Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Best Valentine!

"We sometimes fear to bring our troubles to God, because they must seem so small to Him who sitteth on the circle of the earth.  But if they are large enough to vex and endanger our welfare, they are large enough to touch His heart of love.  For love does not measure by a merchant's scale, nor with a surveyor's chain.  It hat a delicacy which is unknown in any handling of material substances."  -- Torrey 

No matter where you find yourself this Valentine's Day, ... single, looking, dating, engaged, married, there is one thing we can all rejoice in: we have all already been given the best, most complete, most fulfilling love there is (whether we choose to accept it and return it or not): God's love.  

Don't get me wrong, human love is an amazing and wonderful thing.  As Henry Ward Beecher put it, "Love is the medicine of all moral evil.  By it the world is to be cured of sin.  Love is the wine of existence... No man can afford to invest his being in anything lower than faith, hope, love - these three, the greatest of which is love."  But no matter how much you love someone else or they love you, in the end we are all just human and, by extension, imperfect.  We can be kind, we can be selfish, we can comfort one another, we can hurt one another (intentionally or not), we can have great days and not-as-great days.  In other words, no matter the goodness of the person or intentions, if you are looking for a perfect love in humans or anything on this earth, you will always be let down in the end.  It doesn't take much living life to realize this.     

But this love that I spoke of earlier, this love that God offers us, is a pure, a perfect, and a complete love.  A verse that many of you have probably heard before describes this love, "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."  - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a  Further, if we wonder how God factors into the love equation, the answer has been made clear: "God is love." - 1 John 4:16

What has God done to show His love to us?  Where is the action behind these words?  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  - John 3:16 

This statement involves unbelievably huge sacrifice and is, to those who believe in it, literally one that transforms.  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  - 2 Corinthians 5:17 

At one point in my life, before I became a "new creation" in Christ, I was certainly in bondage.  I was seeking happiness in this life through many different things, including people and relationships.  And yet, I still felt there was something missing... a hole that had yet to be filled.  When I chose to accept God's love instead of avoiding it and seeking happiness elsewhere, it undoubtedly and forever changed me... in a good way.  The Bible says that in that moment, we are no longer "slaves to sin," but instead have been freed from that bondage.  (Romans 6:6-7).  And what amazing feeling it is to be free! 

On this Valentine's Day, I not only hope you've experienced this freedom, but I hope you know this amazing, life-changing love.  Happy Valentine's Day, friends!  

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