I like Valentine’s Day. All the bright hearts, sweets, poems of love and affection, flowers, cards, etc., are fun to give and receive. Florists are at their busiest this time of year. Hopefully kind words and deeds will continue on through the year.
It is interesting how much the word love is used. We love a special flavor, food, dessert, feeling, person, animal, place, country, flower, color, song, etc. The word is overused and loses some of its meaning.
Jesus spoke of greater love (John 15:13). A man laying down his life for his friends expresses greater love. This has happened in disasters and war.
However, when Jesus died for us it was not only to bless our life here and now but to make eternal life available.
John wrote in his letters to believers, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16). While actually giving our life doesn’t occur for most of us, we do often have opportunity to give of our lives. To do that is to share our resources, time, and talents with others. Helping someone out may change our schedules and our finances a little bit, but it may make a big difference to the one receiving help.
When it is all said and done, love is sometimes more said than done. A young man was describing his devotion and love for his girlfriend. He professed to be willing to even die for her. She replied, “Oh, you’re always saying that but you never do.”
Fortunately, someone did exactly that. Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT). This great love produces great changes in us. Romans 5 says we were without strength, we were sinners and even enemies of God when Christ died for us. Now, because he endured death on the cross, we experience amazing changes by his word and Spirit. I’ve heard it said that Jesus takes us as we are but he doesn’t leave us as we were.
Powerful changes are at work.
1 Corinthians 13 is widely recognized as the “Love Chapter.” As many as 15 actions are attributed to love in this writing. It ends by listing three greats: faith, hope, and love — with love being the greatest.
I found this expanded version of John 3:16 somewhere in my studies. I don’t remember the author to give credit but it details a great truth about love.
God greatest giver
So loved greatest motive
The world greatest need
That he gave greatest act
His only Son greatest gift
That whosoever greatest invitation
Believes in him greatest opportunity
Should not perish greatest deliverance
But have eternal life greatest joy
Don’t neglect the greatest love from the greatest God man has every known. It will make the greatest change in your life.
Mitch Glover is pastor of Sterling Pentecostal Church. Sunday services include Bible classes for all ages at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. Bible study is Thursday at 7 p.m. Visit sterlingpentecostalchurch.com.
• By PASTOR MITCH GLOVER, Sterling Pentecostal Church