Well, it’s that time again. The aisles of stores are filled with chocolate hearts and cards and stuffed animals. Just yesterday in the store, I saw a life size teddy bear priced at $90.00! This all makes my head spin.
So, just out of curiosity, I thought I would look up some insight on the history of Valentine’s Day. Guess what I found? I found that God was speaking something to me through the pages of history – there is no love without sacrifice.
I’m not sure that on Valentine’s Day we think of the word sacrifice, unless of course we plan to purchase a life-sized teddy bear. 😉 Forgive my sarcasm. However, I do believe that God’s definition of love carries a message of sacrifice. Love carries a cost that must be counted, and yet when we give ourselves to love we find that we are receiving much more than we are giving away.
In church history, there are three saints who bear the name Valentine. According to history.com, there is uncertainty concerning which one of those saints Valentine’s Day is named after. It is interesting to note, however, that all three of them were martyrs. Giving our life is something that Jesus talks rather candidly about in his address to the disciples at the last supper.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Paul references this very thing again, calling to mind what Jesus did for us in Romans 5:6-8, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you can probably quote these Scriptures very well, but when was the last time you let them sink in. When was the last time you really pondered the sacrifice Jesus made for you? Unbelievable! Unfathomable! Beautiful, Crazy Love!
Allow yourself to take this a step further. He is asking you to freely give what you have received; to your husband, to your kids, to your neighbor, to the least of these, to the greatest of sinners, to the people you disagree with, to the one who makes your blood boil. This is who His love is for. We are the carriers. This seems of it is an impossible assignment, but nothing is impossible with God.
Let His love wash over you today in greater measure than ever before. Let Him whisper to your heart who you are and how He treasures you. Then as you are immersed in His love, let His love lead you to lay down your life for the sake of those who have yet to feel His love.
Let me leave you with this quote written by Heidi Baker in her book, Compelled by Love, that describes the Bride of Christ, “This bride will give up the selfish riches of this world to inherit the earth. She will be so ruined and wrecked by love that she will run full force into the darkness. This will cause His light through her to explode into the world—all for love’s sake.”
This Valentine’s Day, let the love of Christ consume you as you abandon your life to carry His love no matter the cost.