As we celebrate Valentine’s day, I want you to truly thank The Lord for giving you someone you can truly call your Valentine. Praise God that He has bless you with someone to have and to hold. For many who are courting, what an adventurous and joyful time to go out together, eat together and study one another as you continue to be open to the Lord regarding His choice of a mate for you. I pray that the Lord reveals His plan for you. Make sure the communication line between you and your God is not blocked by emotionalism.
If you are not in a relationship at the moment, and you are seeking God for one, know that He is never too late. Thank Him because He knows your needs and has created someone just for you, and in His own time He will bring you both together.
But above all, I want you to know and appreciate the FACT that YOU are God’s Valentine. He loves you so much. God can and will do anything for you. He will not withhold from you ANY GOOD GIFT. He has given so much to you. He loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son for you!
Please read what follows courtesy of Pastor Joel Santos of Evangelical Christian Church in the Philippines.
Newspaper columnist and Minister George Crane tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. “I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me.”
Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan “Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you’ve convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, and then drop the bomb. Tell him that you’re getting a divorce. That will really hurt him.”
With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, “Beautiful, beautiful. He will be surprised!” And she did it with enthusiasm. For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, and sharing. When she didn’t return, Crane called. “Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?”
“Divorce?” she exclaimed. “Never! I discovered I really do love him.” Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion.
The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds. -J. Allan Petersen
In the world of the 20th century, loves seems to be so far. Crime rates are increasing, there is more violence on the streets, and people are more lovers of themselves.
In times of pressures, instead of being driven closer together, families seem to tear apart. When there is problem in the church and there is a need for a solution, the church is quarrelling and breaking away. The power of love seems to be absent even in the people of God.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Paul is writing this letter to a group of immature Christians in the ancient city of Corinth. The Corinthians were people who had cut loose from their own heritage. Corinth was over thrown by the Romans in 149 B.C. Then nearly a hundred years later the descendants of those who had been carried away in chains came back and rebuilt the city.
Paul went to Corinth to preach the good news. Many were converted but still had the culture of their environment in their hearts. But because he loved them he diligently wrote at least 2 letters to them, giving them instructions regarding how Christians live and love in a secular world.
I. THE VALUE OF LOVE (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Remember, the Corinthians were Greeks, and they prided themselves on their great orators. Demosthenes, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle were all Greeks. What Paul is saying is although he also was a skilled orator with the power to sway vast crowds, if he did not have love, he did not have anything. It can therefore be said that if you are a humble person, whose words are backed with love than you are greater than all those people in the headlines.
Love says psychiatrist A.A. Brill “is necessary to survival. It is quite essential for a person to have love,” says a doctor, “as to have pure air and food to sustain him.”
II. THE TEST OF LOVE (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
When cartoonist Charles Schulz dined in the home of a friend, the host remarked that he needed to remove his dinner jacket. He disappeared and returned a few minutes with a heavy chain from which a medallion hung, and across the face of the medallion were the letters “love”. Schultz fingered it for a few minutes and then handed it back. With a wry “Charley Brown” smile on his face, he said, “It’s just too hard for me. Do you have one that says, LIKE? In his honesty, Schultz pointed out an important truth. No matter how necessary it is, love is not easy. Only God can really turn our “likes” to “loves” by the help of grace and faith.
Should I really defend the premise that many today really don’t know what love is?
What are the tests of love?
First, says Paul, love suffers long
A young man said to his father at breakfast one morning, “Dad, I’m going to get married.” “How do you know you’re ready to get married?” asked the father, “are you in love?” ”I sure am,” said the son. “How do you know you’re in love?” asked the father. “Last night as I was kissing my girlfriend good-night, her dog bit me and I didn’t feel the pain until I got home.”
This is obviously not an expression of true love.
“We absolutely can’t wait to get married “says a young couple in their late teens. You can’t wait? If you can’t, I would seriously question that what attracts you to each other is real love. Many couples enter into marriages because of physical attraction, pleasant personalities, stableness, etc. All these factors lead to hasty marriages.
Second, Love is patience
The patience of love which helps a person before marriage also helps him after marriage.
Third, Love is kind
There was an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times that told of the impact of love on neglected children who are classified as retarded. Children, who are ignored and neglected, not kissed or hugged, find their intelligence retrogresses.
The prominent psychiatrist Karl Menninger was featured in an article carried by the Chicago Daily News entitled ‘Love working miracles for the mentally ill in Kansas.’ Dr Menninger contended that love is one of the most effective cures in healing mental illness. When reporters asked Menninger how 80% of his patients recovered, he replied, the secret is not in electroshock treatment, surgery, group-therapy, drugs, etc. These all do play a part, but the real secret is contained in a single word, LOVE!
Love envies not
The New American Standard Bible puts it, Love is not jealous. Solomon was a man who knew something about jealousy. Song of Solomon 8:6 “Jealousy is as cruel as the grave.” Jealousy can destroy the warmth of a home. Jealousy is an enemy of real love.
Real love knows nothing of selfishness
It constantly puts the welfare of another above your own welfare. (Philippians 2:4)
Love bears all things
LL Huffman received letter from a foreign friend and the letter was filled with expressions that were quaint because the friend’s knowledge of English grammar was quite poor; however, Huffman’s heart was deeply touched as he read the post script: “The mistakes you will cover with the coat of love.”
III. THE PERMANENCY OF LOVE (1 Corinthians 13:8-13)
In verse 8, Paul makes a rather categorical statement when he says, “Love never fails.” Paul is saying that on the stage of life, love is bound to win. It is certain to succeed and those who would practice it will never be defeated no matter how poorly they appear to be playing their part on the stage of life.
There will come a day in your life when everything that you possess will fall away, but love will live on and on.
One of my favorite posters in our home states:
Love is like a bridge that connects our hearts when we’re apart, the rainbow that colours our world when we’re together, and the bond that keeps us learning and growing together in the LORD!