WONDERFUL VALENTINE . . .
 
Valentine Day is a most enjoyable celebration.   For the most part, it focuses on love.  The Apostle Paul showed us in 1 Corinthians 12:31 that "love is a more excellent way."  He said three great attributes are faith, hope, and love . . . but the greatest of these is love (see 1 Corinthians 13).
 
How did Valentine's Day originate?  Legend tells us that Valentine was a priest in third century Rome.  Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers, so he forbade young men of military age to marry.  Saint Valentine ignored the law and continued marrying young couples.   His refusal to follow the edict cost him his life. February 14th marked the day of his death. 
 
Cupid is over 3000 years old.  He began as the Greek god Eros.  He was young and handsome.  Later he morphed into the Roman god, Cupid.  He looked like an unclothed cherub.
 
On the other hand, Valentine cards were first discovered postmarked in England in 1806.  Remember limericks like "Roses are red, violets are blue; Sugar is sweet, and so are you!"
 
Also associated with Valentine's Day are chocolates.  During the 1800s, chocolate became a popular Valentine's gift.  Valentine's Day has become associated with love, romance, and even marriage.  Former Education Secretary William Bennett attended a modern wedding where the bride and groom pledged in their wedding vows to remain together "as long as love shall last."  "I sent paper plates as my wedding gift," Bennett said.
 
"What is love?" the teacher asked.  A little girl replied:  "Grandma has arthritis so bad that she cannot paint her toe nails.  So grandpa does it for her.  That's love," the girl said. "Love makes the world go around." 
 
I met and married my valentine and best friend, Lois Hudson, now seventy (70) years ago.  God blessed us with two wonderful children, Judy and David (D).  These three are my treasured valentines. 
 
             
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   Charles Foxworth
 
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. X, No. 02-18G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved. 
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REJECTED . . .

REJECTED . . .
      Luke 4:16-30
 
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to recover sight to the blind; and to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."  Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV) 
 
Jesus' offer of salvation  will be rejected by some, leading to judgment, according to Scripture and the witness of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was (and is) the incarnate Son of God and the Savior of all who repent and believe.  Even today many do not believe and reject the reality of who Jesus is.  After Jesus' baptism, He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan himself.  He refused Satan's three attempts to use His power to feed himself, or worship the devil, or reject the reality of who Jesus is.
 
TRUE IDENTITY  (Luke 4:16-21)
Jesus entered the synagogue as usual on the Sabbath and stood up to read the scroll of Isaiah.  He said the spirit of the Lord anointed him to preach the good news to the poor, to release the captives, recover sight to the blind, and preach the good news to the poor.  He returned the scroll and sat down and said:  "Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled."  Mark's summary statement revealed more: Jesus called on the listeners (and you and me) to realize that the deliverance described in Isaiah was available for you and me to become part of the Kingdom of God by faith and repentance.  This is the church's invitation for you and me to become part of God's Kingdom.  Peter proclaimed Jesus' true identity:  "Thou art the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God."
 
FALSE UNDERSTANDING  (Luke 4:22-27)
The crowd's initial response to Jesus' identity soon turned negative.  "Is this not Joseph's son?"  In the crowd's mind, this could only be the son they knew in the carpenter's shop.  Jesus retorted:  "Doctor, heal yourself."  This was an obvious reference to the fact that a prophet was without honor in His own hometown.  He recalled that there were many lepers in Elijah's time, but only Naaman was healed.  There were many widows at Zarapheth, but only one was helped.  Those of us who have been saved have been commissioned to be Great Commission Christians.  Preach Christ's true Identity.  Remove all false understanding.
 
MISGUIDED RESPONSE  (Luke 4:28-30)
The synagogue listeners were enraged.  They drove Jesus out of town and led Him to the edge of the hill upon which the town was built.  They intended to murder Him.  Then Jesus performed a miracle.  He just avoided their grasp and passed right through the crowd.  First they rejected Him.  Now He rejected them!  Judgment time!  Even today, many will hear the gospel and reject it.  The church must persevere and honor our Savior's salvation! 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Charles Foxworth
 
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. X, No. 01-09G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved. 
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eThoughts Team | P. O. Box 605 | Ruston, LA  71273
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PREPARED . . .

PREPARED . . .
        Luke 3:1-38
 
"And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon him, and a voice came down from heaven which said, 'You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.'"  Luke 3:22 (NKJV) 
 
The lesson in a nutshell states:  Jesus is the promised Messiah who brings judgment.  All choices have consequences . . . but in the spiritual realm our choices can have eternal results.  John the Baptist called on his hearers to repent and be saved . . . or reject the message of repentance and suffer the wrath of God. 
 
As Chapter 3 opens, the writer skips over 20 years of Jesus' life.  Hence Jesus' public ministry opens near the Sea of Galilee.  Dr. Luke begins with a genealogy of Jesus after mentioning Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist.  The essential truth outlined in these verses is . . . the Messiah has appeared and His name is Jesus.
 
WARNING  (Luke 3:7-9) 
John the Baptist received his message from God and then delivered it to the people.  He challenged them to prepare for the coming of the Messiah by repenting of their sins . . . and submitting to God's will in their lives.  John called his listeners a brood of vipers.  "Who has warned you about the wrath to come?  Repent and be baptized" he proclaimed.  (Baptizo = to immerse, dip, or soak) as  sign of genuine repentance.  This genuineness gives a clear demonstration that the individual has a changed heart.  God is able to raise up children for Abraham from stones.  If you don't bear fruit, God's ax can cut the fruitless tree down and throw it into the fire.  God's judgment will fall upon individuals (and nations) who disobey His way and will.  
 
RESPONSE  (Luke 3:10-14) 
Some listeners rejected John's admonition.  Others knew they were doomed and headed for hell.  Their persistent cry was "What shall we do?"  John warned each person must respond with evidence of a genuine change in behavior.  Evidence of being born again includes loving God with total heart, mind, and soul.  Plus it includes loving one's neighbor as yourself.  If they are hungry, feed them.  If they are naked, cloth them.  If he needs a shirt, share yours.
 
DIVISION  (Luke 3:15-18) 
And the people questioned within themselves if Jesus was the Messiah.  Overhearing their desire to make Jesus King, John the Baptist said . . . "I baptize you with water, but one more powerful than I am is coming.  I am not worthy to untie the straps on his sandals.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." 
Luke 3:16 (NKJV)  Such humility expressed the greatness of the One to come.  God has His winnowing shovel in His hand.  He will gather the wheat in the barn . . . and burn the chaff (unbelievers) with fire that never goes out.  Our "Boy Scout"motto was "BE PREPARED!"  Judgment is coming. 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
Charles Foxworth
 
 
 
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. X, No. 01-03G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved. 
If you received this email as a "share." we invite you to sign-up at   www.ethoughtsteam.com
You are receiving eThoughts . . . either with your permission or by a friend's "share."
eThoughts Team | P. O. Box 605 | Ruston, LA  71273
Posted by Dr. Charles Foxworth with

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