2018-02-14 / Faith

God’s great love

Lessons from the Heart
By the Rev. David Osborne, MAPC

Happy Valentine’s
Day! By
the close of this
day, I hope that
you will have
had many opportunities to tell
the special people in your life
just how much you love them.
After all, Valentine’s Day is
that opportunity for us to
demonstrate our love with
cards, candy, dinners, and
words of love spoken to those
we most treasure.
Many years ago, Almighty
God expressed His love toward
all of us as His Son,
Jesus, spoke these great
words, “For God so loved the
world that he gave his one and
only Son,  that whoever believes
in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.” John
3:16 NIV.
The expression of our love
toward those we love is what
makes up Valentine’s Day.
However, with Valentine’s
Day we typically only tell
those who love us that we
love them. We usually do not
tell those who do not like us
that we love them, and we
certainly do not tell our enemies
that we love them. But
that is what God did. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God
showed his great love for us
by sending Christ to die for us
while we were still sinners”
(NLT). And in verse 10, it
tells us, “our friendship with
God was restored by the death
of his Son while we were still
his enemies” (NLT).
Yes, God’s love is so great
that He shares it even with
His enemies. But why wouldn’t
He? The Bible tells us in 1
John 4:8, “God is Love.” This
is why Jesus tells His disciples,
“Love your enemies!
Pray for those who persecute
you! In that way, you will be
acting as true children of your
Father in heaven” Matthew
5:44-45 NLT. What great love
God has for all of us! In Ephesians
2:4-5, the NIV Bible
uses this language, “But because
of his great love for
us,  God, who is rich in
mercy,  made us alive with
Christ even when we were
dead in transgressions.”
Valentine’s Day should certainly
be filled with the enjoyment
that comes fromexpressing our
love toward all
those that are
so dear to us.
But let us not
forget, we
should also set
some time aside
every day forthe One who loves us most
and best – Our Heavenly Father.
He is the One who loves
us with an “an everlasting
love.” Jeremiah 31:3 NIV, and
whose love is so great that the
Bible tells us that “nothing in
all creation will ever be able
to separate us from the love of
God that is revealed in Christ
Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39
NLT.
This Valentine’s Day, a day
for celebrating love, remember
that the greatest love of all
is the love that Almighty God
has for each of you.
David Osborne is the pastor
at Burlington Church of
Christ.

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