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Monday, February 14, 2011

Your Valentine

A few years ago, I attended a regional church youth conference that happened to fall on Valentine's Day.  I felt it was a completely appropriate use of the day--focusing on God, not on romance.  But, you know, the two things were never too far separated.

So many people have mixed feelings about Valentine's Day, and I guess I don't blame them.  For many, Valentine's Day is a great day to spend time with the people they love.  For others, it's another lonely day, reminding them of the Valentine they lost, or are separated from (perhaps by military service), or that they don't have yet.  Others feel the day puts excessive pressure on people to spend money they don't have.

Putting all of that aside, Valentine's Day is still a useful day for Christians, no matter what their relationship status.  It's a call to think about love.  Really think about it.  The greatest love, according to the Bible, is the love that Jesus showed us by sacrificing Himself for us.   It wasn't a physical, romantic love, like so many associate with Valentine's day--one that is based on emotions or appearances.  It was a love that doesn't change according to the situation or the mood of the moment.  That love didn't go away, even when the ones He loved were mocking Him and murdering Him.

Paul gave us a very involved definition of this godly love, which we should show to others, regardless of our relationship to them or the date and time.  I know you may have been reminded of this passage a million times today, but I want to show it to you again:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 4-8 NIV 2010)
 I don't know what your situation is today, but I can tell you two things: (1) You have a Valentine who loves you and is with you today, (2) you should freely share this love with others, today as much as any other day.

Your Valentine, even if you don't have a person with you today, is Jesus Christ.  He loved you before anyone else did, and loves you more than anyone else could.  If you haven't spent a moment talking with Him today, please do so now.  He'd love to hear from you.  Even if you aren't thinking of Him, He's always been thinking of you (Romans 5:8).

Furthermore, your Valentine would like you to think of others and show them love as well today.  He thought of you, even before you thought of Him.  He wishes that you would do the same for someone else today.  Have you demonstrated godly love to them, so that they, too, could enjoy this special relationship you have with Christ?  If you haven't yet, please contemplate how you can take action today, and keep up the habit long after Valentine's Day is over.

Finally, do you know the love of Christ today?  I am speaking to those who do not consider themselves to truly have a relationship with Christ.  If you don't, please take a moment to just ask Him to come into your life and comfort you today.  It's as simple as asking.  He will hear you if you ask.  He is not so far away that He cannot hear you, and He is not so abstract that He is unknowable.  He can change you, fixing everything that is messed up and giving you a new life to live, one full of freedom and joy.  He is real!  If you want to know more about Him, get your hands on a copy of the Bible and read what is written about Him, and what was written down for you to find.  It's all in there.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave me one.  Until next time, this is me encouraging you to enjoy this time with your Valentine!  Best wishes.


Kamal Singarapu said...

Loved the post. Thank you Rachel.