Valentine’s Day is here, and with it our thoughts turn to love.
Every human being craves love. From birth, we spend our lives seeking it. We don’t feel complete without it. Why?
Because we are created in the likeness and according to the image of our God (Gen. 1:26). And 1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love.”
Why then are so many people disappointed by love?
Simply put, when Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he turned mankind’s focus from our Creator to ourselves. We tend to define love in terms of what it can do for us. How it can make us feel, what we can gain from it.
Seriously, instead of, “To love, honor, and obey, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us do part,” today’s wedding vows should simply say, “To live with you, until you cease to amuse me.”
That’s today’s standard, but what is love—really?
The Greek word defined as love is agapao, from which comes the word agape. It means to love in a social or moral sense. But more often, in the King James Version, it’s translated “charity.” I prefer this definition, as charity is something you do. It’s all about giving.
Real love is not what you feel, but what you do. Not for yourself, but for others.
Ultimately, Jesus gave His life to pay for our sins, because,
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13
He didn’t go to the cross because it felt good to Him. Or because hanging naked before a mocking crowd was His idea of a good time. He was not lifted up by His own hands, but made Himself subject to His enemies—so we wouldn’t have to be.
He went to the cross because it was best for us.
Real love is not dependent on reciprocation.
The very act of creation was an expression of God’s love for us. But He didn’t stop there. When we rejected His love, He didn’t withdraw it from us.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God sent us His only Son to show us what true love looks like. And Paul painted the perfect picture of Jesus.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
“Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This is the love your Father offers you. It isn’t deserved, and it can’t be earned. It is a gift.
God doesn’t demand that we love Him back. He isn’t constantly shouting, “Look what I did for you! You have to love me!”
His love endures our rejection. Patiently, He waits for us to learn that only His love can fulfill us. Only His love can give us the power to love others as He loves us. He never gives up on us.
1 John 4:16 says:
“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
Apart from God there is no love. Only an empty imitation.
There’s a story that goes something like this,
One day I asked the Lord, “How much do you love me?”
“This much,” He said. And He stretched out His arms and died.
Will you accept Your Father’s Valentine?
God’s grace and peace be yours,