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Happy Valentine's Day

As Valentine's Day is upon us, we are challenged to show our love to one another in ways depicted in media as "gifts" of our love. I wonder just how many of us are being challenged to show our love for God in ways that really express our love for him and not just the gifts he gives? It is a challenging question we may need to ask more than once over the course of our lifetime because it is so easy to appreciate the gifts or blessings themselves and totally lose touch with the Giver.

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17 NLT)

Martin Luther King, Jr. had it right when he said the only way to transform an enemy into a friend is by the sharing of the love which comes from one heart. It is the only "force" capable of creating that change. I think this might actually be why God demonstrates his love to us through the blessings he sends - so we can somehow connect with the intensity of that love until we desire to be so transformed by that love that our lives no longer rotate around the blessing.

Some understand love as an "expression" tied to some emotion. I think God wants us to understand love by the ultimate expression - the giving of his most precious gift. He could give that gift only once - but that is all that was needed. He could offer that gift to all, but each has to accept the gift in order for it to be enjoyed. Love is indeed more than an emotion - it is "feeling in action". God's intense love for each of us moved him to give what no other could give - the path to reconciled relationship to him.

What we need more than anything is to recognize just how much our soul longs for something other than the "things" we can amass on this earth. We need to understand these "things" are only fleeting substitutes for an even greater gift (blessing) than we could ever imagine possible. The "blessing" is Christ - the gift is salvation - being set right with a holy God despite the unholy condition of our hearts. The gift was his blood - the giver was Christ - the blessing was the ability to be transformed by love! Just sayin!

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