Love Letters & Junk Mail

Two years after I made a decision to follow Christ, I served in Florida through a mission organization as a Summer Missionary.  My girlfriend at the time (Janet Davis) who is now my wife of 32 years was also serving as a Summer Missionary that same summer in South Texas.   We were 2000 miles apart and had virtually no access to phones  (this was 35 years ago before the onset of cell phones or internet) – so we wrote letters.  I wrote her a “love letter” every day during that entire summer, and she did the same with me.

I remember that summer in Florida.  It would rain almost every afternoon.   I can remember the little room where I stayed that summer on the back of the Pastor’s parsonage.  I remember the gravel/sand drive that went from the main road to the house that sat behind the small church where I served.  I’d walk down that sandy/gravel road every afternoon and there was usually steam rising because of the rain.   I’d go to the oversized mailbox in front of  Friendship Baptist Church and check the mail.  I was shocked to find that JUNK MAIL actually followed me to Florida.  I was pleased to find a LOVE LETTER from Janet in the box too.   This was repeated day after day as I’d make my trek to that mailbox.

What do you think I did when I got that junk mail and those love letters?  What did I do with the junk mail?  What did I do with the love letters?  That’s a no-brainer!   I tossed the junk mail and opened Janet’s love letter to me before I even left the mailbox.  I didn’t read the letter once; I read it several times throughout the day.  I wanted to get/hear/feel every juicy detail/thought/emotion contained in that letter.   Why was I so motivated to do this?  Because I knew the author of that letter loved me and I loved the author!

We talked today in our services at Grace Fellowship about the fact that God’s Word – the Bible – is the Greatest Love Letter ever written, and it was written to you and me.  It is filled with awesome details of God’s incredible love for us.  So the question becomes; how do you respond to it?   Do you treat God’s Word like a personal love letter or like a piece of junk mail?   I have to admit (ashamedly) that there have been times when I treated it more like junk mail than God’s love letter to me, but the more I read it now – the more I want to.

This year I’m encouraging you to read the entire Bible in a year – or join me as I begin the FRESH 90 CHALLENGE on Monday, January 18th, to read the entire Bible in 90 days.  God has so much to say to us and if we’re going to experience radical growth we’ve got to make our primary diet consist of the pure nourishment of the Word of God.

My oldest son was telling us this past week about a friend of his who was reading the Bible with her daughter.  As they turned the page her Bible opened to two pages where all the words on those pages were in red.   The little girl looked at her mom and said: “Wow, Jesus sure had a lot to say!”   That little girl was absolutely right.  Not only does Jesus have a lot to say, His Words are the ones we need to hear most because they are His personal Love Letter to each of us.

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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