I've always loved Valentines Day. I remember as a child carefully selecting which Valentine card I would bring to school. I certainly didn't want to give one that had the word love on it to just any boy, and I saved the cutest ones with the most glitter for my best friends. On Valentines Day morning we would wake up and find on the end of our beds a chocolate heart and some sort of gift of love that my mom had left us sometime during the night. And my favorite- the conversation hearts- heart shapped sugar candy with messages such as "call me, be mine, first kiss, it's love, dream girl" and more. I have found that my children are just as in love with the idea of Valentines Day as I was. Aleigha and Mya have spend endless hours cutting out tiny red, pink and white hearts, carefully selecting the perfect stickers to put on them. My oldest son and I went shopping just today to buy the perfect Valentine Day gift for his 'sweetheart' as well. Love is in the air- just like Jesus hoped it would be- but not just on Valentines Day. As a matter of fact, love is so important to Jesus that Scripture overflows with verses about love, with passages that speak of divine love, brotherly love and romantic love. Just open your bible and the word love is there over and over again. Jesus was so serious about us loving one another that he commanded us to "Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:12. So I got to thinking about that and asking myself the question- do I take the command to love seriously? Am I always loving others the way Jesus loves me? Or do I tend to only love those who are loveable- the ones who are easy to love? What about the lady who was rude to me in the grocery store, or the man who cut me off in traffic? I confess I probably failed there.
"Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind." Psalm 26:2
Lord, I pray today that you emply the contents of my heart so that I can become more useful to you. I invite you to once again be the master designer of my heart- redecorate, rebuild and expand as you see need. Do whatever it take to make me more like you, Lord. The process may be painful but the the gain is more than worth it. When I think of the price you paid for me- the ultimate act of love, I recognize the importance of loving others the way you love me- unconditionally. Love through me today Lord, and when I love others, help me to prove that love by following through with intense obedience and sacrifice, because that is what you did for me.
"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth". 1 John 3:18