Beloved, let us love one another, - 1 John 4:7-11 (NKJV)
It was the second week of February and every where one went in Pupperville there were heart shaped signs advertising Valentines Day. For some people Valentines is a wonderful time of the year but for others it’s a day to be gotten rid of. So was the case of one Barney Lee.
Knowing how good Harold was at getting out of things, Barney was heading to his house to see if Harold would help him with his Valentine problem when he met up with Harold’s Grandpa. “Maybe Robert, can help me.” Barney thought to himself, “He’s been around along time and Harold had to learn all his tricks from somebody”
“Mr. Gray!” Barney called out, “I’ve got a B I G problem and I was wondering if you could help me.” “I might be able to help you.” Robert said as he walked over to him, “What do you need?” “I need to get rid of tomorrow.” Barney said
“I don’t think that is possible.” Robert told him. “I didn’t think so.” Barney said, “I don’t think I’m going to make it through tomorrow.” “Do you have some big test tomorrow that you didn’t study for?” Robert asked him trying to find out why he wanted to get rid of tomorrow. “Well........ Yes, but that’s not the reason,” Barney told him, “Tomorrow is Valentines Day.”
“And there’s something wrong with that?” Robert asked. “Yeah.” Barney replied, “Girls! And to make it worse our teacher at school is making us give mushy Valentine’s cards to them.” “Mushy!?” Robert questioned, “Are you sure they’re mushy?” “Well, maybe they’re not mushy” Barney told him “But, but I don’t like girls much less love them.”
“It can’t be that bad, can it” Robert told him. “Oh yeah!” Barney exclaimed “Last year one of the girls tried to kiss me. I don’t want to be anybody’s Valentine and I don’t want anyone to be my Valentine. I don’t want to love anybody and I don’t want anybody to love me.”
You know,” Robert said as he sat down on a bench, “love doesn’t have to be mushy.” “It doesn’t?” Barney asked somewhat confused. “I thought all love was mushy.” “I love you” Robert told him. “But you’re an old grandpa.” “Thanks a lot!” Robert exclaimed “Maybe I don’t love you.” “I’m just kidding.” Barney quickly replied
“Do you love your mom and dad? Do you love Harold? Do you love God?” do they love you?” “Alright” Barney interrupted, “I get your point,.” “Just remember what the Bible says.” Robert tried to encourage him, “1 John 4:7 says let us love one another, for love is from God”“I know” Barney said looking a bit discouraged, “But there’s still girls out there.”
Depending on who you are, you may have different ideas as to what Valentines Day is all about. As a kid Valentines day meant getting cards with candy and gum attached to them and it also meant giving them to girls, I did not like girls. That was then, Now I am grown up, girls aren't so bad, I married one and God gave me four more. The meaning of the day gas changed for me as well Now it's more of an opportunity to show my family how much I love them – the girls and the boys.
Speaking of love, have you ever tried to get out of loving someone? When you turn to God's word we find a lawyer who tried. His story is found in Luke 10.
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live." But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise." - Luke 10:25-37 (ESV)
I'll talk about what love is some other time but if you can't wait you can read about it in 1 Corinthians 13. In the mean time I'll let you know that love is not usually mushy and as you can see in Jesus' story, love was not mushy.
Adding to the command to love your neighbor, Jesus added a command to also love your enemies - Matthew 5:43-44 - You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (HCSB)
In Romans Paul comments on loving your neighbor with these words Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. - Romans 13:8-10 - (ESV)
While Paul gives us a great reason to love, John gives us an even greater reason - 1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (NKJV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- Do you say you love your neighbor or do you love you neighbor?
- Will you use Valentines Day to let people know you love them?