Today I thought I would touch on the topic of love, since that is what everybody is celebrating today. I don't tend to celebrate Valentine's Day, but I know the majority of the country does and takes it as a very sacred and special day. When we think of love from a humanly perspective, we think of it in the terms of telling someone you love them, giving a hug or a kiss, some flowers or chocolate candy or a big stuffed animal, perhaps a massage or salon day or a fishing trip and favorite beer for the guys. Doing it in physical ways that someone can see. There is nothing wrong with that and it is always nice to feel appreciated.
"But since you excel in everything- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you- see that you also excel in this grace of giving." (2 Corinthians 8:7 NIV)
But the idea of "love, happiness, sweet things, and passion" makes me think of the way that Jesus showed his love for us. We could not see physically what he had done, as none of us existed at that time. But we do know from the Bible exactly how God showed His love for us, and how Jesus willingly showed his love for us as well. God gave His only Son to pay for our transgressions...not because He had to, but He willingly chose to. Can we imagine a love THAT deep?
We are all sinful human beings and we show love in such a passive way. That does not mean we don't know what love is, that does not mean that we are not genuine when we show our love, or that it is insignificant. What it does mean is that no matter how much we think we have and give...it could never equal even a speck of the deep way that God loves us. Jesus was the only sinless human and he showed love with an unending, unconditional, and eternal sacrifice. Jesus died on the cross for us, he was beaten for us, wore a crown of thorns for us, was speared in the side for us, was ridiculed, spit on, and slandered for us.
"so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:28 NIV)
Candy, flowers, cards, a nice dinner, and a kiss are all wonderful…God created us to crave love because God IS love and we are made in His image. But the love we feel and receive from above far surpasses anything physical thing I could ever want or get on this earth. I choose to seek Jesus' love this Valentine's Day. I choose to be grateful to him for what he has given and done for me. I choose to acknowledge all of the unseen gifts that he gives every single day...not on holidays...every single waking hour of every single day.
So today I do not celebrate Valentine's Day in the traditional sense. Today I celebrate the true and eternal love given to me by Jesus Christ, and I choose to pour that same love into every day of my life, not just on February 14th of each year. May we always remember the face of what love is, where love originally came from, and the right way and the lasting way in which we can spread genuine love to others. When I give my offering today, it will not be roses, candy, a card, or anything of a humanly nature. Nothing of a passing or soon forgotten nature. It will be my heart, my mind, my soul, my spirit, with my arms stretched high and offering all I am and all I have to Jesus...on this day and everyday.
Walk in love.....