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For the Love of God

Valentine's Day often sparks controversial debates on its merrits as a holiday. It's often touted as being overly commercialized. A holiday of capitalism.

While there may be some truth to that, I think there is some validity that gets ingnored.

Much of society make this day about celebrating a person's significant other - a boyfriend or girlfriend, a husband or a wife. They make it about buying jewelry, chocolates, and stuffed teddy bears to prove one's love. But these are all superficial, and misses the mark on what this holiday should be about.

Instead, I propose that this be a day that recognizes the very core of God's character and challenges every believer to evaluate him or herself in how well they are living in "the way."

For God is the very definition of love. And He calls us to love our neighbor as ourself...including our enemies.

1 John 4:7-8 "Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love."

By declaring Valentine's Day a day to celebrate love, we are really celebrating God.

At least that should be the focus.

I mean, doesn't He deserve it?

His enduring faithfulness even when we prove faithless, or how He continuously leaves the ninety-nine to find His one lost sheep-over and over again.

And let's not forget...

1 John4: 19 "We love because He first loved us."

Without God we don't know what love is.He embodied it in the manger and on the cross. All other worldly "examples" fall short. We only know what true love is because of Him.

But there's more...

This a great day to stop and reflect on how well one is loving others.

John 13:35 "By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The most evangelistic thing a believer can do is to love others well.

Forgive instead of hate, be kind instead of harsh, and remain humble instead of proud. Seeking to build other's up.

For God draws people to Him by his compassion and love for others...even in the midst of their sinning. While His righteous wrath breeds awe and respect- it's His faithful love that tears down walls, turning a heart of stone into a heart of flesh.

And it is God that says that everyone is special, unique, and has immeasurable value. Every person is to be treasured. All "others" are significant.

This day is needed because we are very forgetful creatures and become very callused very quickly. It's important to pause, to be intentional, and leave no doubt of how significant others are to us.

Ever since I've taken on this perspective, I've started sending out Valentine Cards each year to a few special people in my life.

I make a list of those that I want to be intentional with or sometimes someone I just want to encourage. Everyone needs an accolade now and then.

I also set aside time to reflect on how I can be more loving on a daily basis, and I ask myself...

can others identify me as His disciple by the way that I love?

I hope so.

So make a list. Check it twice.

Send a text, a card, or make a phone call. Let someone know how special they are.

Relish in the love that He continuously bestows.

And, for the love of God...let's celebrate!


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