My thoughts on Valentines day 2016
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18)
When you love someone, you show your love towards them by how you act. You want them to feel good so you buy gifts, do nice things, help them out, and make yourselves available to them. These are all “doing” words. We choose to show our love through our actions. Reality is you have at some point made a decision that this person is important in your life and you love them therefore your behavior towards them (the best you can aim for) is the very love spoken of In Corinthians.
Love is more than an emotion. In the Bible, God commands us to love each other, and you can’t command an emotion. If I asked you right now to stop whatever you’re doing and just be angry or upset for the sake of it, you actually couldn’t do that on the spot unless you’re acting or doing drama! Then it’s fake! We are not designed for emotions to change on command. And we are not designed to express or receive a love that is fake and has no meaning.
Love is something we make a conscious decision to do which produces the feel good emotion that goes with it. We feel loved.
I can explain this idea best in how it spoke to me when I realized the importance of Love in action. Getting my first pet, kitten. I could have got the kitten and told it every day I loved it and left it at that. I think if that was the case the little kitten would never have learnt to use the kitty litter (the patience that takes), she would not have been fed the proper food she needed as she grew, she would have not received the snuggles etc and I also would have missed out on a lot of fun and laughter and joy that came with a happy kitten. I believe by simply leaving it with the words “I love you”, and doing nothing I would have achieved nothing more than a sad and neglected kitten that would have had a shocking start to life and possibly never made it to the 15 beautiful years she did. Love requires action so it can be nurtured and there is growth.
In the world today we mostly hear the word love in two ways “I fell in love” or I love my car, house, clothes etc…”
- Falling in love makes it sound so accidental, I mean we don’t really plan to fall do we! We would avoid falling in every way possible! I personally don’t understand why we refer to as ‘fall in love’, when in reality we choose to love. We may like someone and hope for more in that relationship but that requires an action on our part to go and do something eg ask the person on a date etc.. That isn’t accidental in any way.
- Love of stuff we own, well we were designed to love people and use objects, today people mostly love objects and use people. Enough said on that, as I believe that says it all. “Love people, not things; use things, not people.” Spencer W Kimball.
But God says:
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:25)
I’m reminded of our Christmas production 2015 – we created a scene where Jesus and God, stroll a busy street having a conversation about creation just before Jesus was to leave His Father’s side for our sake. His love for us required an amazing act. He could have said – look at those people oh how much I love them and simply done nothing more than that. I mean he said he loves us – those words could have been enough, right, but no! He chose to leave his Father’s house to come and save us. He loved us too much to leave us in the mess we’d created!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son!” Love is displayed through action here in an amazing sacrificial and selfless act. Even God didn’t stop just at words. He chose to give us His only son – He desires to have a loving relationship with us. God is Love.
He design us to love and be loved. What a peaceful world it would be if we all just loved one another as scripture has asked us to do!
Bible also says:
If I give away all I have and deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing”
(1 Cor 13:3)
Love is clearly an important part of our lives. We love because God first loved us. We are to do everything in and through Love or we gain nothing.
Jesus said – “not my will but yours be done” : if we all took that stand every day and decide to be more like Jesus there’d be more love shown then hatred in the world today. We’d become more selfless and less selfish.
We can learn from the selfless actions of Christ: He was crucified because of His love for us. There was no other way so He gave up His life so we could have another chance. Again he leaves that decision to us:
Scripture say: “…that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Love isn’t forced. It’s given for us to choose and decide if we want to accept it.
How does the world know what we stand for?
How will they know who we stand with?
How does anyone know that we’ve decided to follow Christ?
Look through the window maybe and think – oh there’s that weird group on Sunday again…no
Scripture says: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
We are to love one another. Our love for one another should reveal Christ into the world!
We want to change the world around us – simply start now and love one another. How does the world see that – our actions should reveal that more than our words? Choose today to Love as Christ loved us.
“..Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18)
As mission impossible would say:
your mission should you choose to accept it is to love each other by your actions and not just words, just as Christ did for us.
How does this kind of Love help you personally
How does this help to understand your identity in Christ?
I believe once you really understand the depth of how much Christ loves you, you may begin to apply that to your own life first. Christ is the perfect Valentine. As you learn to accept Christs Love for you, than you can accept that your identity comes directly from knowing Him. He put is love into action by coming down and paying the price for your sins. He took it all so you can experience love in all its goodness. The world we live in has a view that you need to have the right job, the right man (woman), the right house etc to have any value or be known. Christ asks that you simply accept His love for you, live according to His will and perfect plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). That is where your identity comes from. His perfect love for you is enough. Life is about what He has already done for you and on your behalf, simply because of His perfect love for you.
Note: Some of the thoughts in love through action have come from reading material from Pastor Rick Warren as I love his material and have found it helpful to my spiritual knowledge and growth.