February is considered the “Love Month” around the world. The focus, of course, is Valentine’s Day; but with our great God, love is bestowed every day of every month. We humans are so inadequate in realizing just how much God loves us.
Frederick Lehman penned these words to express “The Love of God”: “Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, to write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.”
Humans struggle with love because we base it on conditions, but God’s love is unconditional. Paul reminded us of that truth: “But God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8 NIV). Sinners! We are those of the entire world who fall short of God’s glory. We then are made to feel that to merit God’s love we must “clean ourselves up” or “work our way into God’s favor.” But that would make God’s love conditional.
Dottie Rambo wrote these words in her song, “If That Isn’t Love”: “He left the splendor of Heaven, knowing His destiny. Was the lonely hill of Golgotha, there to lay down His life for me. If that isn’t love, the ocean is dry. There’s no stars in the sky and the sparrow can’t fly. If that isn’t love, then Heaven’s a myth. There’s no feeling like this — if that isn’t love.”
I was just thinking about the emphasis of sending cards, expressing feelings and giving gifts on Valentine’s Day. Friends, the greatest Valentine ever given was from God to you — and that is Jesus! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Here is the truth — God is love. It is who He is. The ultimate way for us to love is to strive to love like He does. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” (I John 4:16).
Now, here is where we bring this down to where we live. Love is not an idealistic thought. It is a practical expression of one’s feelings, concern and compassion for others. One does not have to be loved reciprocally to love other people. Our Lord said, “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).
The refrain from Fredrick Lehman’s song sums it up: “Oh, love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure — the saints’ and angels’ song.”