The Month of Love
February is the month of love, or so they say. To most I’d say that is rather obvious. When Christmas is near its end, and perhaps even before that, retail stores begin their arduous task of replacing their Santa and snowman displays with red. Red everything, not to mention the various forms of candy to choose from, which are amazingly the same candy you could buy in December. However, this time it’s in a heart-shaped box as if by that very maneuver you gain some brownie points with your spouse by buying that for them. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Cupid, that little angelic-like diaper-clad fictitious being who supposedly can shoot you with his arrow and intoxicate you so as to lead you to fall in love with the first person that you see. Maybe Cupid has been replaced with that heart-shaped box of Hershey candies? Either way, the result is the same; love is highlighted for a financial cost.
Am I a pessimist? Absolutely not! I believe in love and I know for certain that love “costs” us all something. For married couples it is the laying aside of the “what I want for myself” to “what I know we need for each other.” The same goes for our children. Their greater good depends on our willingness to sacrifice ourselves.
What is my point in all of this? My point is very simple. Love is real and there is a cost to love. As much as I hate to think about how much a Hallmark card costs now compared to just a few years ago I’m still reminded that it is still worth it to pay that price … perhaps just for my spouse and not the many relatives and friends Hallmark would have you also send cards to. Paying that price is still worth it because I’m reminded that Jesus did the same for us. Jesus when asked what the greatest commandment was responded by quoting Scripture. Imagine that? He said specifically,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. “
Jesus here recites to the Pharisee the Shema which is the Hebrews declaration of faith in God which is based on three Old Testament passages on who God is and their response to his self-revelation. The Jesus says this,
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Did you hear that? The entire Bible depends on love! We are to love God with our whole being and then our neighbors as ourselves. If those verses do not imply a cost then I don’t know what else would.
Let’s go a little further. John 3:16, the verse most of Christendom here in the West reminds us just how much God loves us. It reads,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever will be believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
So, did God love us? You bet! How much? So much that He sent his most prized possession. He sent himself! But why? So that we would be given the choice to believe and not perish but have life everlasting. If that’s not love then I don’t know what is, and there is a cost associated with this. He came to die for you and me. That was the cost that Jesus was willing to pay. Jesus says in John 15:13,
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
That is exactly what Jesus did for us and by doing so we can know of no greater love. In fact, we are called to do the same. That my friends is the essence of love and the cost involved. Love will cost you but remember it costs God more!
So, this February I want to remind you that love is the greatest gift that we can both receive and give, and we see this in Christ. His love is freely given, because he already loved us, and it can only be freely received. No one can be compelled to accept Christ. It is a choice that must be freely made. No amount of legalism can get you to Heaven. Only the pure, unabashed love for a Savior who came to die for you can, and it will when you set yourself aside and truly accept him and love him by making him both your Lord and Savior.
See you in the card aisle!
February 5th at 6:30
February 24th at 6:30