(Blog originally posted 2/12/16. Updated on 2/14/17). Life is fleeting but love endures forever. By tomorrow, Valentine’s Day will be over. The roses and chocolates and cards will be history, but we will still need to know that we are loved.
My husband sat on the steps and held out a ring. It was large and worn and engraved with a date from 1966. He keeps it in a drawer and puts it on from time to time. His uncle Paul made it and it belonged to his dad. We talked and then he said, “This ring is going to be around even when I’m not.” Yes dear, you’re right.
Life is fleeting but love endures. Even when in human relationships there has been disappointment and heartbreak and neglect, somehow love endures. Even when the relationship was not all that you had hoped or would have wanted, somehow love endures. We are not always patient and we are not always kind, but love endures.
Today is Valentine’s Day and I’m holding out hope that the focus will be less on the fleeting emotion of cards, candies, roses and hearts and more focused on the love that endures forever.
1 John 4:7-16 says “7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Knowing someone by the fruit of their life, by what is produced through their thoughts, words and deeds, is an oft repeated biblical refrain. In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus affirms that “by their fruits you shall know them” and in Galatians 5 we learn that the first fruit the Holy Spirit produces in a believer’s is love.
The passage in I John goes on to say that “9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
That sounds a lot like John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life.” That is really God’s valentine to each of us.
Continuing in I John, we read, “11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
As Christians we are supposed to be living demonstrations of God’s character in all the fullness of its beauty and truth. God is love, but God is also holy and God is Great and God is Good. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. When we re-present God to others we do so by speaking the truth in love, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help us God. The challenge is always to present God’s character, not some caricature of my own imagining. Why? Because life is fleeting and love endures forever.
People need to know God, not me. People need to know the name of Jesus, not my name. My life is fleeting, His love endures forever.
The I John passage concludes, “13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Where does your love abide this Valentine’s day? In the fleeting nature of this life or in the God who is love and in whom love endures forever?
The lover of your soul has sent you a valentine. His name is Jesus. All He wants in return is your heart. Valentine’s day is a good day to give it to Him. You can trust Him to hold it in love, forever.