In 1992 I met the love of my life. She was awesome-pretty as a flower, actually laughed at my lame jokes and she could bake the most scrumptious chocolate cake in town. I couldn't help myself, I fell helplessly in love with the girl.
We would phone daily and chat for hours and I would leave notes on her doorstep proclaiming my undying love for her. One evening on the porch steps watching the sunset, I told her I would buy her the moon just because I loved her. She turned to me and said, "If you love me, show me!"
I wasn't expecting that response, so a year later I dedicated my life to her and we got married. I haven't looked back since and love her more with each year we have together.
Thinking back on those moments I cannot help but think how similar it is with God. He tells us He loves us, and professes His desire for us constantly throughout the Bible, but what use is love if it is isolated to just the words we speak? We all know that talk is cheap, and the word 'love' can be used for so many things. For example, I love my wife, but in the same breath I can also say I love pizza, my dog and going fishing. So when God says He loves me, what does He mean and is He willing to demonstrate it? True love may be expressed in words but it is made real by our actions!
John 3: 16 tells us that God so loved you that He chose to demonstrate it in the most compelling way. He gave His son to take our punishment for our sinful ways so that we could have peace, no guilt and relationship with Him. But it goes beyond that, He promises a life of fulfillment, Hope and the promise of eternity with Him. All it takes from us, is simple belief and trust in God's love and a confession of thanksgiving for the gift of Jesus.
I struggled for many years not knowing love or what it meant to be loved. I looked in all the wrong places to find acceptance. That all ended when I came to an understanding of how God loved me, with all my imperfections and failings. I didn't have to become something different to receive His love, I just had to accept that He loved me. And how that relationship with God has affected all my other relationships-with my wife, my children, friends and workmates.
Love, true love, is waiting for you. The Bible tells us that God not only expresses love, but He is love. He is love made real, He gives love a face and voice and when we look at Jesus we see love with flesh on. It doesn't get more real than this.
Do you need to know love? Have you been denied love or had a bad experience with love? Today we celebrate love, but what is love without the one who invented it, who in His very nature and character is love, and who wants to demonstrate His perfect love to you? Can I challenge you to pray a simple prayer: "God, if you love me, then accept me as I am and show Your love to me."As you celebrate love today, may you also experience real and true love, the love of God for you. Happy Valentine's Day.
- Pastor Evans Hundermark can be contacted at email@example.com.