Love is not flowers on Valentine’s Day. It’s a nice gesture but a crazy stalker can send flowers. Love is not chocolates, though I always enjoyed the leftovers. My wife thought I bought the big box to show how much I loved her; ha! However, love is a verb. It does require action.
This is why I have rewritten this devotional five times. Not because of Valentine’s Day but because the love of Christ is so much more than things, and restaurants, and alone time. The love of Christ is the salient point of life. His command to love one another is the identifier of being a follower of Jesus. To love so much that non-Christians will recognize us as belonging to Jesus simply by how much and how far we are willing to love people is not an easy thing.
Jesus told his disciples, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV) That’s the problem I’m having with writing this devotional. How do I describe this love? How do we grasp this and integrate it into our being?
My wife and I visited a church last Sunday and there was an older lady that went out of her way to make us not just welcome but to befriend us and offer to give us their help whether we joined their church or not. That’s a tiny example of Christ-like love. You don’t get that from visiting a doctor or chatting with the check-out lady at Walmart.
Or, perhaps the story of the nun in India that was cleaning a leper when a Westerner walked by and said, “You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to do that!” to which the nun replied, “Me, either.”
God’s love transcends conditions or limitations. His love penetrates the darkness and transforms any situation it encounters. We carry that love within us. We are to demonstrate God’s love to such an extent it is unrecognizable when compared to that from this world. Let’s go out and astonish people by God’s love.