In less than three weeks, Valentine’s Day will be upon us. Try as we might, we can’t ignore it. From the mall to the restaurant to the florist to the grocery store, merchants make every effort in January and early February to focus our attention on one four-letter word—love.
As the people of God, we truly do want to make the most of every opportunity to act in love toward others—whether spouse or children, neighbors or friends, co-workers or sweethearts.
But even as we share in the fun of the cards, flowers, and all the chocolate-covered walnut clusters, we might also want to stop for a moment to consider those who may feel unloved or even abandoned at this time of year:
- the young, single, sleep-deprived mom who can’t make ends meet;
- the sailors serving thousands of miles from home in the Persian Gulf or South China Sea;
- the frail resident of a nursing home who has outlived his spouse and long since buried his friends.
No matter what our stage or condition in life, all of us crave love. Without it, newborns fail to thrive and may even die. Solitary confinement is one of earth’s most painful punishments, even for hardened criminals.
What a blessing then, to know the unfailing love of our Savior, Jesus! Scripture uses the term translated as “unfailing love” nearly three dozen times; each time, it describes the love of God—not that of any human being. Human love often flickers and sometimes even fails. Yet, despite our failures to love, despite our frequent refusals to act in love, the love of our Lord toward us never, ever fails (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Jesus’ unfailing love carried him all the way to Calvary, there to die for us in the misery of our sins. Now, refreshed day by day by the forgiveness and acceptance he won for us, we become people who refresh others. Jesus’ love flows through us like a perpetual fountain. In our love, others come to know the love of Jesus. This is exactly what our Lord himself promised. Listen! (Read John 4:14.)
Prayer: Dear Jesus, grant us wisdom to know and understand the love we crave, the love only you can give. Then allow us to show your unconditional love to those around us. Send someone across our path, someone we might not ordinarily notice, and work in us the desire and the ability to love that person in you. In your name we pray. Amen.
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