I’ll never forget receiving the candy hearts on Valentine’s Day when I was in middle school. You know, the ones that taste a little bit like Pepto-Bismol? My friends and I would tear our little bitty envelopes open to see which hearts someone put inside with the generic card. Reading into every phrase, we fantasized of that special someone spending tireless efforts to make sure he delivered the perfect message and emotion to each of us. It was dreamy.
It didn’t take me too many years to realize that the boys’ mamas probably just threw them in an envelope for them, OR worst case scenario, picked out the girl SHE wanted for him to like via pepto-heart-a-grams. So much for dreamy.
The reality of the analogy the Lord laid on my heart today was not so dreamy either. I realized that He has written His message on my heart. It is forever inscribed and perfectly perfect, which is a beautiful truth. But when others look at my heart, so often I have covered up His words with my own unintentional messages.
Sometimes my heart begs, “Be mine,” when it really should cry out, “Be His.” Often it shouts out, “Love me,” when God begs me to “Love them” or “Love Him” instead. The mixed messages my heart delivers to others can leave them with mixed feelings about the heart of God.
This is deep stuff, I know, but bear with me. Luke 6:45b says, “…for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” It’s saying that the ‘stuff’ we stuff into our minds gets stored in the treasury of our hearts, and eventually it begins to flow out of the heart via tunnel of the mouth. Then it is spread to others, and “round and round it goes, where it stops…?”
When I complain frequently, I have probably listened to a bunch of complaints. As I throw out a zinger in the name of humor, I realize I have maybe seen a few too many sit-coms. During those moments of pouring out flattery to others, could it be that I have enjoyed the empty, false praise that I have indeed received myself? What ‘line’ do others see displayed on the tablet of your life?
All the static this world has to offer us can cloud the message he has carved on our hearts:
“I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Do you see His Valentine’s message for us? *** ￼BE MINE ***￼ Make HIM our True Love. Let’s not mix His message with overflow from the world’s waste. Instead, let’s spread His Word, the Word that He has written front and center in bold letters on our hearts—the Word that we have fallen in love with so that we could keep from sin and love others God’s way.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded, friends. I know I do. The way we spend our time matters. The people we allow to rub off on us are important. The shows we watch and the websites we visit and the novels we read—it has an affect on us. Pray about it, allow the Lord to lead and guide you into the perfect balance of freedom and works. It is then, and only then that our hearts—the new ones He gave us when we became a Christian—will show the world that we are His.
“Teach me YOUR way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your Truth;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.”
Your Valentine Devotional cheered my heart and encouraged me this morning because I too have felt an urgency of late to walk true to the new creations we are in Christ Jesus - and you said it so well.
Thank you for your encouraging comment on my latest article submission, your input meant so much to me.
This one reminds me of another devotional you wrote:
Wholly Holy--we need to be wholly devoted to Jesus!
Thanks for posting this one--excellently thought out and written--very convincing and convicting.
Happy Valentine's Day, Lord!
I was an ugly kid; I never
got any valentines from
boys. When I grew up,
I did get a bunch a valentines
from my husband....until,
he started giving them to
another woman, at the same
time. Ech: what are ya
gonna do? So, NOW? Well,
I'm doing just like you said:
I'm giving all MY valentines
to the LORD! AMEN!
I will be thinking about this for a long time. Your message is wonderful. I actually sang in a quartet quite a few years ago called "Undivided Heart". We took our name from the verse you quoted. Very nice writing Laura.