John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son,
that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.”

Valentine’s Day is considered a day for lovers! Well, some of you may not have a spouse, significant other or a special friend that you can share February 14th with. No worries. I want to tell you about the best lover anyone could ever experience! First, let me define the word “love”. Webster says, “it is an intense affection for another person based on personal or familial ties.” There are three degrees/definition of love: Eros is love between a man and a woman (erotic). Phileo is the love of a friend. And Agape is a Greek word for selfless love, the type of love that characterizes God. This love is the greatest and most enduring of all Christian virtues. There are three dimensions of love. When they are present, it causes a reaction. There is the Visual aspect (see) — optical attraction; the Physical aspect (touch) —  affection; and there is the Emotional aspect (feel) — worship and adoration. There are also three dynamics of love. These always prompt action of some sort: Pamper, to treat with excessive care and indulgence; spoil. Provide, to supply needs and secure wants. Protect, to keep from harm, attack, or injury.

When you see, touch, or feel love, it causes you to react – sometimes in a negative manner. But when you act on love, you are moved to do something for that person or thing that is the object of your love. It is so with God. All He wants to do is love you unconditionally – despite yourself. He wants to pamper and care for you all the time. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It feels so good, loving somebody and somebody loves you back. But wouldn’t it be even better if that somebody was Jesus Christ?

Because of God’s love for His creation, He prepared a plan of salvation for humanity, after Adam messed up in the Garden of Eden, with the consequent giving of His son. God knew that He needed to restore humanity back into right relationship with Him. God was deeply grieved because of the direction that humanity was headed. And He desired that His people would be saved and reign with Him eternally. Jesus Christ came to earth to show us the way back to the Father. Every person in this world must come to grips with who Jesus is, and decide whether to trust Him for life, or reject Him for death. God wants His creation to know His love. He wants to reach everyone in the world with His love. And yes, that means you!

The question I pose is, “What’s love got to do with it?” And the answer — Love has everything to do with everything! Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Love is part of God’s character. It is His nature. It is, in fact, his genetic makeup. It is who He is. It is what He is. Therefore, unlike us, He cannot be swayed by passion or diverted by disobedience. He faithfully acts, demonstrates, and shows His love. As God, He is perfect, which means His love is perfect. God demonstrated His love in the most perfect way possible. Without question, the greatest act of love is the sacrifice of a man’s own life; therefore, God sacrificed the life of His own son to save the world.

How much does God really love you? He loves you so much that if you had been the only person on earth, He would have still sent Jesus Christ to die for you. Don’t you understand? God loves YOU! Nobody in this world will ever love you like God loves you! He wants to meet all your needs, walk with you through troubled times, and bless you above and beyond all that you can ask or think. Allow God to show you that you are the apple of His eye. Ask Him for grace to receive the gift of His love every day, and you will experience the joy of being set free from fear and walk victoriously in faith like never before. Happy Valentine’s Day! (Excerpt from 2/11/07 1st Sermon).

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