Admist the chocolate, roses or admiration greatly desired or welcomely received on this Valentine's Day, I'd like to encourage you to reflect on a deeper love. A love given as the perfect gift which rather than distracting from other gifts of love (Valentine or otherwise) gives value, meaning & perspective to them. This is of course God's love which John writes quite eloquently about in 1 John Ch.3...
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" v1
A love far from stingy, but poured out upon us with an extravagance that we only dare to imagine. It's in this love that we find our true identity & our deepest value. If you've lost this recently, stop here & take a good, slow chew over its meaning.
"This is how we know what love is..." Chocolates, flowers, encouraging notes, sex, a ring of commitment? All potentially good, but no "... Jesus Christ laid down His life for us." v16
We were dead. Spiritually dead inside. Lifeless & without hope.
But in Jesus' sacrifice He exchanged His life for ours and opened the way to receive the greatest love gift... life, to the full.
And as we embrace this life what will it look like? John helps us out again, amongst other things our response should look like this... "And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers & sisters... let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions & in truth." v16,18
So receive love where you can today. Savour & enjoy it.
Then give it away where you can. Pass it on.
Love your spouse or partner or girlfriend/boyfriend. But also love others you encounter - your parents, your siblings, your friends, your boss, the poor, the marginalised, the bullied, the elderly, the forgotten, foreigners, strangers, even your enemies.
And love not just with your words, but with your actions & leading people into what is true. For this is love actually.