Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea, California
“We love because He first loved us.” ~1 John 4:19
At this time of year, friends and loved ones exchange cards, flowers, poems, candy, and gifts – all in the name of Valentine. Although the truth behind the Valentine legend is vague, three different Christian martyrs named Valentine have been associated with the date of February 14th. Not much is known about these early men of faith – except that each of them died for the love of Christ. So Valentine’s Day is really a Christian holiday… and every day is like Valentine’s Day when you’re the beloved of God!
Do you ever feel unloved or unlovable? Don’t worry, God knows all about you – your feelings, your sins, your troubles, your needs – and God will always love you because He created you. “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). But to understand what true love is, and to truly love others, first we must have a relationship with Him.
What is Love?
The Bible is often referred to as God’s “Love Letter” to us. Love is mentioned frequently in the Bible, and many of our modern ideas about love can be traced back to the Scriptures, like this famous verse: “Love suffers long and is kind; it does not envy; does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
It’s possible to categorize love into four different kinds. Agape (ah-gah’-pay) is spiritual, selfless charity for others. Philia (fee’-lee-ah) is friendly, brotherly love. Storge (stor’-jay) is an affectionate family bond. Eros (air’-ross) is passionate and romantic. You can read more about these in The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Click here to download The Four Loves Study Guide for free.
God is Love
God is the Creator of all things, and by His very nature He is the source of love. God doesn’t give Valentine cards, but he lovingly showered us with an abundance of gifts here on earth: beautiful sunsets, colorful flowers, deliciously sweet fruits, a variety of seasons and weather, awe-inspiring stars and galaxies, a treasure trove of natural resources, amazing creatures great and small, eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to hold, and the precious gift of life itself.
The most wonderful thing God did was giving us eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).
Sin is very serious. The Bible states that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23). Only God can save a soul from death. That’s right, He offers something that you can’t get anywhere else – eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus Loves You
God created you and He loves you so much that He sent Jesus, His only Son, to forgive your sins and die on the cross in your place. That is true love in action! In the ultimate expression of sacrificial love, “God demonstrated his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Think of it as you did the crime and Jesus paid the fine; and for that, you should be eternally grateful.
Jesus taught many things about life and how to live it, but that wasn’t His main goal. Jesus came to deal once and for all with the problem of our sinful rebellious nature – and that’s because he loves us. His love is genuine, unconditional, and never-ending. His love and care bring the comfort, peace, and joy that this world cannot provide. He won’t leave you or let you down. His love is stronger than any human love; His love has the power to transform lives.
Is Jesus your Savior? The answer is either yes or no. It won’t work to say maybe, or even hope so. If you are not sure whether Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, or if you are not convinced that God is real, read the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Bible with an open mind and let the Holy Spirit reveal the Truth to you. “You will … find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Are you ready to be saved? Do you want to accept God’s gift? Pray to God right now telling Him that you want to place your faith in Jesus today. Say something like: “Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God and that you died on the cross for my sins. I want to know you and follow you. Please forgive me, come into my heart and help me to live for you. Amen.” Then read the Bible and obey what it says. The best way to really know love is to know the Savior. And there is no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to commit or recommit your life to Jesus!
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30-31 NKJV