He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Happy Valentine's 2018!

I got excited when the meager sunshine on my window sill caused my potted rose plant to bud. It's hovering at zero degree Celcius outside. I had hoped the bud would bloom on Valentine's Day but it didn't. Maybe tomorrow, maybe another day. Love always hopes... :)

Eros is commonly known as the god of love and Cupid is that little “angel” or "cherub" who shoots people’s hearts so that they “fall in love”. The most popular “love” I knew growing up was romantic (or “erotic” from “Eros”) love and the rest is just foggy talk on idealized “love” - God’s love, familial love, love for fellowmen, and so on.

However, growing up into adulthood, by reading the Bible, I came to know Jesus Christ as the true and living God, and the Bible says, “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) In that same chapter, 1 John 4, the apostle John explained that we are able to understand God’s love by His act of giving us His own son Jesus Christ who gave up His life in our behalf, so we can be reconciled with God, from whom we have been alienated (Acts 10:36, Romans 5:10, Ephesians 2:14, Colossians 1:20). Quite a lot to digest, that one, hu? But that’s how we get to understand the concept called “unconditional love” - God Himself authored that and expressed it through His supreme sacrifice of giving us His Son Jesus Christ. (John 3:16) In turn, Jesus Himself actualized His own love for us through His ultimate sacrifice of laying down His own life to save us. (Romans 5:7,8, John 15:13) We are loved “unconditionally” by God. He continues to choose to love us, even when we continue in our sin and continue to reject Him. His offer of salvation and love still stands, to our very last breath. (Alas, we must choose to embrace His gift before our time runs out!) Thus, I had found out that the true God of Love is Jesus Christ, for who else can ever love greater than He does?
So, what is “love”? We have all sorts of ideas about it and we may be right, or we may be wrong, or slightly or mostly right, or wrong. Some people would even say there’s no right or wrong definition of it, everything is “relative”.  But God’s definition of love is the “unconditional love” He has for each one of us, expressed in His unfathomable gift of a new life through His Son. “Unconditional” means there’s nothing about us or what we have done that makes God choose to love us. He loves us just as we are, without conditions!
For some of us this may be very strange because we are so used to being loved for how we behave or what we have achieved or how we look. On the other hand, for those of us who are loved unconditionally by our family what might sound absurd is the “new” life in Christ that God offers to those who will love Him back. For those of us who are well-loved and also have everything else in life, why would we think of having a different or “new” kind of life in Christ? Truly, when life is so good, we can’t ask for more!

That might be the reason why some people say Christianity is only for the weak. I guess when they say “weak” that means the poor, lonely, insecure, sick, abandoned, slow, unattractive, unpopular, the lowly, etc.? Actually, the Bible says something similar to that, too. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3 - the first verse of The Beatitudes.) The One New Man Bible version states it as, “Blessed are the repentant, because theirs is the Kingdom of the Heavens.” The footnote in that version says that “poor in spirit” is a Hebrew idiom for “repentant”. I guess we do not reach that state of being repentant, or being humble before God, until we are humbled enough and have become “weak” - i.e. we become poor or sick or abandoned or slow, unpopular, disillusioned,... Well, yes, disillusioned. Sometimes we have everything in life and yet we find that life is empty, but let’s not go into that right now.

Getting back on track, for those of us who have not experienced “unconditional love” from anyone all our lives, we may not even think of it, or we may have an unconscious or conscious yearning for it, but might never even think it exists. Well, here’s a hint we can all make use of: Unconditional love is found in Jesus Christ and He showed it by laying down His own life as a sacrifice in payment for our sins. He took our place of punishment through that sacrifice.

If we are to learn from Jesus on “love”, I guess by now we know any form of “sacrifice” another person does for us to make us happier or feel better is “love” or “kindness”, right? It may be financial, or an effort, a giving of time, a giving up of something sentimentally valuable, just any act that entails “sacrifice”, is a sure expression of love or kindness. The more sacrifice, the more love is communicated. Some may have ulterior motives doing it and that sends a muddled signal to the recipient, but the basic premise is “sacrifice” - some amount of it has to be involved for an act to be seen as “love” or “kindness”.

Well, today is Valentine’s Day, the Day of Love. Let’s do some “sacrifice” for someone we “love.” Or better still, let’s do it everyday! The more we do it, the more we get better at it! Have fun giving / receiving love today! May we also ponder on the unconditional and sacrificial love of God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son for you and me. May we all have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jesus is the God of Love. "We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

___________________________________





All Scripture references are from the 1984 New International Version, unless otherwise specified.



_______________________________________________________


If you wish to cite this blog, citation is as follows: PureJoyLand. (2018, Feb 15). Happy Valentine's 2018 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://purejoyland.com/2018/02/happy-valentines-2018/                                                                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is a re-blog. If you wish to read more of my blogs please log on to www.purejoyland.com


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Followers

Smile! God loves you and me. ^____^

About Me

My photo
The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D