What feelings come to mind at the mention of Valentine’s Day? Do you get the warm fuzzies thinking about your sweetheart? Are you into all things love, roses, boxes of chocolates and oversized stuffed animals? Maybe you are not a fan- scarred by an awful memory/past relationship. Or maybe you make it all about the kids- showering them with treats and helping out at their class party that day. Many people even believe it is just a consumer holiday to take everyone’s money and make them feel vulnerable.
No matter where you land on this issue, most people can agree on one thing. As Valentine’s Day approaches, you can’t help but think about love.
It forces you to stop and consider who you love and who loves you. Maybe a spouse or significant other comes to mind. Maybe a child, mother, father, grandparent, close friend...the list goes on. For some, it’s the sad reality of realizing their list is much shorter than they would like it to be or ever thought it could be at this point in their lives.
Today friend, in a totally and completely un-cheesy way, I want to remind you of the One who loves you the most. The One who should be at the top of your list and the One who has you at the top of His. His name is Jesus.
Whether your relationship with Jesus is strong, okay at best, or non-existent, I want to remind you today of Jesus’ great love for you.
In the world in which we live, love can come with heartbreak. The type of love we are accustomed to comes with boundaries and conditions. It is often based on our circumstances and can change in an instant. This happens because we are a sinful people and are incapable of loving perfectly. We hold grudges, our feelings get hurt, we base how we treat others on how they treat us. We live in a “they get what they deserve” society.
But God’s love is so very different. His love is perfect and unconditional. No matter how much we sin against God, we are shown love and compassion. I can think of a thousand circumstances that Jesus loves us though or in spite of. His love doesn’t change based on what struggles or hardships we endure in this life. His love is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It was the same at the beginning of our story as it will be at the end.
He loves us even if…
...we’ve had bad day.
...we haven’t touched our Bibles in days, weeks, months, or years.
...we’ve lost our job.
...our spouse left us.
...we yelled at our children all day.
...our house is a mess.
...we are staring down at another negative pregnancy test.
...we just suffered a miscarriage.
...our car just broke down.
...we went over budget- again.
...we just buried our child.
I have experienced many of the sufferings listed above and know first hand how difficult it can be to feel God’s love for us when we are faced with such unexplainably hard circumstances. It is so easy to feel abandoned, forgotten, unseen, and unloved in those moments...but please hear me.
Jesus still loves you.
His love for us is not shown in a way that would seem natural to us. God doesn’t say- “I will show my love to you by shielding you from suffering during your life on Earth.” He doesn’t bless us when He loves us and curse us when He doesn’t. No- He always loves us, despite what we are faced with. We know this to be true because of the ultimate act of love Jesus displayed on the cross. As the only sinless man to ever live, He paid the debt for all of our sin by dying on the cross. Because of His sacrifice, we are able to live forever in heaven with Him when we die. He has given us new life and a second chance- one we definitely do not deserve.
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
If you want to know more about this great love, or maybe just aren’t feeling it in the midst of your circumstances, I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear your story and come alongside you to pray for you. As Valentine’s Day approaches, I hope you are encouraged to know that Jesus can be permanently on the top of your “love list.”