True Love?

Valentine’s Day.  A day for lovers to express their love for one another.  A day when flower prices are three times higher than their normal price.   A day when chocolate, teddy bears, and jewelry are bought and given as tokens of love.  A day tons of women are disappointed in what their spouse or boyfriend give them or do not give to them.  A day that comes and goes with the stores pleased with their cash drawers and more individual lives hurt than not.  So why bother?  Why even celebrate Valentine’s Day?  How do we even know what true love is anymore? 

As Christian’s we should bother with this holiday.  We should know the reason we celebrate Valentine’s Day and we should know what true love is.  Valentine’s Day gives individual Christian’s and the church as a whole the opportunity to remind society why we have the holiday to begin with and what true love looks like and how they can receive it.  Valentine’s day originated from several men who gave their lives as martyrs.  There are several stories online and written in church history books that you can read.  Their lives made a huge impact on their society at the time and yet, here we are today celebrating not the lives of men who lost their lives, but sexual expressions of love.   We are not remembering and meditating on the most significant martyr of all and the sacrifice He made for us, but are selfishly waiting for our gifts of flowers, chocolates, cards, and stuffed animals. 
What is true love anyway?  The answer is simple and found in 1 John 3:16–“This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us.  We should also lay down our lives for our brothers (1 John 3:16).” 
First, true love is Christ coming to earth as a baby, living a life of a man, dying on the cross for humanity’s sin, and raising from the dead on the third day so that each person might believe in Him and live with Him for all eternity.  Second, true love is not giving flowers and chocolate in the hope for a physical return on your investment.  No, true love is following Christ’s example and laying down our lives for the people we love.  Philippians 2:3-4 states, “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.  Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” 
Will we truly look out for the interest of those we love today or will we passively sit back and wait for what goodies we will receive and be disappointed if our expectations are not met?  1 John 3:18 reads, “Little children, we must not love with words or speech, but with truth and action.”  True love is not shown strictly through cards and gifts.  True love is demonstrated through truth and action.  We must be willing this Valentine’s Day to take on the attitude of that of Christ Jesus,
“who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.  Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking n the likeness of men, and when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.  For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11). 
Christ Jesus was a martyr for your life and for mine.  If you have not already, take the time now to acknowledge the love Christ showed for you when He willingly died on the cross for your sins.  Ask Him for His forgiveness and confess Him as Lord of your life today.  If you have already confessed Christ as Lord of your life, live your life today demonstrating true love to those around you as you look out not only for your own interest, but for the interest of those around you.  May those you love “see” your love for them through your servant’s heart.
My Heart’s Prayer:  Lord, help me to look out for the interests of my husband and children today so that they may feel and see my love for them this Valentine’s Day.  Not just through cards and gifts, but truly from a heart that is willing to serve them and has their interests at heart.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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