Hearts & Chocolate are everywhere. The Hallmark Channel is geared up with romantic marathons. LOVE is in the air . . . Valentine’s Day is here! For several weeks, as a service to the public, television and radio ads have been urging men to purchase the right card and the shiniest diamond on the market. But is love really that easy? As a pastor I have often seen love in the trenches. Some of these examples include:
Spouses showing grace to one another in difficult times
Parents loving their children in spite of their rebellious words and actions
Dying friends being cared for with gentleness and sacrifice
These children of God were living out the lyrics to Toby Mac's song “This is What Love Feels Like”
I am tired, I am drained but the fight in me remains
I am weary, I am worn like I’ve never been before
This is harder than I thought, harder than I thought it’d be
Harder than I thought, takin’ every part of me
Harder than I thought so much harder than I thought it’d be
But empty’s never felt so full
This is what love . . . This is what love feels like
Poured out, used up, still givin’, stretching me out to the end of my limits
This is what love . . . This is what real love feels like
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When we reduce LOVE to merely a warm-hearted feeling, we diminish it and risk losing it altogether! How blessed we are to have a God Whose love for us survives our bad behavior, our unfaithfulness, our rebellion, our addictions, and our overall unworthiness of such mercy. As the Gradual we’ve been using in worship the past several weeks declares: great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever” Psalm 117:2
The Lord loves you to the point of HIS pain and HIS death. Jesus hanging on the cross is what love looks like. Love is the toughest of all emotions, called upon to sustain us through the most horrible and testing times of our lives. We can love because God has first loved us. His love, shown to us through Christ, brings us life, peace and hope. We have a future because God’s love for us — even when we were extremely unlovable - compelled Him to sacrifice Himself to pay the price for our sins.
My prayer for you is that you never forget how much you are loved by your God. And I pray that this love will overflow in and through your life to those around you.
To God be the glory!
A few points to ponder:
- Is it difficult for you to believe you are loved by God?
- How are the Lord's steadfast love and His eternally enduring faithfulness good news for you?
- How can you better reflect the Lord's love to those around you?