by Kevin Burton
We’ve had some fun looking at Valentine’s Day this week from different angles. The big day is finally here!
Depending on your circumstances Valentine’s Day is a magic carpet ride, butterflies in your stomach, a pain in the heart, maybe a pain in the neck.
It may be sweet as cotton candy but it’s just as insubstantial. Fun as it can be, it really is a contrivance, made to sell candy and cards.
I can’t finish a week talking about love without talking about the only love you can truly count on. That is the love of God, with all its implications.
My valentine story led me to a vow. That is also true for Romona Vincent. She tells the story of her Valentine’s Day wedding in 2008 and puts this whole love thing in perspective. I found her story on www.faithgateway.com,
“On a torrential Valentine’s Day, in a small church in Southern California, I walked down the aisle and pledged my love and my life to a man I was ready to spend the rest of my days with,” Vincent writes.
“Making a commitment to love someone isn’t always an easy thing. In our culture we associate Valentine’s Day with all of the external trappings of romance. But lifelong love between a man and a woman requires much more than chocolate, flowers and romantic dinners.
“Love involves self-sacrifice, trust and faith in an unseen but ever-present God.
Love is not for the faint of heart. Do you know what the Bible says about love?
“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. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13: 4-8 NIV).
“As you can see, God gives us a high standard to live up to when it comes to love, Vincent writes. “Love isn’t just about finding someone who will make us happy. Love is also about finding someone we are willing to lay down our lives for, just as Jesus lay down his life for us (1 John 3:16).”
Strong as the love for a spouse may be, the love of God far exceeds it.
“When my husband and I met, we lived on opposite sides of the country,” Vincent wrote. “From the beginning of our relationship, we prayed. We sought counsel. We asked God if it was in His perfect will for us to move forward – and if so, in what time frame.”
“Eventually circumstances made the path clear. To move our relationship to the next level, I moved more than 3000 miles to begin a new life. I sold my home and left my family, friends, church and career behind.”
“Adjusting to a new life wasn’t easy. But it was a sacrifice I willingly made to be with the person I loved.”
Vincent said God brought home to her a truth, one that applies to all of us.
“As much as you love your spouse and your children and as much as they love you in return, your love for one another cannot begin to compare with God’s love for you!”
Vincent lists some Bible passages about the depth of God’s love:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).”
“But God demonstrated his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, God died for us (Romans 5:8).”
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).”
“Greater love has no man than this, that he lay to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15: 13).”
“We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4: 29).”
God’s love for us is so great that it’s difficult for human minds to grasp,” Vincent writes.
I will add one verse, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Heb.13: 8 (NASB).
God is unchanging. The storms that toss and turn us don’t affect him. That means the things Vincent said about the love of God are better than set in stone, they are set in Heaven.