Today we consider love, as we celebrate Valentine Day. I hope your gifts and cards are ready! God, who clearly loves us, deserves a valentine. In Matthew 22: 36-39, Jesus provides clear directions on how we should love God, our neighbors, and ourselves.
Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. This is the most important, the first commandment on any list. But there is a second commandment to set alongside it: Love others, your family, your friends, and your neighbors as well as you love yourself. These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them. (Matthew 22: 36-39, The Message Bible).
The valentine that God wants us to give to Him is all about loving:
- Loving God,
- Loving our neighbors,
- Loving ourselves,
Therefore, the question is how do we fulfill this valentine to God? The scriptures truly provide all the guidance we need for the loving that God wants us to do.
Paul make the loving interaction with God clear by saying this: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (English Standard Version)
When we pray, we get closer to God, not only because we are asking Him for things, but because we understand how we can depend on Him, how we can trust Him, and how we can become close to Him.
Loving Our Neighbor
We need to look no further than “The Ten Commandments” in Exodus 20 for a vision for how to love. We show love to neighbor when we simply pledge not to:
Bear false witness against our neighbor.
Romans 12:1-2 provides a powerful reason to love ourselves:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2, The Living Bible).
As a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, I must love myself because God loved me so much that that he deemed me worthy to be pleasing to Him, and I can show that love to God by:
We can say these things because of our faith in God through Christ. We know we are not able in ourselves to do any of this work. God makes us able to do these things. 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (New Life Version)
Having Self Control
My Christian brothers, you know everyone should listen much and speak little. He should be slow to become angry. A man’s anger does not allow him to be right with God. James 1:19-20 (New Life Version)
- Expiring Joy
…happy the man who puts his trust in God. Romans 4:6-8 (New Life Version)
My Funny Valentine
Enjoy Valentine Day secure in the understanding that our valentine to God is far more that cards, flowers, and candy. For me, the thing that I love the most about the all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-blessing God that we serve is that while He commands us to love Him as we have seen in Matthew 22:36-39, he does not make us love Him. God shows His loving power to us by allowing the best decision that we will ever make, loving Him, to be made by us. God gives us the power to decide. This Valentine Day, I hope you will give God a valentine and love Him with all of your heart, soul, and mind.
Happy Valentine Day!!!!