Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. I really look forward to greeting you each week. And this is a great time to be together as we get closer to the national day of love – Valentine’s Day. If you’ve been in any store in the last month, you’ve probably seen the red heart-shaped boxes – a clear reminder that Valentine’s Day is coming. I don’t know about you, but I feel deluged with red heart-shaped boxes of chocolate candies everywhere I turn. The commercialism of it all can be off-putting, but the heart shape softens the blow for me. However, as I look at these chocolate symbols of love, I realize that I need to look for love itself. Stop a second and think about where you find love.
I have been spending this last week visiting my daughter and her family. As a grandparent, I love looking into the faces of my grandchildren and seeing the pure love that shines through as they gaze at their world. They live in a world of pure faith - faith that they are loved, faith that they will be taken care of, faith that they are forgiven when they’ve done something wrong. Then I realize that that is how it is with God. We, too, can live with the faith of a child – faith that we will be taken care of, faith that we are loved, faith that we are forgiven when we do something wrong. But as adults, we can be jaded in our outlook, thinking we are not worthy, thinking we have gone too far away from God to be welcomed back into His arms. But we are not to judge others, let alone ourselves.
God’s love is abundant and free. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we have the most wonderful example of love in the love God has for us. In Romans 5:8 we read, “...God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.“ Think about that. What a tremendous love that is. God loves us this much!
There are so many references in scripture about God’s boundless love.
John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Corinthians 16:14 “Do everything in love.” 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. ..”
1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Join me in making a personal pledge to show love this week. Even the smallest gesture can make a person feel worthy. Consider making a personal phone call just to check in with someone; buy a pack of blank notecards and a dozen stamps and write a few words of kindness to a friend or family member; or just offer a friendly ear and allow someone to pour out their heart to you.
God has promised that all things work together for good to those who love and serve Him faithfully (Romans 8:28). It may be difficult for us to see and understand how this is accomplished at times, but God has promised it, and He will deliver.
If you are particularly lonely as we approach Valentine’s Day, let me tell you that I am sending you my love. You are special; you are worthy. I’d love to have a conversation with you. But above everything else remember how much God loves you.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. (1 John 4:7).
Author: Bonnie Barber
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.