Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church
It’s February! The month of “love” and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It’s one of those days you are either excited about because you are the recipient of someone’s expression of love, or you dread it because you are the one left out, feeling unloved. My husband is not the romantic type, so I’ve learned not to have great expectations when it comes to gifts for this, or any other special day.
Not long ago I was rummaging through a closet and came across a cute little vase with hearts on it. It was from Valentine’s Day two years ago and it brought to mind just how this vase came to be mine. We were in Walmart a few days before Valentine’s Day and Lyndon said, “If you see anything you want for Valentines Day go ahead and get it.” (If only we’d been in the jewelry store!) So I pointed to the huge display of Valentine’s flowers and told him to pick something out while I shopped for groceries. It was the first time I got flowers for Valentine’s Day in a long time so I kept the vase as a memento. (For the record, he may not be great in the gift-giving department but he certainly shows his love in other ways every day.)
According to Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Love Languages everyone feels loved in different ways. Some people feel loved when they are given a gift. Some feel loved when someone performs an act of kindness for them. Others feel loved through physical touch or words of encouragement. Still others feel loved when someone spends quality time with them. It’s important in any relationship (romantic or otherwise) to know the person’s “love language” in order to truly make them feel loved. Most people “love” others the way they would feel loved and are not necessarily good at picking up clues about how the other person feels loved.
There is someone, however, who loves each of us perfectly. He knows your “love language” and is always reaching out to you in all 5 love languages. He has given each of us the gift of salvation and eternal life through His Son Jesus. His acts of kindness (His grace and mercy) are available to us every day. His Holy Word is filled with encouragement for our daily life. He is ready to spend quality time with us any time we want. And for those whose love language is physical touch, He’s there in the touch of a child, a parent, a friend, a loved-one.
There are so many ways we can experience God’s love for us: in the beauty of His creation; in the smile on someone’s face; in a song that’s played at just the right moment; in the unexpected call, card, text. His expressions of love are there for each of us every day in so very many ways if only we would have eyes to see and ears to hear.
God’s love for us is perfect, unselfish, and unconditional. It cannot be earned by good behavior and it cannot be forfeited by bad behavior. He loves you because that is who He is (1 John 4:16). On Valentines Day, or any other day, if you don’t have a “sweetheart” or if you don’t feel loved in the way you want to feel loved, remember you are always and forever loved by the One who says:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3.
Today I am thankful for all the ways God shows His love toward me each and every day. I hope you are too.