What love is . . .

handsheartAnother Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Cards, flowers, red candy hearts and romance. Some may call it a glorified Hallmark holiday, but hey I’m all for any holiday that celebrates love. Us women, we’re just naturally hard-wired to love, God created us that way.

Valentine’s Day originally got it’s origin from an early roman Priest named Valentine. At the time, Claudius the emperor, was persecuting the early church of Rome by not allowing soldiers to marry. Claudius did this with the presumption that unmarried soldiers fought better than married ones who were worried about their families back home. Valentine, because of his faith, secretly took it upon himself to marry these soldiers and was imprisoned and eventually put to death for this act. He died a martyrs death for a cause he believed in, marriage.

The media paints a picture of love that is primarily driven by those fuzzy wuzzy feelings swirling around inside of us. But is that truly what love is all about? What happens when love gets tough and the fuzzy wuzzy’s disappear? Is true love really all about romance?  All of us girls would like to believe in the Cinderella story, but all to often real love turns out to be anything but a fairy tale. True love grows only through sacrifice. The bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8). Even our ability to love is given to us by the one who is love himself. God created us for himself, to love and be loved.

The bible tells us . . . This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10. God’s love came down from heaven and put on human skin for us. Love paid the penalty of our sin with his death on the cross. Then Jesus arose from the dead so that we could find new life in him . . . and live.

The bible tells us . . . we love, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). God’s love story for us is written in the pages of His Word. God pursues us, redeems us and then calls us is beloved bride. True love is selfless. True love is sacrificial. It sacrifices itself the well being of another. God demonstrated this for us in this . . .  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). True love is not defined by feelings but by the deep abiding truth of God’s love for us. Once we accept his love for us. . . only then does it free us to truly love others with God’s pure and sacrificial love towards one another.

1 Corinthians 13 describes this love to us like this . . .  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.

Thank you Lord Jesus for your amazing love for us. Thank you for sending Jesus to us. To live for us, to die for us and to redeem us from the penalty of our sin. What an amazing love! Help us in turn to live our lives for you and in obedience to your Word! Thank you for who you are and for all you do for us . . . and thank you for showing us what true love is . . . Thank you sweet Jesus!