• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Oh, How He Loves Us!

I think most of us have given and/or received a folded up piece of notebook paper passed to us by a third party that says, "Do you love me? Check yes or no." It made you feel so special (or sick depending on who it was from). Prior to Valentines, Mom would take me to the store to pick out the pack of valentines cards to take to school. It always included two teacher cards. I would carefully select who got what card. My best friends and my crush(es) got top priority. When Valentines Day finally got here we would put them in everyone"s big envelope. Lot's of thought went into those valentines. Then you came home and went through all of them again! Some came with suckers attached! Some had candy hearts with them. In high school we even had a fund raiser where you could send a valentine or candy gram to someone. Someone was very special to receive a candy gram! I sure am glad God is not as picky as I was about who got what Valentine!


$130.97 is the average estimated amount an individual will spend on Valentine's Day. $224 million the estimated number of roses grown for this one day. $18.6 billion is the projected amount American's will spend for Valentine's Day. $1.6 billion is how much will be spent on candy. $1.9 billion is the amount people will spend on flowers. $4.4 billion is the amount people will spend on diamonds, gold and silver. (I hope my husband is one of those!) Over 6 million will propose on Valentine's day.


God didn’t spend billions of dollars on us, He sacrificed His only Son which is priceless! With spring around the corner we are reminded that He sends us flowers all the time. This goodness is for every one whether we are single, married, divorced, separated, etc. The best kind of love is God's love! I think it is wonderful that we recognize a day to take the time to show affection and to tell those we care about that we love them. 1 John 4: 19, "We love because he first loved us."


All of this sounds fun and nice but the truth is it is fleeting! After the thousands of pounds of chocolate have been eaten and we are regretting it, the millions of cards have been exchanged and the billions of dollars have been spent, it is February 15 and Valentine's day is over! We go back to our daily grind and the focus on love goes out with the candy wrappers and dead roses! This probably happens because there is such an emphasis on a temporary, emotionally driven feeling we call love. God sends us a very different message of love in Isaiah 54: 10. "'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has compassion on you."


God's love is not fleeting! Hebrews 13: 8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." He will never leave us or forsake us. Hebrews 13: 5, "'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" We are told again in Deuteronomy 31: 6, "...he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." This is God's love which is agape love. It is an everlasting love, unconditional love, unselfish love. God's love is available to anyone who will hope their hearts to Him! He does not pick and choose like I did. He loves and wants us all! 1 Corinthians 13: 8, "Love never fails..."


So as we think about reaching out to others, let's remember to give God a gift this Valentine's day. I always say God gives us family units so we can understand His feelings for us. I love quality time with my children - that is the best gift. God is our Father and He wants quality time with us - we are His children! Mark 12: 30, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Give God your heart through Jesus Christ. Give God the gift of prayer - talking with Him. Remember prayer is a two way conversation so you can talk and listen. We can listen to God by hearing, reading, studying, and mediating on His Word.


Get up today and praise Him for all the blessings He has poured on you and yours! Doing this will build your faith and confidence in knowing His love for us no matter what, when, where, why or how. If you have never checked the box, check "yes"! Psalm 34: 8, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." Happy Valentine's Day!


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