Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

       As we enter the month of February, the one thing which tends to stand out is not whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow, nor is it President’s Day … instead, the thing which typically stands out is Valentine’s Day. Ever since the beginning of January, the store shelves have been lined with Valentine’s Day candies, boxed cards for the little ones, boxed chocolates for the ladies, and a whole host of red, white, and pink decorations. The special holiday card section seems to be the biggest this time of the year as you can get a card for just about anyone. Jewelry stores also tend to see an increase in sales, especially in those sparkling diamonds. And we can’t forget about the massive massacre of flowers which takes place each year as millions of flowers are cut, arranged, priced, and given to one’s significant other or secret admirer. So much hype is given to one day of year! It’s like the whole world needs to be reminded that we are suppose to love one another.

       As maybe we do need that reminder. But the thing is … no matter how much Hallmark, Russell Stover’s, or 1800flowers.com push Valentine’s Day upon us, the love shown is based purely on emotions and is subject to change. The way we love one another each and every day varies on how our day or their day has gone, how the weather is, how this or that in which we are involved in or associated with goes. To say the least, our love for each other is very fickle at times.

       When we dive into the pages of Scripture though, you and I are reminded that we are God’s children and with that comes a different kind of love. In the pages of Scripture we are reminded of a love which is not fickle, which does not change like the winter weather we have been having. The amazing love a Christ is constant, unwavering, and always there.

       When thinking of God’s love for us … it is easy to go to passages like John 3:16 where Jesus says to Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” We like to remember Matthew 28:20 where Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Or even 1 Corinthians 13, the great love chapter of the Bible, where Paul tells us that “love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy … it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:4, 7-8a).

       What Paul says is true. God’s love never fails. God says it well in Isaiah 49:15-16a, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” God will not forget His love for you because His love is literally engraved on the palms of Christ’s hands. The hole marks left from the very nails which Jesus hung from while suffering and dying on the cross are still there now. As Christ lives now, when you one days see him, you will recognize Jesus because he still bears the marks of his love for you!

       Christ’s love for you was with you before the creation of the world.  Christ’s love was with you before you were born as he had already gone to the cross to make payment for your sins. Christ didn’t show his love for you with a card or candies or through the massacre of flowers. Christ shows his love you by the life he lived, through the suffering he suffered and by the blood he bled. His love for you is not a one day a year kind of love let alone a one year kind of love.  Instead … His love for you is a love which cover the span of your entire life here on earth as well as your eternal life in the new creation. “And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” 1 Cor. 13:13).

       God’s blessings & amazing everyday love be with you now and always!

Pastor Mike