Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day...aka...Just Another Day

Well, according to the rest of the world...it's Valentine's Day...according to me...it's Tuesday. (No, this is not some sort of "singles-awareness-day" post or an "I hate Valentine's Day" post.) According to society, today is a day about love. Today is the day that you are either enjoying time with your loved one or hating the world because you're single...at least that's what I've seen. I'll go ahead and put it out there...I'm single...and I'm totally okay with that. I'm not in denial or pretending or anything. I'm not moping around wishing I had a boyfriend. I'm living today just as I do every other Tuesday of my life...quiet time, iTunes, blog, lunch, work, college ministry meeting.

For me...today is just another day. Another day to be reminded of God's goodness, his faithfulness, and his love. Yes, I know it sounds corny...but it's true. If you're married or in a relationship, then our consumer nation tells you that you have to buy things and treat your significant other to super special things today. If you're single, then our society tells you that you're a loser. What's so special about February 14...aren't you supposed to love people every day? Stop and think for a moment...what does God say about you? I don't think his love is limited to February 14...at least it wasn't the last time I checked...so why should our displays of love be limited...or only expected...on one day?

I typed in "God, love" as keywords in BibleGateway.com and it turned up 140 different verses from Genesis to Jude. (There are bazillions of other verses about Christ's love, Jesus' love etc..) This isn't all of them...but check these out...
Exodus 34:6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
Deuteronomy 23:5b Instead the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loved you.
1 Kings 8:23 “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart.
Ezra 9:9 For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.
Psalm 36:7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 57:3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
Psalm 59:10 My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Psalm 66:20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!
Not to mention the ENTIRE chapter of Psalm 136!!! Every other sentence proclaims that God's steadfast love endures forever!!!!
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 8:3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
So, I'm thinking that God's love isn't just a 24 hour thing that happens once a year. I'm pretty sure that if God didn't love us...we would cease to exist. God's love is pretty powerful and he doesn't need a special holiday to show us that. Look around you...what do you see that proves God's love for you? For me...it's that I'm sitting here writing this to you...if God didn't love me, then I definitely wouldn't love anyone else or care about what you do today. Maybe you have a roof over your head and clothes on your body...that's not only God's love but it's his provision. What about the people in your life? - Your family, your church family, etc...those people are all displays of God's love for you.

So what about us?
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Basically this tells us that because God loves us...we are called to love others. (And not just on one day) Whether you are single or dating or married...you are called to show God's love to others every day. You don't have to buy everyone you know a Valentines card or a box of chocolates to show love either...you can show love in simple ways...call someone up and ask how they are doing...invest your time in others...pray for people...give good hugs...share your faith...etc. These are ways to show love.

If you are married then check out Ephesians 5:22-33. (If you're dating...read this and start putting it into practice)

If you're single...then today, realize God's love for you and share it with others. Remember that God is Emmanuel...God with us...and you are never alone.

If you realize the call that God has on your life...then today is just like any other day...full of loving others. I hope that you all have an incredible day today and realize God's love for you in everything you do! You guys are the best!

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