See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 
                                                                                           1 John 3:1 NIV

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son
to be the propitiation for our sins. We love Him, because He first loved us.
                                                                                          1 John 4:10, 19 KJV

It’s February, a month cherished by millions and equally as dreaded for others. Often referred to as “the Love Month,” February is known worldwide because of Valentine’s Day. (It’s known for more than that in the United States – here, February is also Black History month and the month of the Superbowl).

For those who celebrate, Valentine’s Day is the day to make special declarations of love via gifts, expensive chocolates, flowers, and cozy dinners. It’s the “day for lovers,” and those in marital and committed relationships look forward to a special time of sharing and closeness. Red and pink hearts abound, and silhouettes of Cupid and cherubs with drawn arrows seem to be everywhere. If you’re in a relationship, it’s all good. If you aren’t in a relationship (or if the one you love is inattentive), then, not so much.

The good news is regardless of your romantic situation or lack thereof, there IS one who loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). There IS one who loves us so much, He sent His only begotten Son to die on our behalf. This is the One who didn’t want us to be lost, forever wandering in a state of sin, shame and separation from Him. He loves us so much He sent His Son to bridge the gap, to make a way back to Him. As the old church Mothers proclaim, “Thank God for Jesus!”

Our God is the One who deals in superlatives. He doesn’t just love us. Oh no, God goes above and beyond any level of love we can show one another. God’s love is so deep and so strong John wants us to look and bask in its splendor, to be aware of just how much the Father’s love has been poured out on us: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

We can love each other ever so much; husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, best friends. We even sometimes make a big deal about how much we love these people (Valentine’s Day, anyone?) as if we expect to be congratulated or receive a medal. Some even boast about how much they love God. Nevertheless, without God, we wouldn’t even have the capacity to love anyone other than ourselves. Once we are saved, God takes out our stony hearts and gives us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Despite our smugness in thinking we hold the monopoly on love, 1 John 4:19 gives us a proper reality check: We love Him, because He first loved us!

Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming. Bring on the chocolates and flowers. Just don’t forget what love truly is: the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This, my friends, is love! Be Blessed.

 

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