By: Tresa Walker
As Valentine’s Day approaches and store shelves are covered with red hearts and quips of love, I can’t help but reflect on the lack of love displayed daily in our society today. We live in a world that is fostering attitudes of hostility and hatred. It seems that people have become more hostile and less patient, more judgmental and less kind, more selfish and less caring. Proverbs 10:12 says, Hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses. In spite of all of the negative influences, God has called His people to influence the world with His love and mercy. Imagine how much better this world would be if we, as Christians, faithfully showed God’s love rather than acting and living like the world.
It is special to have a day to recognize those that we love. But we should also recognize the One who truly and forever loves us and remember the true definition of love which is shown in John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Relationships are complicated, and many do not survive the test of time. Whether you are single, married, or in a committed relationship, Jesus will always be the perfect Valentine. How can you know that Jesus loves you?
- He gave his life for you. – This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. 1 John 3:16
- The bible tells me so. – Jesus says, As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9
- He offers salvation and hope. – I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28
- He cares for you. – Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
- His love never fails. – His faithful love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
- He never changes. – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
- He pursues you. – For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
- He is faithful. – Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! Lamentations 3:22-24
- He is the only way to heaven. – Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6
The love of Jesus is for all people! 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 defines love: Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. We may live in a world full of hatred, but we have a perfect love in Jesus!
Because we do live in a negative world, it is important to consider the world’s influence in our personal life as well as that of our churches. We are surrounded by unholy influences every day, so we must be careful that while we are in the world we are not also of the world. Romans 12:2 says, Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. If we are not careful, we may find that we have conformed to the ways of the world, so we must be on guard to keep our attitudes and actions in check. On the flip side, we can also impact those around us, but in order for us to be a godly influence, we must daily renew our mind by reading and studying God’s word and also maintaining an active relationship with Him.
As Christians, we are called to love others because He first loved us. In John 15:12, Jesus says, This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. Instead of being influenced by the negativity in the world around us and reacting as the world would, we are called to love. We must be sharing the love of Jesus in hopes of giving others the salvation and hope that can only be found in Him. It is not always easy to love people as Jesus does or to avoid reacting as the world does; this is why the renewing of our minds and daily interaction with Him is so important. The more time we spend with Him, the more we will begin to look like Him.
Ephesians 3:17-19 says, I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Valentine’s Day is only one out of 365 days in a year, but there is One who shows us love 365 out of 365 days. There will never be anyone who loves you more than Jesus Christ