As the old song goes, love makes the world go ’round. There have been uncountable songs and poems written about love. Even in our modern culture where sex gets more airtime, love is still what most people really want.
The Scriptures instruct us to love one another. As we approach Valentine’s Day it seems fitting to consider what that means.
We sometimes hear sermons telling us that love is not just a noun, but a verb, as well. Not just a feeling, it requires action on our part. So, what does that action look like?
- When we feel the emotion of love for another person, we become concerned with that person’s well-being and happiness. We put the loved-one’s feelings ahead of our own.
- We want to spend time with that person, learning everything we can about them.
- We want to give them things they want or need.
My youngest granddaughter was born on Valentine’s Day, a product of her parent’s love and a gift of joy to her whole family. She lives in Italy, but I send her gifts, and every week when we have our video visits I try to think of ways to connect with her, even briefly, to make her smile or laugh. I want her to feel my love. This is what grandmothers do. It is instinctive.
As Christians, we are to extend our natural feelings of love beyond our families to include our brothers and sisters in Christ. In congregations and neighborhoods this action word is put to the test. Many of us have a hard time genuinely acting out love in our own power. That’s where God’s love comes in.
Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands.” He also said the greatest commandment was to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength (action, again), and to love our neighbor.
Think about how we show love to one another and how that translates to showing love to God…
- When we feel the emotion of love for another person, we become concerned with that person’s well-being and happiness. We put the loved-one’s feelings ahead of our own. – Is pleasing God (making him happy) your main concern?
- We want to spend time with the person, learning everything we can about them.- Do you spend time in prayer and reading Scripture to learn about God?
- We want to give them gifts of the things they want or need. – What gifts do you offer him? (God doesn’t need anything, but he wants our devotion.)
Homemade Valentine cards created from construction paper and lace doilies may have fallen out of fashion, but the weeks leading up to the celebration of love that is Valentine’s Day may be the perfect time to create a heart-made gift of loving acts for our Lord…
…then the world may truly know we are Christians by our love.