Love is…

37DB362D-F706-4E18-ADE7-3BE948192650“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  1 John 4:8-10

With Valentine’s Day coming up, ‘love’ is in the airways everywhere.  What thoughts or emotions come to mind when you hear the word love?   The Bible makes a bold statement about love in the verses above.  God speaks to us and reveals where true love is found—in Him.  The Lord saved me when I was twenty-three years old and going into my senior year in college as a single mom.  Having never been wed, I desired to experience marriage—God’s way.  My first Valentine’s Day as a born-again Christian I had been praying simply for a date with someone who shared my newfound faith in Christ.  Although God didn’t answer the way I would have hoped for; he answered in a much bigger and better way.  That Valentine’s Day I decided to take Noah out to explore San Diego on the trolley.  We didn’t really have a destination, we just rode for the fun of it.  We ended up stopping by the mall and met a young lady who had shopped at Forever 21, who prints a Bible verse on the bottom of their shopping bags, which opened up to a gospel conversation.  What stood out to me most of that day was how much joy I experienced on my ‘date’ with God and my little son.

We crave love in a tangible way.  Marriage is a wonderful way Christian couples not only demonstrate God-given and empowered love for each other but their love for the Lord as they paint a living picture of the gospel.  As the wife submits to her husband as unto Christ, and the husbands loves his wife like Jesus loved the church and gave himself up for her, the gospel is proclaimed without words.  However, marriage is meant to point to the greater, eternal covenant.  We must not forget how God has demonstrated his great love for us in the most tangible way.  Jesus felt the nails pierce his hands and feet.  He felt the thorns inflict bloody wounds upon his head.  He bore physically pain and suffering that he never deserved.  He did it in the name of love, because of His astounding love for you and me.  What’s even more amazing is that he did this while we were still reviling against him.  This is agape love which by definition is selfless, sacrificial and unconditional.  It is simply who God is.  He is love, and his example of love is its most purest personification.  That is why when a married couple proclaiming Christ says they need a divorce because they are no longer ‘in love’ is such an affront to the gospel and brings shame to the His name.  My spiritual mentor and friend came over to see our new home and have lunch with us.  She brought beautiful flowers because she figured I didn’t have a husband to bring me flowers.   This is biblical love demonstrated in such a tangible way.  When we love one another, we point each other to Christ and His gracious purposeful love for us.

Heavenly Father, you are love.  God, You alone are love’s origin and lifeblood.   And you never tire of pouring out your love for us.  Your love is an inexhaustible fountain.  When we think of love may we embrace and emulate you and your sacrificial love.  May we win others to Christ by showcasing to the world real love that is firmly rooted in truth and only possible through the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus name