Before the ‘Valentine’s heat’ drives you up the wall, get a grip of yourself and distinguish the Truth from reality.
Then choose where to anchor your life, love, and hopes.
Saint Valentinus is remembered as loving, kind and brave.
He was a priest during a time when the church was being persecuted by Emperor Claudius II at around 250 AD. The emperor had issued an edict that young men were not to marry, as single men made better soldiers – they would have sole focus on their call to duty. At the time, although polygamy was popular, the church still viewed marriage as sacred between one man and one woman.
Saint Valentinus, in line with his belief that those in love should marry within the Christian church and remain monogamous, defied the emperor’s orders, and performed marriages in secret.
He was caught, imprisoned, and put on death row for performing forbidden marriages. While in prison, the story goes, he prayed with and saw the healing of his jailer’s blind daughter. As a result, the jailer and his entire household are said to have come to the Christian faith. It is widely believed that before his execution, Valentinus left the jailer’s daughter a note signed “Your Valentine.”
Valentine’s Day has morphed from a feast day to honor St. Valentinus to the varied, highly commercial forms it takes today. The changing forms of this day’s celebrations is a representation of our ‘reality’.
You see, ‘reality’ unlike the ‘truth’ is not constant. Reality varies while truth endures, remains unchanging.
A closer look at how we define love, which supposedly is being celebrated today, will reveal that it is a shifting shadow. Our human definition of love is fallen – simply unreliable and highly selective. We love those who love us; those who are easy to love; those from whom we expect something and so on….
Let’s look into the only truth there is – God’s unchanging word – on this important virtue.
Ponder on these three things:
1.We are Loved
All of us without exception – for God so loved the world that He gave his one and only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
When we believe, we receive a pure, selfless, everlasting love from God, who himself is love.
Have you received Him?
2. We are called to Love
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. (1 John 4:7-13)
3. The ‘HOW’ to love
- Obey God’s commandments
When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
This is my command: Love each other. (John 15: 10, 17)
And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. (1 John 3:23 – 24)
- Go beyond merely saying it to showing love by our actions
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. (1 John 3: 18 – 19)
The commandment to love is not difficult if we have our way – that of loving selectively and conditionally.
But here’s the challenge
God did not love us (and does not love us) conditionally. While we were still sinners Christ died for us…..He shows no favoritism…he shines the sun, sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
And He expects us to do likewise.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Mt 5: 43-48)
An open challenge – I dare you!
Think of someone you don’t like. One who is, or borders on being an enemy because of the offence they caused you; and one whom you’ve not had physical or verbal reconciliation yet.
In obedience to God’s command, PRAY for them, and ask for divine revelation on how you could DEMONSTRATE love to them. Then ACT as the Lord leads. The challenge is open until you ACT, whenever that will be. Hold yourself accountable or seek accountability from any one in your circles.
I pray that this kind of Godly love will become (y) our lifestyle.
Go on, love as God has loved you… extravagantly and loyally