The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (NLT)
Letters of Introduction…remember those? Probably not. But if you watch as many British ‘period pieces’ as KJ and I, you may have learned of them. In the very olden days before cell phones, internet, landlines, or even telegraph, people needed letter of introduction. With no possibility of “googling” anyone, or even seeing a picture of them, how could you truly know who anyone was – or their status, reputation, resume, etc.? Answer: letters of introduction. And the higher up your status, the more important such things were. Imagine stepping off a boat in a foreign land as the new Ambassador for the crown – that would have to be SOME letter, and it better come with a royal seal!
These days there are myriad ways to ‘know’ someone. We have all sorts of identification numbers, criminal and driving records, credit scores, resumes, tax returns, test scores, GPAs and so much more. Social media captures our faces even in other people’s pictures. Just ‘google’ yourself and see…or don’t. It may just upset you. Because although these are ways to know ‘about’ you, they aren’t the same as knowing the real you.
How do we truly ‘know’ a person? Jesus says in Matthew 7:20, “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Paul echoes this in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 above. He makes the case that those believers he shared the Gospel with are his ‘letter of recommendation.’ Their good works and changed lives were the proof of his teaching, and the proof of Him who sent Paul to teach – Jesus Christ.
We who follow Christ are all Ambassadors of God’s Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20) and our letter of introduction is the fruit of our lives: love, joy, peace, kindness, etc. which should be plain for all to see. This letter has been written on our hearts by Christ himself. It has been sealed with the Holy Spirit of God which lives within us directing and leading us, making us daily more like Christ. This wonderful letter becomes our life, and our lives become a beautiful love letter from God to the entire world, because the Lord does not want ”anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Yes, we are the original ‘love letter.’ We are God’s Valentines to the world. We don’t need fancy, scented stationery, forget-me-nots, paper doilies or glitter (although those are awesome) in order to share the simplest, but most profound message in the universe: God loves you! He knows you and He wants you to know Him! And just like the classic valentines, He always ends with ‘Won’t you be mine?”
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, send me. Here I am. Let my life shine brightly and reflect the light of your love and message of salvation to a dark, lonely, desperate world. Like the silly valentines we received in school, may I bring a little joy and sweetness and love into peoples' hearts when they see me. And may everything I do point them to You.