by Barbara Latta
Chocolate, roses, fancy dinners, and stuffed animals are the primary gifts given for Valentine’s Day. These are physical reminders of affectionate feelings for another person. But after the day is over, do we revert back to old ways and forget the loving things said and done because of a special holiday?
Our tokens of love are emotional. Feelings aren’t wrong, but we can’t depend on them to guide our lives. Sometimes we don’t feel like being loving, we would rather be grumpy or rude. But real love does the action without the feeling.
This is God’s unconditional love. He loved us while we were still dirty, rotten sinners (Romans 5:8). He showed the one and only kind of real love when he gave Jesus to us as a gift wrapped in a little baby to grow into the man who would have all the foul sin of the world placed upon him.
That was action, not emotion.
Because He loved us, we can love Him. (I John 4:10-11). And because He loved us, we can love others. Not with a feeling, but with a showing, a doing, a becoming what He made us to be.
Our works don’t bring us into a relationship with God. Faith does that. Receiving grace does that (Ephesians 2:8-9). But to bring someone else into that grace requires showing them the love of the Father. And that is where the action comes in. Not retaliating against someone who has mistreated us, being kind to someone who was rude in the shopping line, keeping our mouths in line with the word when we get “blessed” out. These are the actions of love despite the opposite feelings rising within us.
The valentine of heaven wasn’t a card sent through an angelic mailbox. It was blood running down a wooden cross to soak into the cursed earth. One drop would have been enough, but he used it all to show us He goes over and beyond and does much more than we need. He paid the highest cost and we were given the freest gift.
Happy Valentine’s Day—from Jesus.
What does this love mean to you?