Black Holes and God’s Rescue Plan

by Patti Richter

Midway Island is home to the albatross. Along with other birds, fish, and marine animals, these creatures are threatened by massive swirls of non-biodegradable refuse that collects in this area of the Pacific Ocean. Sadly, countless young albatrosses die on the island due to ingesting plastic.

That’s just one terrible consequence of garbage patches at sea; and most of us share the blame since we can’t seem to live without plastic. It’s everywhere.

Since man has stewardship of the earth, it’s hard to be optimistic about our pollution problem. Besides control and clean-up efforts, we can hope to find future uses of recyclable material—highways paved with microplastic asphalt maybe? But our trash issues go beyond land and sea.

A long trail of debris fills the earth’s orbit: broken satellites, spent rocket parts, and more space-age rubble. Just one Chinese anti-satellite weapon test added some 150,000 pieces to the not-so-heavenly junk pile. Scientists have considered using harpoons, nets, magnets, and other devices to tackle galactic clutter.

Further out in this galaxy there’s a black hole estimated to be more than four million times the size of our sun. By its strong gravitational pull, it traps celestial body parts within reach—possibly including fiery remains of collapsed stars.  

So, instead of thinking of black holes as big scary things, we could view them as God’s vacuum cleaners. Surely, like sharks and other things we want to avoid, they serve a useful purpose. According to scientists, black holes might serve to hold galaxies together.

Preserving the heavens and the earth is ultimately beyond man’s ability. The natural elements are God’s, after all, “created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16 NIV). Yet God showed his concern for man’s greater pollution problem—sin, which leads to eternal death. Like a black hole, sin is too strong for us to resist on our own.

God’s rescue plan for us is summed up in John 3:16-17 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… to save the world through him.” And this good news includes temporal help as well. The apostle Paul wrote, “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11 NIV). In Christ, we’re “a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV).  

While we anticipate a new heaven and a new earth with “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4 NIV), at present we live with the effects of sin everywhere—like plastic debris. And though the world’s morally toxic atmosphere works against our faith, God is faithful to provide all we need for godly living.

He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world. 2 Peter 1:4 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Patti Richter lives in north Georgia with her husband, Jim. She is a freelance journalist and long-time faith columnist at BlueRibbonNews.com with more than four hundred published articles.

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Patti is the co-author of the award-winning Signs of His Presence—Experiencing God’s Comfort in Times of Suffering. It is the story of Luann Mire, whose godly husband was blindsided by an indictment due to a former employer’s tax fraud. The resulting prison sentence and restitution took the once joyful couple into a long season of suffering as they fought judicial tyranny. Helpless to change her situation, Luann endured a painful examination of her life and found God faithful to His promises.

Join the conversation: How has God “cleaned up” your life?

My Valentine to God

by Lee Ann Mancini

Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 NASB

Today we celebrate love. Love for our significant other, love for our children, and love for extended family members and friends. Hallmark even has a card for you to express your love to your dog. Imagine that? I chuckled thinking a person would actually purchase that card.

I would love to have a Valentine Day card to send to Jesus and the opportunity to do so. I know you are thinking that sounds crazy, but I love Jesus so very much that I not only want to tell Him, I want to show Him. So, if I can’t send a card, what can I do?

This year, I have decided to take every thought captive. I mean every thought. It’s a new year, and Ephesians 4:23 says to “be made new in the attitude of your minds; ….”

After that decision, I was on the phone for over a half-hour waiting to speak with someone about my internet problem. It was hard for me to understand the person as English was not his native language. After we hung up, a negative thought squeezed into my mind: “Wow, that person really needs to go to school and learn how to talk or get another job.” Now, I know that wasn’t a horrible thought, but I immediately asked God to forgive me immediately and to bless that person.

I had always felt that I entertained nice thoughts. After all, I am a nice person, 95 % of the time. However, I am in shock at how many negative thoughts I have. “I wish this lady would hurry up; she’s taking too long… How dumb can you be?… If he asks me one more time, I’m going to lose my mind.” Can you relate?

If I want to show my love for Christ, I have to remember that we are all created in His image (see Genesis 1:27). And if the person is saved, the Spirit of God lives in them. I need to respect them as a child of God, therefore, which will honor the Father. 

Honoring others is the way we exhibit love in action. This month, I am going to make sure I express my love for others, and by doing so, I will be expressing my love for the Father and all He has created. While I am at it, I will also show my love for the Lord by hating sin, praying more, being more fearful as not to offend Him, and aggressively look for opportunities to tell others about Him.

We are wise to memorize this verse, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8 NIV). And for those hearts I have hurt with my words or actions, I pray they will remember this verse and extend grace to me.

The greatest love of all is the love of God. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16 NIV ), and there is no greater love than “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NIV ).

How will you express your love on this day? Candy, cards, or poems? Candy is tasty, cards and poems are sweet, but the message of salvation or helping others to grow in their faith will last for all eternity.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author:  Lee Ann Mancini is an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is the executive producer of the Sea Kids animation series https://seakidstv.com that helps children to build a strong foundation in Jesus.

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Lee Ann’s books, The Sea Kids series, has won over 25 awards, and is a favorite among teachers, parents, and especially children! In I’m Not Afraid!, Susie and her friend go to the Undersea Amusement Park. After  saying a prayer to Jesus, she rides the roller coaster and her fear turns into faith! She learns that praying to Jesus during difficult times and having faith are all she needs to overcome her fears!

Join the conversation: If you wrote a Valentine for God, what would it say?

What is the Greatest Gift?

by Lee Ann Mancini

‘Tis the season of gift-giving – a time of joy. Receiving and giving presents between family and friends, brings surprises and love. Think back to all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries. What was the best gift you ever gave or received? You know, the one that words could not express how you felt. A gift that you could not adequality describe.

But what about “the Greatest Gift” ever? Some say it’s Jesus. Is that why we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who was born in the little town of Bethlehem? Read the most well-known Scripture in the Bible that answers that question: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

Take notice of the word “so”. Dr. Warren Gage, one of my professors from Knox Theological Seminary, stated, “The emphatic word spoken by the Savior, in thru, is the little word so! ‘For God so loved the world…’” [1]

The greatest gift is God’s Son Jesus Christ! Who can measure this ultimate gift of love? The dictionary meaning of the word so means to a great extent. However, I believe that even the word so doesn’t do justice describing the gift of the Messiah to our lost, sinful, world. 

That little word shows the intensity of God’s love. In fact, it’s so intense, we cannot fathom how God’s bequest of sending His Son to the world is the greatest gift of all time. God sent His Son into a lost and sinful world because that’s how much He loves us.

Think about it:

Because You loved the world, You willingly watched Your child leave Your perfect heavenly home to go into a world full of evil, pain, and suffering.

Knowing how sinful the world is, You allowed Your child, whose obedience was perfect, to suffer greatly because of other’s disobedience.

For the salvation of humankind, You sacrificed your one and only child to a world that ridiculed him, as they crucified him for a crime he did not commit.

This is how much God, so incredibly, beyond human comprehension, loved the world! Jesus also loved us so much that He not only gave up his life here on earth by dying for our sins, but He endured separation from his Father as He cried out to him saying, “‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ (Hebrew for, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” (See Mark 15:34, NIV). 

The Father and the Son have been one since the beginning of all creation! What gift can compare to the great gift God gave the world? This Christmas season, as we unwrap the tokens of love we have received from our family and friends, let us remember the gift that was given twice: once upon the birth of our Lord and Savior, and once upon His death and resurrection. 


[1] Good New South Florida November 2020 www.goodnewsfl.org.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author:  Lee Ann Mancini is an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is the executive producer of the Sea Kids animation series https://seakidstv.com that helps children to build a strong foundation in Jesus.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 51w+Fz6h-vL._SY383_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Lee Ann’s books, The Sea Kids series, has won over 25 awards, and is a favorite among teachers, parents, and especially children! In I’m Not Afraid!, Susie and her friend go to the Undersea Amusement Park. After  saying a prayer to Jesus, she rides the roller coaster and her fear turns into faith! She learns that praying to Jesus during difficult times and having faith are all she needs to overcome her fears!

Join the conversation: What does God’s love mean to you?

What Would Jesus Say to Us about the Corona Virus?

by Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.                                      Matthew 10:28 NIV

Have you wondered what Jesus would say to us about the corona virus? My inbox is full of emails from merchants and event planners sharing the precautions they’re executing to protect us from this virus.

My daughter, who works in airline reservations, had her shift hours doubled to handle flight cancellations. It doesn’t take a genius to do the math on that one! Paying your employees overtime to cancel your source of revenue? The threat of this virus has shaken our economy and our sense of well-being.

So, what would Jesus say? Several thoughts come to mind. Let’s look at one.

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28 NIV).

I bet you didn’t see that one coming! While the Bible is full of verses that assure us of God’s care and protection over our earthly lives (Psalm 91; Matthew 6:25-27), this one reminds us of a core issue. We all will die. Some of us will die peacefully; others will die painfully, but either way, life on this earth will end.

How we live and whether or not we are ready to face eternity is more important than how and when we die. While the New Testament speaks of a time when Jesus will return and all believers who are still alive will meet Him in the air, statistically speaking, you have 100% chance of your life on earth coming to an end (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).

I recently spoke with a young man who said his sister had canceled her family birthday party because of the virus threat. I mentioned that we all will die and need to be ready to die. This 38-year-old man said he’d had a brush with death just weeks earlier. He described riding his motorcycle down a city road when a rolled carpet fell off the truck in front of him, knocked him off his bike and sent him skidding across 100 feet of asphalt. He showed me the pink skin running down his arm where the asphalt had penetrated the layers of his clothing.

“When they put me in the emergency vehicle, I fell apart. I couldn’t believe I was still alive,” he said.

Jesus’ words really are a source of comfort to those who embrace them. For He reminds us there is only One with the power to destroy or to save an eternal soul. And He has gone to extreme measures to save us.

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

If you were to die today and God were to ask you why He should let you into His heaven, what would you say?

Would you tell Him you’ve done your best?

That your good deeds outweigh your bad?

Your very eternity rests on getting this right. The Bible supplies the correct answer.

If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NIV). Have you put your trust in Jesus? Do you believe His death paid for your sins—past, present, and future—and His resurrection secured your eternal life (1 John 5:13)? If so, you have nothing to fear from the corona virus, or anything else, for that matter.

How much head space is the corona virus taking up in your mind? We should be wise in our actions. We should heed the precautions to wash our hands and protect ourselves. But let’s be counted among those who encourage each other to faith, not fear. Fear actually suppresses the immune system we need to fight not only this virus but other serious illnesses, including cancer.

Let’s follow the Bible’s admonition to: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8 NLT).

TWEETABLE
What Would Jesus Say to Us about the Corona Virus? – encouragement from @DebbieWWilson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

debbie wilsonAbout the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, is to be released February 2020. She and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.

Join the conversation: How are you coping with our present circumstances?

Love One Another

by Christina Rose 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 NIV

This passage has had me in awe since I was a little girl.  I would think, “How could a parent give up their son?”   I couldn’t imagine, nor did I want to image my parents ever giving me up, let alone having me suffer for hours, being beaten and hung on a cross.  Yet that priceless sacrifice changed and continues to change billions of lives around the world.

Yesterday was the funeral service for Kendrick Castillo, the hero of the Colorado STEM School shooting that occurred on May 7, 2019.  Kendrick, a high school senior due to graduate in 3 days, threw himself upon a fellow student armed with a handgun who threatened the school.  He and two others rushed the armed student, giving other students the opportunity to flee.  In the process, Kendrick was shot and did not survive.

The service was held at my church, Cherry Hills Community Church, and thousands attended. Kendrick’s parents, John and Maria, had looked forward to seeing their only son Kendrick graduate in a few days, but instead they had to plan his funeral. His parents were heartbroken, yet revealed that Kendrick had shared earlier that if he ever found himself in the midst of a school shooting, he would not hesitate to attack the shooter to spare his friends.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay  down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 NIV

Watching the thousands of cars arrive by procession, the throngs filling the church, Kendrick’s casket being wheeled in, his parents walking in with their small dog, and the pictures of Kendrick’s smiling, warm face touched the hearts of many and tears flowed freely. Each person who spoke shared memories of a compassionate, devoted, faith-filled young man who loved to help everyone he could.

John Castillo was the last to speak. I thought, “How could this man be so brave to address and comfort thousands when his only son was killed just one week ago?” It then became more clear to me how God allowed his only son Jesus to die on the cross for us. While the suffering seemed unbearable, in the end that example of unselfish love would inspire and elevate people to be their best.

John shared that we should all walk like Kendrick, who walked in faith and love just as Jesus taught us to do. He then encouraged, “When you see people struggling and moving into darkness, sit with them and help them figure it out.  Our world needs help; what you choose to do with your gifts is up to you.”

I wondered, “What if all of us reached out to everyone who is struggling to pull them out of darkness? What if we made everyone feel loved and valuable to prevent further acts of desperation and destruction?”

While our community continues to heal, we will never forget our selfless hero Kendrick, who was a gift, a blessing, and an inspiration of boldly walking in faith and loving the world.  Kendrick’s love and sacrifice has changed thousands of lives forever.

TWEETABLE
Love One Another – thoughts on walking in #Faith and loving the world – Christian Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina roseAbout the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. A devoted mom of two daughters and great aunt to over 40 nieces and nephews, Christina loves spending time in nature and hosting gatherings for family and friends.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. Her marriage in shambles, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power that is available to us all, especially those who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: In what practical ways can we “give up our lives” in our own communities?

 

Faith for Miracles

by Debb Hackett @debb_hackett

Last fall, my ten-year-old daughter needed two rounds of reconstructive ear surgery. She’s had problems since she was a toddler and has worn hefty hearing aids since she was four. Friends told me they were believing and praying for miraculous restoration, but in all honesty, I found I couldn’t.

I know Jesus loves me, and I know He loves my daughter, formed her in my womb, and has numbered each hair on her head. I had all kinds of faith for miracles in the lives of others, but none for my own family. I was too scared.

 My problem wasn’t believing that He could, it was trusting that He would. I had forgotten how much Jesus loves my daughter. More than even me.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 NIV).”

We have just celebrated the glory of the resurrection. God not only showing His power, but His all-encompassing love. He loved us all the way to the cross. And not just at the cross, but in our present everyday struggles and successes, too.

A few weeks later, with tear-filled eyes, I dropped her off at the carpool stop and watched her bounce into school without hearing aids for the first time ever. That was when I dared to believe I had witnessed something incredible. She was well. At that moment, I finally stopped being a coward and started calling it what it was all along: a miracle.

My situation and reaction reminded me of Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon, and Anna (see Luke 1-2). Four people who were waiting in eager anticipation for Jesus. Nowhere in Scripture do we see them uncertain about whether He was coming, or if He would indeed be the King they anticipated. They expected something miraculous, and look at what they got. A King who defeated death and saved His people from their sins. One who would rule for eternity.

So now I’m trying something different: I’ve made a spiritual resolution. I’ve walked with the Lord for over thirty years and have seen amazing things happen first-hand. I’ve heard even more stories of the Lord saving, providing for, healing, or setting people free. In 2018, when one of my close friends was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, this time I waited expectantly for miracles. Sure enough, there have been, praise God. Despite being too ill to complete all the chemotherapy, there was no sign of any cancer in her body at the most recent scan.

As the trials come (and Jesus did warn us about the trials), I am determined to see them as opportunities for the Lord to show off His love.

…Truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.   Matthew 17:20 NASB

TWEETABLE
Faith for Miracles – insight and honesty from @Debb_Hackett on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Deb HackettAbout the author: Writer, broadcaster and speaker Debb Hackett  has been a radio journalist for more than twenty years. Married to a test pilot, Debb writes for military wives and lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and children. She’s having lots of fun working on an inspirational contemporary romance series. When she’s not writing, Debb can be found leading worship, playing bass, or skiing. Also, if you can swing by her house while she’s making scones, that would be a win. She blogs at: http://debbhackett.com

Join the conversation: What are you trusting God for right now?

 

The Lent Buzz

by Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner @SGiesbrecht

Okay folks, it’s lent, not lint. Most of us have noticed the lent buzz’ has begun, currently all over social media. First, let’s define what lent is. Biblegateway.com offers this definition:

“Lent is the span of time in the church calendar that starts with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday…[It] is generally observed as a time for Christians to reflect, repent, and pray as a way of preparing their hearts for Easter.” (from Andy Rau, Senior Manager of Content, Biblegateway.org.)

Lent is about love: our Savior’s sacrificial love for us. Jesus literally became sin for us, so that we might have fellowship with the Heavenly Father. (2 Corinthians 5:21) That gift of love covers a multitude of sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NASB).

There is only one solution for the problem of our sin separating us from God…some have tried to earn their way to heaven by working harder or being religious…but Hebrews 9:22 says “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (NASB).  Jesus Christ is our only hope… he died to pay the penalty for our sin and provided a way for us to have a relationship with God.

I am preparing for Easter through an observance of lent. Some may be working their way through devotional readings. Others are considering how we can love God in a deeper way by denying themselves– some abstain from coffee, chocolate or fried foods in an effort to draw near to God.

Recently I heard of a woman, who instead of “giving up,” chose to “give away” something each day before Easter Sunday. It got me to thinking about how the love of God compels us to give away to those who will never be able to give back to us. That’s just how God gave his son Jesus to us. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NIV).

I started in my clothes closet, vowing to purge and donate one item a day that I haven’t worn in a year. (If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t wear it again.)  Since beginning, on some days, I’ve unloaded up to ten items. It’s gratifying to think of the many who will be blessed by receiving my unused clothes.

The process has been so freeing. I’ve been a victim of my fear of letting go. During this season, instead of caving in to fear, I have chosen to show love during lent. I’ve learned something important through the process: you have to let go to take hold of something new.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 NIV

TWEETABLE
The Lent Buzz – thoughts on the Easter season from @SGiesbrecht on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheryl giesbrechtAbout the author: Exchanging hurt for hope is Sheryl Giesbrecht’s focus—a message she shares with audiences as a radio and television personality, author and speaker. She served as Focus on the Family’s columnist for Pastor’s Wives for four years. Hundreds of her columns, magazine, It'll Be Okay: Finding God When Doubt Hides the Truth by [Giesbrecht Turner, Sheryl]and devotional articles have appeared in Focus on The Family Magazine and many others.

Sheryl is the author of It’ll Be Okay: Finding God When Doubt Hides the Truth (Redemption Press, March 2018). When we don’t get answers or see God’s guiding hand, it’s hard to keep moving forward in faith. Does God see me? Does he hear me? Does he care? Many Christians confuse doubt with unbelief and are afraid to admit those fears, but God is not threatened by our questions, and doubt does not negate our faith. Find a deeper understanding of the role doubt plays in your spiritual growth–and how learning to doubt your doubts enables faith to prevail.

Join the conversation: How will you choose to show love to Jesus during lent? How can we fall more deeply in love with our Savior?

No Plug-Ins, Please

by Debbie Taylor Williams

 As Valentine’s Day approaches, we have been bombarded with suggestions of gift ideas. We choose our gifts carefully for this day, because whether the gift is a card, a phone call, or flowers, the gift says something about the giver.

The first gift I received from my husband, Keith, after we were married was at Christmas.  My family gathered in the den, as was our tradition. Like lovebirds, Keith and I sat close beside each other near the warm fire.  All eyes were glued on me as he placed a wrapped box on my lap.  Keith grinned as I slowly unwrapped the present.  Mama, Daddy, and my sisters leaned forward to see what I was opening.

Perhaps a drum roll would have been appropriate.  As the wrapping paper opened, a box with a picture of an General Electric iron was revealed.  I wondered if that was what was really inside.  However, when he gleefully explained, “I thought you could use this,” any hope that there was a piece of jewelry tucked within vanished. For the first time, my talkative family had nothing to say. Keith, noticing the silence, hurriedly explained that his family always gives practical gifts.

He meant well. But my new husband learned a lesson that day: the gifts that spoke to my heart were not those that required work.

God gave us that kind of gift. He gave His only begotten Son, a gift of salvation that cannot be earned.  It is a gift given without requirements on our part; it is a gift given in unconditional love.

Keith’s gifts to me have come a long way since that first year.  These days, our favorite gifts to one another aren’t roses or candy.  They’re spending time together, speaking encouraging words, holding hands, and taking walks. Those are the best gifts; for they are gifts of the heart.

Do you wish you had someone with whom to spend Valentine’s Day?  Remember, there is someone who loves you dearly.  He gave His most precious, only Son in order that we might have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. It was a priceless gift from His very heart. And requires nothing in return. His name is Jesus.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. Help us always be mindful of how much you love us. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV 

debbie taylor williamsAbout the author: Debbie Taylor Williams is the author of seven books and is a national keynote Bible teacher; known for her passion and joy-filled teaching. She’s the founder and President of Hill Country Ministries whose mission is to spread the Word and love of Jesus. Debbie has held her P.R.A.Y. with Passion Across the Nation Conference, that is based on her book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion in thirty-three states and is booked to take it to five more. She is a faith columnist for the Kerrville Daily Times, is a charter blogger for the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG²), and served on faculty for the Marantha Writers Conference. She and her college sweetheart, Keith, are blessed with two children and five grandchildren. When Debbie’s not writing or teaching, you’ll find her at a kickboxing class, hanging out with family and friends, reading, golfing, hiking, fishing, and traveling.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner51fVlwbF-3L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Debbie’s book, The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World , please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What gifts have you received that meant the most to you?