Wednesday, February 5, 2014

        I have sweet memories of the diminutive Valentines cards that came a dozen or so in a box. With some encouragement from my parents, I would kindly sit down and sign them, and as secretive as is possible for a grade-school child, I would leave one in the desk of each schoolmate. Upon occasion, I remember leaving candy hearts in the envelope, as well. For me, there was just as much fun and joy in giving a special surprise, as it was in receiving one.  
        Even today, to most of us, a card means love. That got me thinking about those who feel they've never received love, whether in a card, a deed, or a kind word. Most of us have suffered, to some degree, from the emotional pain of rejection, unfair criticism, or an unkind word or deed. Perhaps we were looked over for a job promotion, or not included in some festivity, or forgotten about when times were tough, and a shoulder to lean on would have made all of the difference. Remembering the pain from being the recipient of one or more of these acts, though, should be far better than a memory of being the contributor. Having a trail of unkind acts is never a good legacy to leave behind. 
         On this Valentine's Day, let's remember giving a card, candy, or flowers is a sweet sentimental act, and a thoughtful gesture. But the greatest love of all, God's sacrificial gift of his son, was the truest love of all. There is no greater love than that of Christ's love for us, his children. So, let's try and make everyday like Valentine's Day, filled with sweet gestures, kind words….and lots of candy!

John 15:9-17

New International Version (NIV)
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

1 John 4:10-11

New International Version (NIV)
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

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