Wednesday, February 14, 2018

God's Love Tester

Valentine’s Day—a day to celebrate the love in our lives. The love Dick and I share is probably the greatest love possible between two human beings. It is rock-solid, yet as beautiful and tender as the petals of an African violet.

The love between my children and me, and between my mother and me, deepens daily, even though we no longer live under the same roof. It changes and matures as we all grow a little older and a lot wiser.

For me, the love of friends fills in the gaps when family is too far away—whether physically or emotionally. A cup of tea and a few minutes to chat can ease the ache in our hearts, relieve our anxieties, and bring healing laughter.

However, the greatest love offered to us is the love of God. His love is greater than the sum total of all the earthly loves we have ever received. His love is pure, unconditional, and eternal.

Remember the Love Tester arcade game at the amusement park? For a quarter we grabbed its metal handle and the machine would “sense” the level of our affection. An arrow on the meter would waver back and forth and then indicate if we were “Blah” or “On Fire”. If God put His hand on the Love Tester, the indicator would fly right off the machine!

In 1 Corinthians 13, God offers us His own tester for love, describing the characteristics of true love:
  • Love is patient and kind.
  • Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
  • Love does not demand its own way.
  • Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
  • Love is never glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.
  • Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 When we compare what is touted as “love” today to God’s standards for measuring love, it certainly doesn’t raise the indicator arrow very far. What is the key to loving as God would have us love?

It all starts with a relationship with Him. God craves a real connection with us; but, since God is holy and we are sinful, the separation between us is huge. The good news is that God loves us so much He made a way for us to bridge that gap. On the cross, Jesus took on our sins and bore the punishment for them that we deserved! We now can live in fellowship with God! As we grow and mature in our relationship with God, He will equip and empower us to love others with the same characteristics of love He spelled out for us in 1 Corinthians 13.

Want to make this the best Valentine’s Day ever? Begin a relationship with God today and He will fill your heart to overflowing with love.

Be encouraged!

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©2018 Pamela D. Williams