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Feb 04

The Name that Means Love — a free devotion for children’s ministry

Beforehand, cut a large heart and a large cross from construction paper. For each child, prepare a small “kit” containing a red construction paper heart and several Valentine candy conversation hearts. 

Hold up the large construction paper heart.

What celebration comes to mind when you see this?

Children's Valentine of God's Love ImageValentine’s Day is a fun day to celebrate. The word valentine doesn’t mean “heart” or “love.” Valentine is just a man’s name. But long, long, long ago, God’s people started celebrating love on February 14th and calling it “Valentine’s Day.” We think they did this to help them remember a man named Valentine who did many kind things for God’s people. Those people wanted to remember his kindnesses. Ever since then, when we hear the name Valentine, we think of love. 

Do you know the name of another person that reminds us of love? Yes, Jesus’ name makes us think of love. Listen to what Jesus said one time. (Read John 15:13.)

Hold the paper cross over the paper heart.

The cross tells us even more about real love than any Valentine card can. God loved us so much that he sent his only Son to live and die for us and to come alive from the dead. Because of what Jesus did for us, we have new life, life here on earth and life forever and ever and ever one day in heaven. 

We don’t know what the name Valentine means. But we do know exactly what the name Jesus means. God sent an angel to tell us! Listen to what that angel said. (Read Matthew 1:20-21.)

The name Jesus means, “the Lord saves.” Jesus saves us from our sins. He washes them all away, and makes us God’s very own, dearly loved children! Why would God do such a wonderful thing for us? We can find the answer in 1 John 4:8. (Read it.) 

God’s perfect love helps us love one another. It’s fun to trade Valentine cards and candy with our friends. But it’s even more fun to do loving, kind things for others all year round. What kind, loving things do you like to do? 

Let children respond. Then distribute the “kits” you made. Then pray together: 

Dear Jesus, you are the best Valentine of all. Thank you for giving your life to save me. Help me share your love with everyone. Amen.

 

© 2014 CTA, Inc. 

 

 

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