Did You Know?

Two men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

5 Killed in Aurora, Illinois
Five individuals were shot and killed at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois. Five police officers were injured and the gunman was eventually killed by the police. On the day of the shooting, the shooter was being fired from his position at the plant, where he had worked for the last 15 years. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.
4 Killed in Kashmir
Four Indian soldiers have been killed in India-administered Kashmir, following a clash with militants. Recently, in the same region, over 40 others were killed in a suicide attack. Pakistani and Indian forces have been battling over the area. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for peace.
Flooded Gold Mine in Zimbabwe
Nine miners have been rescued alive from a flooded, illegal gold mine in Zimbabwe, while the bodies of 24 others have been recovered. Flooding occurring after a dam burst. While nine have been rescued, dozens of others remain missing and are feared dead. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the missing miners and for their families.
9 Killed in Chittagong, Bangladesh
At least nine individuals have been killed, and over 50 others injured, after a fire in a slum in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The cause of the fires is suspected to be a short circuit. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for all those affected.
Force Withdraw Agreement in Yemen
Government and rebel forces have reached an agreement to withdraw forces around the port of Hudaydah. The withdraw is part of a ceasefire agreement reached last year. The conflict began in 2015, and has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and injuries. Please pray for peace in the region. Please pray for the families of the deceased and for healing for the injured.
7 Killed in Haiti
At least seven individuals have been killed as a result of protests against the government in Haiti. Protesters are protesting the soaring inflation and accuse the government of corruption and misappropriation of funds. The protesters have also asked for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. The President has rejected the idea. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Pleas pray for peace.
17 Killed in New Delhi, India
At least 17 individuals have been killed after a fire in a hotel in New Delhi, India. Thirty-five others were rescued from the fire and 19 were taken to the hospital for injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured.
Heat Wave in Australia
A record heat wave, following a record drought, in Australia have farmers, and others, worried. The drought and heat have caused animals to die and worries that crops will not be able to be planted. Across the globe, the United States is experiencing record cold temperatures. Please pray for all those affected by extreme temperatures. Please pray for their safety and health.

How do you show love?

 

Valentine’s Day is often considered a secular holiday, although it is named after St. Valentine.  His story, however, is anything but romantic.  Little is known about his life, but it is commonly accepted that he was arrested for defying Roman laws and aiding Christians in many ways, including secretly marrying Christian couples.  He is thought to have been brutally executed by Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II) on February 14, sometime during the third-century, after he refused to denounce his faith in the Lord.

 

On the day named after him, many people could not tell you who St. Valentine is or what he did.  In a day that is about celebrating love, many will show their love in shallow ways - through gifts and fancy dinners.  They fail to remember that love is easy to show when times are well.  Real love, unwavering love is shown during difficult times.  It is shown through sacrifice and the willingness to experience sacrifice because of that love.  It is the love St. Valentine had for his Lord.  It is the love our Lord has for His children.

 

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

 

No greater love has been shown throughout history than the love that God has shown for His children.  Throughout the Old Testament, God repeatedly showed His love by sparing the Israelites, forgiving them for wandering from Him, and giving them another chance (and another and another and another…).  In the New Testament, God showed His love in an entirely new way - He sent us His Son, His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth, as a man, to die for us.

 

Who are you willing to die for?  Why would you be willing to die for them?  God’s love for us was so powerful that He was willing to sacrifice His Son, in order for us to, once again, be able to walk side by side with Him.  God’s love has been a constant throughout history; and will remain a constant in the future.  For He has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5, ESV)

 

Valentine’s Day is just that, a single day.  But God shows His love to us everyday!  Our very salvation came through love!  As Christians, we are to emulate His example and show our love everyday!  In order to show that love, we must understand what love is.

 

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.  It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.  It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].  Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].  Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]… And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.(1 Corinthians 3:4-8a, 13, AMP)

 

The Apostle Paul beautifully describes love.  His description comes from his life experience; his personal experience of receiving God’s love.  It can be easy to forget that this man began his life by persecuting Christians - by advocating for their deaths!  Until the day he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  Paul experienced the perfect, wholesome, unconditional love of God.  Through God’s love, Paul’s life was completely changed, becoming a leading figure in the early church, and writing the message we are studying today!

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Daily Reading 

Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ can anyone hope to separate themselves from the power of sin in this world. Through Him, all things are made new. For a complete listing of readings, please download our Bible Study.

 

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