When I think of February, I think of two things: cold weather and Valentine’s Day. I’m not a big fan of the former but do enjoy the latter. The Miller Family tries to have a nice family dinner date on Valentine’s Day. We don’t always get to make that happen, but that is the goal. As I check out the calendar, this year we will get to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you since it falls on a Wednesday.

Although various accounts with distinctive nuancing exist for the origin of Valentine’s Day, a general narrative does emerge. Valentine’s Day formed to honor and memorialize the Christian martyrdom of St. Valentine in the Third Cen-tury by the Roman Empire. Valentine ministered to Christians imprisoned by the Roman Empire. Over time, the day began to be associated more with romantic love than with Christian service and martyrdom. So, regardless of the various accounts of the identity of Valentine, the story is based in real history. Furthermore, the story details an ac-count, or accounts, of Christian service and commitment that remained throughout life and into death. By definition, a Christian martyr dies for and in his or her faith. The Reformers would have called this kind of commitment to Christ, “Perseverance of the Saints.”

The Apostle Paul talked about perseverance of the saints in Philippians 1:6: I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. I am grateful that God is not going to leave any of His children half-baked; but rather, He will make sure we are finished throughout, with no gooey spots in the middle. (I can only imagine Ms. Tammy’s response when she reads this sentence!) Likewise, John talked about perseverance of the saints in 1 John 2:19: They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had be-longed to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us. Although some may be frightened by this verse, I find great comfort in knowing that a Chris-tian’s present faith and trust in Christ bears witness to and presents conclusive evidence of the genuineness of their faith. Christians may have many struggles and falls, but none of those issues are more impactful than their present faith in Jesus Christ. R.C. Sproul said, “True Christians can have radical and serious falls but never total and final falls from grace.” This statement is not only true, but it offers all genuine followers of Christ amazing stability for our lives in the most turbulent times.

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, let’s pause for a moment and reflect on the greatest demonstration of love of all time: Romans 5:8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Thank you Jesus for Your love for us.
-Pastor Clint Miller