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