This month, we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Historians bemoan the lack of accuracy concerning the origin of Valentine’s Day. They do agree upon its rise to popularity during the 19th Century in England and its migration to the United States. Many of us remember sharing valentines with all of our class mates during elementary school. Despite its questioned origin and its recent commercialization, Valentine’s Day does provide an opportunity to express and promote godly affection and love. “Be My Valentine” notes around Valentine’s Day February 14.
A long time before the origin of Valentine’s Day, God expressed His love to all of us. John 3:16 captures His valentine greeting “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” to us. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” declares Romans 3:23. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” declares Romans 6:23. This is the greatest gift of love.
Mission Ohio is the cooperative effort of Southern Bapitsts to proclaim the love of God to the lost of Ohio, North America, and the world. In Ohio, Southern Baptists are seeking to lead at least 1,000,000 people to accept the love of God in Christ Jesus by the end of 2020. This 2020 vision requires 2,020 congregations. The Mission Ohio 2020 vision is the missional plan of Ohio Southern Bapitsts to obey the Great Commission.
The Great Commission includes Ohio and extends to the whole world. Southern Baptists support this worldwide missionary endeavor through the Cooperative Mission Program. Through our worldwide witness, we are obeying the Great Commission and sending God’s valentine to the whole world. Let us press toward that mark.
Jack Kwok, Ph.D.
State Convention of Baptists in Ohio