“…the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” -Rom. 5:5
Today is, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day! I love this day. It’s filled with candy, flowers and love. But I’m not exactly sure why it’s today? I’m sure its roots are the Roman God’s weird celebrations from thousands of years ago. But for us twenty first century people, I’m glad it’s a beautiful celebration of love.
Celebrations of love are a good thing- or better said, CAN be a good thing. I guess it depends on the source and kind of love. Because, truth is, love is one of those slippery words that comes and goes. Today we love the Kansas City Chiefs, but next year, if they lose to the Raiders, we’ll think they stink. Today, if we win the lottery, we love our God who provides, but tomorrow, when we have five dollars in our checking account, we feel abandoned and alone.
We so easily forget that God’s love, the true love, is sure and solid and strong. It isn’t dependent on circumstances (Phil. 4:11-13). When we come to know Christ, His love is “poured out within our hearts.” When we surrender our lives to Him, he grants us the Holy Spirit who supplies love over and over and over (and over).
Ephesians 1:13 reminds us: “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Though we are forever sealed with the “Holy Spirit of promise,” the maintenance of that “seal” is so important. Though the sealed love doesn’t require us to earn it over again (it’s forever sealed), the choice to live in it is ours.
Regardless of the circumstances, God’s agape love is solid and sure. Again, that is the love that is “poured out within our hearts.” The challenge is the maintenance of that love within our hearts. Like someone said, “If you don’t feel close to God, guess who moved?” There are so many sneaky ways that we replace that love with other things. First Thessalonians 5:19 reminds us “not to quench the Holy Spirit.” Though we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, we still can leave Him out of the picture. Though we have a comfy heavy coat to wear, we decide to go outside in a t-shirt. Guess what: in February, we get cold! Why wouldn’t we wear the coat? No great reason except that we want to be in control. Too often our pride rules and we make dumb decisions when we leave God out of the picture.
But when we leave the Holy Spirit alive and well and in control in our hearts, hope rules the day. It doesn’t mean everything is perfect around us but it does mean our heart is full inside of us- full of the Holy Spirit of promise.
May we all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Whether we’re with our sweetheart or alone, may we all rest in the awesome love supplied by our awesome God. He made a way for us by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. Now, through Christ, we have true fellowship with God. We can now experience and live in His love for us.
Enjoy the candy and don’t forget to smell the roses but enjoy the ultimate
celebration of love in the presence of our awesome God who chose and chooses to love us all over again.
As the love of God is poured out on us, may we pour out that love on those around us.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©
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