The weekend before Valentine’s Day I find myself with mixed emotions. There is no Valentine in my life this year. No one to show my love and affection on this year. I think about how commercial love has gotten on Valentine’s Day. I also think about how many people are resentful for Valentine’s Day in both having to give, and not have anyone to receive love from. I strangely find myself thinking of Whitesnake’s power ballad.
Is this love that I’m feeling
Is this the love that I’ve been searching for
Is this love or am I dreaming
This must be love
Cos it’s really got a hold on me
A hold on me
I have become an expert in what love is not, and I know that too often we see it as feeling when it clearly is not. As I turn to Scripture, I begin to see what true love is, and most of all it is action. Love is what drives everything in life to significance. I am sure this passage of Scripture has been written and quoted countless times at, but yet we fail to understand it. We fail to live it.
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge ; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous ; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly ; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth ; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails ; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away ; if there are tongues, they will cease ; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
You see humanity can never love this way. We have a problem, a sin problem. No matter how hard we try we can never consistently fulfill the requirements of love. Love is costly, the price is high and it has nothing to do with money. It requires our life, and we are not willing to give it up for someone else. So were is our hope? It is in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our great example of what love is, and it is only through a relationship with Him that we can truly love one another.
God knew our sinfulness, and although undeserving He chooses to love. So much that He sends His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin. He chases us, He rescues, makes a way for redemption.
- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:5
- But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved ), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, – Ephesians 2:4-6
Jesus sees our need of salvation , and He chooses to go to the cross. As Jesus sweats blood the night before His crucifixion He chooses to suffer, and to sacrifice so that we can gain a right standing with God. He knows that many, many, people will reject Him and His gift salvation. He does it anyway, and for those that believe He forgives. Jesus then supernaturally gives us the power to love as commanded.
- And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’…”The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’- Matthew 22: 37, 39
- If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar ; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. – 1 John 4:20
- We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16
God gives a new heart, a new spirit, and we become a new creation in Christ. We then have the power to love God, and each other in a way not possible before.
- For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. – 2 timothy 1:7
- We love, because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
We can choose to love others even when we have been hurt by them. We can know that regardless of how much we are loved or not by anyone that God Almighty loves us in a way that no one can. We can never do anything bad enough, we can never make God give up on us. It goes against His character.
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? 36 Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-39
Are you lonely, sad, hurt, yearning to be loved? Cry out to Jesus! He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. He is waiting with arms open, and does not bring judgment or condemnation, but healing, peace, and joy for all eternity. He gives the greatest Valentine’s Day gift we could ever receive, and He does it everyday. Then you too can love as God intended. Will it be perfect? No, but through the power of the Holy Spirit you can love selflessly.