By LISA SOREY
It’s February again. There is no way the advertising world would let us forget we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month. Before the Christmas decorations are fully removed from the stores, the red and pink Valentine’s decorations, candy and cards begin to explode on commercial shelf space.
Is it any wonder that as humans we crave love? We are bombarded by media campaigns, television programs, and music all focused on love. We peruse social media where people proclaim their love in as many different ways as there are people, and relationship statuses change by the minute. There is no way to stop thinking about LOVE!
Love is so powerful! All of us desire and need to feel loved. We crave it. We daydream about it. We work hard to get it! And most of us feel horrible when we feel rejected—when we have lost in a love relationship.
But where does love come from? In the Bible, 1 John 4:8 tells us, “God is love.” And one verse prior, we are told that love comes from God. Love originated with God. In my mind, it is another mystery, similar to God’s existence. In other words, God has always been here. Therefore, love has always been present. What an amazing thought!
Chapter 4 of 1 John explains beautifully how God’s love works. Throughout this chapter, God implores us to love each other. Before we go further, we need to understand the love God has for us and that He wants us to have for each other is described in the Bible as AGAPE—unconditional, willing to give 100% and not require anything in return. Agape love continues even when the one being loved is being unlovable.
WOW! No wonder this is called “God’s love.” We can’t love this way without God giving us the power to do so—and thankfully He does give us that ability through His Life in us! As I think of the Valentine’s candy and cards in the stores, I am afraid we have gotten away from God’s plan to have Agape love for each other.
So how do we get back on track? How do we find real love? I believe that we can begin to discover the love that God designed for us if we do a few simple things.
The first is to learn to live in obedience to God’s plans for me. If I want to live in love and obedience I have got to saturate myself with God’s Word to know His plan. I really want to soak it up! I need to study, examine and take time to think about it. The more I learn about God’s amazing plan for us, the clearer obedience becomes to me.
If we strive to live daily as God planned for us to live, we show Him that we really do desire a relationship with Him. And He tells us in His Word that His love is reciprocal—if we love Him, we will be loved by Him! Obedience can be hard. And if we are just obeying from duty of following rules, do we feel His love?
Personally, I feel God’s awesome love when I spend time in prayer. And if you are new to prayer, it might be hard or awkward at first. But God desires and craves a relationship with us! He has a passion for you and me! HE IS LOVE and Him sharing His love is vitally important to Him! YOU are vitally important to Him!
And what better way to build a relationship than to have a conversation with someone. Having a relationship with God works the same way! Even if I don’t spend as much time during the day communicating with God as I might want, I know that I feel immensely better after I have spent time with Him.
Do you need proof that God really loves you? Do have some lingering doubt? Let me share a few things with you that I hope might convince you that God does love you.
God allowed His only Son, Jesus to come to earth and live among us. But that’s not all!
God sacrificed Jesus for us, so that we can spend eternity with Him! John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
But it isn’t just the book of John or 1 John that tells us about living in God’s love. All throughout the Bible are God’s prescriptions showing us how we are to live in love. One example is Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
God holds nothing back in His love for us! His love is totally undeserved but given as a totally free gift because of His grace and mercy. God does not love us because we first loved Him. He loves us in spite of all that we have done. This is the true love we seek, desire and crave. This is the true Valentine love!
Lisa Sorey is a recent graduate of Mississippi College with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. She is currently employed at Summit Counseling as an Intern Associate. Lisa and her husband, Adrian, reside in Terry, MS.