Valentine's Day provides a great opportunity to show our appreciation for spouses, relatives, close friends, and anyone else who we care deeply for. It's an important day - many of us would be in major trouble if we ever forgot about it!
When "love" gets talked about it in today's culture, so often the conversation includes jewelry, chocolates, and candlelit dinners. Now dont get me wrong - those can all be great things, but we can't afford to forget where our capacity to REALLY love others comes from.
The Bible tells us that "God so loved the world that He sent his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
Can you really describe any love greater than that? I think it's pretty safe to say that that's the definitive example of love that we have!
As we celebrate love and express affection during this time of the year, my hope and prayer is that we would all keep a few things in mind about the ULTIMATE display of love and what it means for us:
- What is it that you might love more than God? - What in your life are you holding fast to, even if it's seemingly a good thing? Are there things that make you angry if they don't go your way (heres one for me: college football!)?
- If we want to show Christlike love to other people, we must enter into their suffering. - Getting a taste of the love that our Lord has for us will compel us to act that way towards others! And that means following Christ's example on the cross: the truest, deepest depictions of love that we can express occur when we enter and share in the sufferings of those around us.
- NOTHING is more important than the fact that God loved us first. - Valentine's Day exists so that we can show affection to the important individuals in our lives, but we're only capable of doing so because of our Lord and Savior. His Word teaches us that "love is from God, and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God...God IS LOVE."
One of my favorite things about working at Upward Sports is our weekly devotions when we get to hear from members of our team about whats going on in their lives.
A few weeks ago, one of our colleagues shared a story about a woman in obvious need that he and his wife had come across. They felt convicted to love on this woman however they could, and in doing so they changed both her life and their own.
That's what I mean by the title of this blog: "Loving People Trumps Everything." We should be so thankful that God LOVED US FIRST - He loved us broken, sinful people so much that He sent His son to suffer for us in the worst way imaginable.
If we can keep THAT act as our example, then we can love in richer and deeper ways than ever before. We can love by stepping into the suffering of others, and realizing that that is what Christ called us to do above all else.