February 14th, is known as Valentine’s Day. It is a day in which we like to express our love for our “sweethearts.” On that day, we will give and receive Valentine’s cards, eat chocolate and quote love poetry to one another,
“My love is like a red, red, rose that’s newly sprung in June…”
We give gifts of roses, chocolate and Teddy bears to the ones we love the most and we receive their gifts of love in return. It truly is the most romantic day of the year.
A Different Kind of Valentine’s Day
Yet the Valentine that we give to one another pale in comparison to that greatest expression of love, given by the Creator Himself. That greatest of Valentines came in the form of Jesus Christ.
The Bible teaches us,
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17
It also teaches that Jesus was that perfect gift – given out of the motive of purest love.
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:9-10
The gospel message is essentially a message of love. It is a message of the Creator’s love for His creation.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him…” – 1 John 4:9
God’s Valentine Message to the World
It is true that the gospel is a love letter to man from God. However, the gospel is NOT just a letter that proclaims the love of God and demands nothing in return – as some are teaching today. The gospel reveals God’s love toward us, yet it also demands that we love God in return.
The Bible clearly teaches that God loves all men and wants all to be saved.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” – Titus 2:11
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4
However, the gospel of Christ also reveals that the saved are the ones who truly love God – those who truly love God are those who keep His commandments.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments…” – John 14:15
“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” – 1 John 2:5
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – 1 John 5:2-3
All men are loved by their Creator. It was because of His great love that He sent us the Greatest of Gifts. If we, the created, truly want to demonstrate our love and appreciation toward Him for what He has done then all we must do is humbly obey His Word. If we do that, we will abide in the love of God.
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love…” – John 15:10
By Jack W. McNiel