True Love’s Expression

“FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART” February 14, 2019
Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14th is known as the day love is celebrated in America. One day to do what ought to be done for those we love every day of the year. I’m not talking about buying chocolate, flowers, and special meals together with the one who is loved. The appreciation that is openly expressed in words and action that take place on Valentine’s Day ought to be expressed every day of the year to those who hold special places in our hearts. This can only be achieved when people follow Jesus’ example of how to love: “
44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:44-46, NKJV). The greatest expression of love that Jesus gave to mankind and all of creation is His offering of Himself into the hands of the Father. That happened from conception to resurrection, but was voiced for all to hear by Jesus on the cross just before He died in the place of all mankind. This is the greatest example of love that has ever been shown.
Apostle Paul said it like this, “6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8, NKJV). Is this the way we love others as God’s people? Or, do we expect people to earn our love before we will give it sparingly to others?
God did not wait to get a guarantee that people would accept the sacrifice of His Son on behalf of their sins to provide them with forgiveness before sending Jesus. Why is it that God’s people demand from others what God never demanded from them? The “Hallmark” version of love where money is never an object, the perfect scenery is always available, and everything works out for a couple physically merely distorts the truth of what love is by giving people false expectations and groundless hope. True love is what Christ showed in giving Himself for wretched sinners like you and I once were, if we have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice in our place, or as we still are, being dead in our sins under God’s judgment.
On this Valentine’s Day, share with someone the greatest expression of love by sharing the Gospel. Share with those you love how God has blessed you by having them be part of your life. Make it a point to shower those who are special in your heart with love that is in line with God’s definition of love expressed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Then we will see Christ’s love shining through His body and the Gospel being lived out every moment of each day.
Praying beyond the physical: Father, I love You as my Creator and Master who has revealed Yourself to me because of Your love for me. Jesus, I love You as my Savior, Redeemer, and Sacrifice that has provided forgiveness and reconciliation. Spirit, I love You as my Tutor and Helper who is teaching me to understand how to live as a child of God. Pastor Tom

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