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Sunday’s Monday

I have never totally understood the reasoning behind Valentine’s Day, it seems so far-fetched to have a holiday that celebrates what we should be living every day. Seriously, think about it! We use one day a year to shower our spouse, partner, friends, and family with gifts of love and affection, things they should already experience. It would seem that our culture is giving us a special makeup day to cover for those days we fail to show our love, or our culture is giving us upfront permission to miss some of those days intentionally. Whatever the case, I’m sure it’s a day for Satan to take full advantage of, as he pulls the emotional wool over many eyes of those involved in stressed relationships plus it turns love into a commodity which is a very profitable day for merchants!

The first of many things we should know about love is, it’s more than three words rolling off the tongue to sound good and it’s so much deeper than any human feeling. There are two kinds of love we can choose from, there is the world’s forgery of God’s love and God’s agape love. The world’s type is almost always the feel-good, mushy, self-serving, sounds good love. Whereas God’s love requires selfless action, always giving, encouraging, and helping. God’s love is all-consuming, in that the action of one’s love is centered on the object of one’s love. Far too many of us learned growing up, through teachings and experience that love is something you fall into or out of, and that’s wrong. Think about someone you truly loved that moved away or died, your love may weaken over time, but it never stopped. The reason for this is, love is a spirit as explained in 1 John 4:16, we can never know agape love without knowing God is love and it is only through God that we are gifted with the spirit of love. It is only through an understanding of God’s love for us that we become able to have God’s love for others as is written in 1 John 4:19 (NIV), We love because he first loved us.

Since the beginning of sin, people have struggled and are failing miserably at living a life of love! People won’t love Jesus with agape love because they don’t understand it, usually caused by fear as it fuels self-centeredness and inflates self-worth. Sadly, the majority of these people who don’t love God, have never met Him, and base their decision solely on the teachings of man’s one-sided theories. As a species, man is pretty predictable. Observe the actions of people around you and see who awakes each morning with a sense of dread in facing another hard day on earth, this sets their mood for a bad day to take place. Then look for those who awaken in a no-fly zone, everything goes over their head, and they simply don’t seem to care. I shouldn’t have to bring up observing those that will awaken “in love with Jesus” and view the day as a gift to use serving, caring, and glorifying God. They stand out! Those are filled with love, concern, and care for others and are ready for the challenges. They believe in Colossians 3:12 (NIV), Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Should you be in doubt think about this, I believe this world would change for the better, if everyone adopted a lifestyle of God’s love.

Look at 1 John 4:16 (NIV), 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. Love has always been and will always be because God is love. God’s love was the beginning of man, God’s love is the continuation of man, and God’s love will be the judgment of man. God’s love is a spirit and just as with the Holy Spirit, we have to build a relationship with love. We have to know love requires a lot of work to nurture, grow, and mature into God’s kind of love. I read a quote from an unknown author that explains, “What comes easy, won’t always last. And what will last, won’t always come easy.” Which defies today’s quick, easy, and convenient culture. Please, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing Valentine’s Day, I emphatically believe that love (God’s love) should be a visible lifestyle for the world to witness not one day but every day we’re on earth.

My prayer today is for each of us to get a firm grip on something I heard Andy Stanley say, “What does love require of me?” Lord help each of us to study, meditate and ingrain these words into our hearts. Grant us the spiritual understanding of John 13:34-35 (NIV), 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” May we each be filled with the wisdom of this quote by Ken Boa, “love God completely, love self correctly, and love others compassionately.” May you forever be our first and deepest love as we strive to witness your love to this world. Amen


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