Happy Valentine’s Day to you my friend! This week I was reminded by my son’s homework of the history of this special day in our calendar. It began, not as a romantic expression at all. It was actually borne out of an extension of a compassionate soul upon another soul in a time of need. The story is told that a priest named Valentine under the Roman Emperor Claudius was thrown in prison for performing weddings for his soldiers that Claudius wanted to remain single so they would be better warriors. Claudius would not release Valentine from prison if he did not renounce his faith in the one God of the Bible to follow and proclaim the pagan gods of the Romans. He was condemned to death, if he did not cooperate with the Emperor. While Valentine was imprisoned, Claudius’ daughter began to correspond with Valentine to encourage him as her father was persecuting him for his convictions and faith. She and Valentine corresponded until he was martyred on February 14, in the year 296 AD. The day before his death Valentine wrote one last letter to Claudius’ daughter and concluded it with the benediction “from your Valentine.” The love expressed between them was one of sympathy and compassion, as a friend to someone who you are concerned about. As Bro. Volle reminded us last Sunday night in the evening service, the Word of God is God’s love letter to us, and we need to read it in order to benefit from the love that is expressed from Him to us. In our times of need, we can find comfort from the Lord in His Word. When we feel alone and isolated, we can commune with God personally and intimately through His Word speaking to us and our prayers speaking back to Him in relationship. God has called all of His followers to submit themselves to Him and His will for their lives so He can use their life to extend His love to others by serving them. God wants to use us to bless others around us in their trials through life. He wants our hands to be used to offer service and loving aid to help other people experience His love to them. He wants us to let our mouth and tongue be used to speak words of love and encouragement when others around us are discouraged in the difficulties they are going through. He wants our feet to be used to go take His expressions of love to someone in need. God wants each of His children to be like Claudius’ daughter by showing love and compassion to others in their time of need.