The Greatest Love

On February 14th we celebrate Saint Valentine''s Day. It is a special day where lovers exchange gifts of flowers and candy. It is also the celebration of the godly man Saint Valentine. He was a Catholic Priest who was martyred for marrying couples when the king had forbidden them to be married. The king wanted to send all the men to war and he didn''t want them to be distracted. He made a law that none could marry. Saint Valentine believed that God had called him to perform marriages for couples that were in love and longing to marry; so he defied the King. He knew the price of his defiant actions, but believed that God had called him to be used for that purpose.
The love between a man and woman in marriage is a God-given gift. It is a great treasure on earth to gain and keep. The love in a good marriage is the blessing that provides covering for children growing up. It is a sacred covenant provided by God for a man and woman. Ge 2:18. When a person loses their soul mate in marriage it is a deep grief and loss that they suffer.
My mother was widowed at 36 years of age. She was married to the love of her life. After my father died she stumbled and suffered greatly. Her loneliness drove her into places that she should not have been and also into churches in search of a new love. Many years later she found her greatest love, the Lord Jesus Christ. When she found Jesus, her life was forever changed. She experienced the love of God that filled the gaps of her lonely life, and even those that were missing in her earthly marriage. Her life took a different course as she walked with Jesus. She never married again on earth, but she knew Jesus as her Provider and Friend. Her life was filled with His great love.
There was a special lady, her name was Rachel Titus. She was born on August 9, 1916 in Maine, and died on May 6, 1999 at the age of 82. She was a dear friend and my mentor for many years. Rachel was married to a widower when she was 18 years old; he was a fine, godly man. He was raising his three children alone. Rachel stepped into the position of being his wife and their mother with ease. They served together in their church and raised the children up to be fine people. Several of them became ministers.
One Sunday a preacher came to their church to speak. Rachel''s husband was always the leader and the one with the ministry; as an elder in their church. Rachel supported him and never wanted to be a minister. She was a very shy, private person. That preacher had the gift of prophesy and he pointed her out to come forward. Rachel was hiding behind others and didn''t want to respond.
Finally with encouragement from her husband she stepped forward. The prophetic man told her that God had a great ministry for her and that she must step into it. Rachel didn''t take kindly to that prophetic word and laid it quickly aside. But her husband took it very seriously. He was thrilled that she had a ministry of preaching. He had always wanted to have that ministry, but it wasn''t God''s purpose for him. When Rachel was called he knew just how he could help her. Their children were raised and he was excited that they could go out to preach together. He said he would support her and pray for her; adding that they would have a grand time.
A few years later with several confirmations that the word was a true word, Rachel began to prepare for the ministry of preaching. Several pastors were involved in her hands-on-schooling. The day finally came when she and her husband set out to fulfill the call. Rachel was the evangelist. It wasn''t long before her speaking engagements became a weekly adventure. During the years of them traveling together, her husband always greeted people outside of the building where Rachel''s meetings were held. He was known to lead many to the Lord. In fact, so many that he became know as Mr. Soul Winner. They traveled together for eighteen years and then her husband went home to be with the Lord.
The loss of Rachel''s husband left a huge gap in her life. She struggled with being alone and traveling alone. As she studied the Scriptures she came into the realization that Jesus wanted to be her husband. Isa 54:5. As a widow, He would look out for her and care for her. Her relationship with Christ came into a whole new realm. Through the years I personally witnessed Jesus taking care of my dear friend.
One time after speaking at a church, she was told to come out front and see what the Lord Jesus had for her. That church had enjoyed her teaching through the years and knew that Rachel was traveling all the time. She no longer had her own home, but she traveled from church to church. When she stepped out the front door of the church, as the pastor had requested for her to do, in front of her eyes was a new car with matching luggage! Her need of a dependable and comfortable car was met. Jesus had infused her need into the hearts of that church. And they were faithful to do what He said; by providing a car for her. Rachel used to call Jesus her “Wealthy Jewish Husband”. Since her earthly husband had gone home to Heaven Jesus was her husband, and it remained that way until the day she died.
The love between a husband and wife is great, but there is a love that is greater. It is the love of God for every human being whether man or woman. When you enter into that relationship with Jesus Christ you enter into a bottomless ocean of God''s great love. His waves roar and thunder throughout your life as His voice quietly beacons through you for all to come to Him. Re 1:15b.
He calls each of us for a purpose, He wants all to be saved and none to be lost. Just as the waves on the shore reach out, Jesus through His believers extend His love to others. He calls to the lost, “Come unto Me”. Mt 11:28. Many come and dive into the ocean of God’s great love; many shortly thereafter pull out a rubber raft, climb on, and float around on the surface. But God calls us to dive into the ocean of His love and find the depths of Christ.
This Saint Valentine''s Day you can have a new life. It doesn''t matter whether you are married or single; God''s love is still there for you. If you will invite Him into your life He will fill in all the gaps that you are feeling. Jo 3:16. If you are married He wants to enrich your marriage with His love flowing between you and your mate. If you are single He will be your husband and take care of you. As you dive into the depths of His great love He will lead and guide you in all your ways and provide for you. He wants you to enjoy life and it more abundantly. Jo 10:10 . May you be blessed with His great love in your life.