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ON LOVE, LOVING AND BEING LOVED
Today is Valentine's Day and though it is great to have a special day set aside to celebrate our love for our significant other, God asks us to love on one another on a daily basis.
And not just to love our spouse, but to love all the people around us and to love them well: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35).
Jesus loved us so much He gave His life for us. And He asks us to do the same: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one's friends" (John 15:12-13). This doesn't mean we have to die for someone else the way Jesus died for us; it simply means we love others by putting them first, ahead of ourselves: "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves" (Romans 12:10).
The Lord even commands us to love our enemies! Matthew 5:44-45 says: "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
The thing is, we don't have to personally know someone to love them. We don't even have to like them to love them! That's because love is not a feeling it is a choice. It is more about what you do than what feeling you experience.
But before we can love the Lord and before we can love others and love them well, we first need to realise how much the Lord loves us. And we need to believe He really loves us.
That isn't always easy, for our enemy, the devil, will always try to convince us of the exact opposite. He has a million of little ways he uses to try and sell us the idea that God doesn't really love us, that He doesn't really care.
It's a good thing we know that Satan is a liar and the father of lies. It's also a great blessing that God gave us His Word to tell us the truth about His love for us and that He gave us the Holy Spirit to confirm His love in us.
It's also fortunate that God gifted us with His love in our hearts to help us love others, for we can only love them and love them well when we believe God loves us and use His love in us to love them.
I want to challenge you to ask the Lord to help you share His love with everyone around you. Ask Him to show you practical ways to do this. And when He does prompt you to do something specific, be obedient and follow His lead.
Love others and love them well; not just today but for the rest of your life!