Valentine’s Day Nightmare and the Dream Love Come True

I was 16 and “in love”! This was it. She was “the one.” I had bought her favorite food, lined up her favorite music, taken a shower (a big deal for a teenage guy), gotten a haircut, shaved, and to top it all off, put on cologne. I ironed my clothes and even put on dress shoes and a tie. I was smitten! I had planned everything down to the type of flowers that she preferred and the perfect time of day: sunset.

Nothing was left to chance. We had an incredible time. After dessert, I handed her a card that I had made myself with a beautiful original poem, thank you very much! She began to read it, looked up at me, and began reading again . . . and that’s when it all went downhill, and I mean fast!

You see, after she returned her gaze to the poem I had so painstakingly written, her eyes fell on a girl’s name—only it wasn’t hers. It was the name of another girl I was talking to while I was trying to write my girlfriend the poem. Note to ADHD self: “Do not try to multitask! Ever!”

It was truly an honest mistake. Unfortunately, my girlfriend didn’t see it that way, and I ended up with what was left of the food and drink on my clean-shaven cologned face. One simple little mistake, and the whole evening was ruined.

Contrast that with another Valentine’s Day memory. I was in elementary school. I had made my first Valentine’s Day card. It was another handmade card with a poem and a picture. I got home from school and eagerly handed it to my mother. She looked at it with all its mistakes, misspellings, stains (PB&J), and imperfections, and she loved it! In fact, I’m certain she still has it.

What’s the point? Simply this:

Valentine’s Day is a time you can—and should—recognize that there is absolutely nothing you can do to make God, your heavenly parent, stop loving you.

The Bible tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16, 17, NIV).

Loving the World into Submission

As Jesus-followers, with the certainty of God’s love in our heart, we should be emboldened to go out and love our world into submission! Remember, Jesus’ way is that of love, not force. Check out how Jesus put it:

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other’ ” (John 15: 9-17, NLT).

“Pay it Forward!”

Take some time to write God a love letter to thank Him for sending you His very own Valentine’s Day gift: His Son, Jesus. Then, take some time to think about a systematic way that you can “pay it forward”!

So this week as you’re doing your last-minute shopping, wrapping, writing, coloring, and cooking, take some time to write God a love letter to thank Him for sending you His very own Valentine’s Day gift: His Son, Jesus. Then, take some time to think about a systematic way that you can “pay it forward”! The Apostle Peter, when recounting Jesus goodness towards him, wrote: “ . . . for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9, NLT). So the key question is: “today, how can you live your life in such a way as to show others the goodness of God?” I don’t have an answer for you.

Recently I saw an interesting YouTube video of an entire class full of first-grade students who absolutely adored their teacher. The interviewer asked each student to do their best imitation of their much-beloved teacher. Each student did their best impression of their teacher. They each did something different, but because they really knew the heart of the teacher, each student was spot on! Let me tell you—it was definitely a tearjerker of a video. Then, to ratchet up the emotions, they edited each students’ experiences into one long video—and then at the end of the video impressions, the final clip was of the actual teacher rockin’ it! It was the most amazing and beautiful testimonial to the love, acceptance, tenderness, kindness, and caring of their teacher.

Carve Love on Hearts

Pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote: “A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” Serving others is the best way that I know to show Jesus just how much you love Him on this Valentine’s Day.

The way you choose to do it will definitely look differently than the way I choose to do it; that’s the beauty of being a Jesus copy-cat. I promise you: God will absolutely love anything you give Him—after all, you are really all He really wants. And I can guarantee that the only thing He’ll throw your way is more love, grace, and mercy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

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