Valentine’s Day 2012

There will be cards, chocolate, and fields of flowers moved around today by hand, through the postal service, and even the internet as we all try to tell those that we love – how much we love.

But all that “stuff” means nothing without the real stuff. I mean buying a card or five pounds of chocolate or a three-carat diamond will mean nothing to someone if every day we do not love them.

Now I could go on and on about what love really means but why try to reinvent the wheel when Jesus and Paul already did it so well. So I am going to bow away and let them speak to me and to you. May we open our hearts and receive God’s Word today, growing deep roots and yet freely giving it away.

[Jesus said,] “I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you. If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.

I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am. Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you. The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them. And you are my friends, if you obey me. Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.

You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. So I command you to love each other.”     John 15:9-17 (CEV)

So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.     1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 (NLT)

Now listen –
At the Cross by Brian Doerksen

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