Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love Does

by Tim Howard 

Today is Valentines Day and we just finished helping our grandson fill out his cards for his friends. Maybe you can remember some of the Valentine cards you received back in grammar school days?  The ones that said: “Be Mine,” “You’re Cute” or “Be My Valentine.” Giving cards is a great way for kids to express love, kindness and affection in a lighthearted way. 

St. Valentine's Day is an annual holiday that celebrates the importance of friendships on every level and is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine. If you were to describe this day with one word, many people would use the word LOVE. 

Today you will hear three words spoken thousands of times wherever Valentine’s Day is celebrated. The words are: “I Love You.” It won’t stop there, however. This day will cause thousands of cards to be purchased, dozens of flowers will be given away, millions of people will be kissed and a wide variety of gifts will be exchanged. Why? Because LOVE DOES!

Love is a verb and is activated when it does certain things and doesn’t do other things. Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 13 says: If you really love someone on any level there are some things you will do and other things you won’t do. He actually gives 9 descriptions of what Love doesn’t do and 7 illustrations of what Love does.

The truth he’s conveying in that chapter is simple.  Love doesn’t remain silent. It speaks but it’s more than words. It helps, it shares, it shows itself and it gives. You can give without love but you can’t love without giving because love is an action verb – and ‘does.’

God wants you to find true love on every level. He’s willing to teach you about the different kinds of love and how to love people as He loves people. The love of emotion is based on a desire but the love of devotion is based upon a decision. Every time a mother decides to change a baby’s diaper, even though she has no desire to do so, she exercises true love.

Whenever you decide to sacrifice something for the benefit of another by putting their needs before your desires, you express true love. Lasting love is a decision that does something positive.

Loving people is as simple as the ABC’s. The ABC’s of love will teach us how to love people as you can see in this partial list.

A   ACCEPT people as they are.
B   BELIEVE people are valuable.
C   CARE for the people who hurt.
D   DESIRE what is best for them.
E   ENCOURAGE those who are discouraged.
F   FORGIVE everyone of every offense.
G   GIVE individuals a higher priority than yourself.
H   HELP those in need.
I   INVEST in those you meet.
J   JOIN people in their journey.
K   KEEP and open mind.
L   LOVE God first so you can learn how to love people.

Space doesn’t allow for A through Z but you get the idea. Love will not stand back and remain in the shadows. It will not withhold something that is needed. It can’t because Love Does!

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