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Devotionals 2011 - 2012

Finding Lasting Love
February 10, 2012 By Ed Wrather

02.10.12

God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. - 1 John 4:16b NKJV.

Which statement best expresses your impression of Valentine's Day: 1) Valentine's Day is...a day for those in love? Valentine's Day is...dumb and you're wasting your money? Personally, I have always had a good impression of Valentine's Day from the time I was a little boy to the present. I have great memories of receiving Valentine cards and candy when I was a boy. I have great memories of giving Valentine cards and candy. As an adult, I have enjoyed being able to express my love for my wife in some tangible way on Valentine's Day. However, as I found out today, not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the day. There is an article today on the street dot com by Jason Notte with the title of, "Valentine's Day is Dumb and You're Wasting Your Money."

Jason Notte begins his article with this statement: "Valentine's Day is best illustrated in one series of actions: Withdraw from an ATM what you'd usually spend on date night, withdraw that amount again, show it to the person you love most and then flush the entire sum down the nearest toilet." Notte as you can see has a very jaded view of the day. I will concede that Valentine's Day has become commercialized, but no more so than Christmas, or maybe even Easter. It may be that your sense of value of and meaning of this holiday is based on your own experience with love. If at the current time you are not in a relationship or have had a bad relationship, your view of Valentine's Day probably mirrors that of Jason Notte. However, if you are in a happy relationship, a long and happy marriage you most likely view Valentine's Day in a more favorable light.

There is an old saying, and that "Love is fickle." Dictionary dot com defines "fickle" this way: "likely to change, especially due to caprice, irresolution, or instability; casually changeable: fickle weather. Not constant or loyal in affections." Fickleness in love mirrors our humanness. We humans frequently change our minds about nearly everything, including love. Contrast this characterization of humans with the character of God described in Numbers 23:19 NKJV, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent (change His mind - NIV 1984). Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" God remains the same (Hebrews 13:8). God does not change His mind as we humans do.

One of the character traits of God is that of love. We are told this in 1 John 4:16 NKJV, "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." Also, in 1 John 4:8 NKJV, "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." In what we know as the Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 we are told this about God's kind of love, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NKJV)." The entire chapter is summed up with this statement in verse 13, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

With the character traits of God in mind, we can make better choices as to relationships that will succeed. No guarantees, but you will have greater success in relationships that are based on a mutual respect and love for God through Jesus Christ. This is why the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" As I always say in marriage ceremonies that I perform, "The greater your love for Jesus Christ, the greater the love you will have for each other."

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