Dear Friends in Christ,
This month we celebrate a holiday that has to do with love.
Valentine’s Day was originally a Holiday commemorating St. Valentine, a church festival. Now it has taken on more of the secular bent, with the opportunity to show someone feelings of love.
Love can come in many forms: puppy love, romantic love, brotherly love, tough love. Which kind of love is the best? Which kind of love is the most important? Which kind of love caries the most power and influence? All of these kinds of love are important and valuable in their own way, but none of these is the best kind of love. The best kind of love is the kind of love that defines, purifies, and intensifies all other kinds of love. The greatest love of all is the love of God given to us through Jesus Christ, His Son.
The Apostle John tells us about this kind of love in his first epistle:
1 John 4:7-11 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
In every way that we love one another, the love of God first needs to shine through. All other kinds of love seek to satisfy self and selfish desires, which most always have sinful origins. But the love of God, shown to us through Jesus is totally selfless, only giving and concerned with the needs of others, just as Jesus was only concerned with our forgiveness and eternal life when He died for us. So our love also needs to be selfless, not thinking of ourselves, but first of others. This is where true, meaningful, and pure love originates.
Just as John says in a later verse: 1 John 4:19 "We love because He first loved us."
Since this is the source of our love, may all our days, not only Valentine’s Day, be spent loving all others with the pure and selfless love of Christ.
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Paul K. Pett