Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Growing in Grace is a blog by Pastor Matthew Molesky. His posts explore the Bible, theology, ecclesiology, culture, books, family, and life.

A Prayer For Valentine's Day

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. Song of Sol. 7:10

Gracious Jesus, it’s the day in our culture in which red hearts, overpriced cards, dark chocolates, and cut flowers abound—Valentine’s Day is upon us. For some, it’s a day of incredible kindness, sweetness, and gratitude. For others, it’s a day in which brokenness, loneliness, and emptiness are magnified. For all of us, it should be a day in which our longings for intimacy and rich connection find their way home to you, Jesus, the consummate lover.

How fitting that I’m presently 35 thousand feet in the air somewhere between Dallas and Nashville, for as I contemplate the wonders of your love this morning, my heart soars to regions where your mercy is endless, your grace abounds and your love is lavish. Oh to more fully grasp the liberating implications of this heart-thrilling affirmation, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” How can this be so? How can this really be true? I believe, help my unbelief.

Grace me with a deeper and richer experience of belonging to you, Jesus. I’m no longer my own, hallelujah! You died for me; you bought me; you married yourself to me. You actually desire me, want me, enjoy me… you are the ultimate Spouse. All I really need in life, and in death, is your love, Lord Jesus. This is my unquestioned theology, make it ever-pulsating doxology.

Indeed, free me from the insidious thievery of my unbelief. One moment I believe you truly delight in me and rejoice over me with singing; and the next I can be filled with disorienting unbelief. That’s when I begin to place unrealistic demands on other relationships. But there’s no one human being (or any number of them)—there’s no other romance story, no torrid love affair can possibly fill the God-shaped vacuum in my soul.

Even the best marriage is merely a hint and whisper what it means to belong to you. Even the worse marriage can become a garden in a desert where you meet us, free us and overwhelm us with your all-sufficient love.

Oh for the day when my betrothal becomes the day of great banqueting—the day I long for more than any other—the wedding feast of the Lamb. Until that Day, free me to love others as you love me. You are enough, Jesus, more than enough. So very Amen I pray, in your tender and tenacious name.

 ~ A Prayer From Scotty Smith.

Preaching About Racial Diversity

The Gadarene Swine Rule