Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines day, guys!  

Regardless of whether you have a "Valentine" to share smooches and flowers with today, let's take some time today to focus on the author of love, and how we might love by His example...

1 John 3:23 - His command is clear; Believe in the name of His son, Jesus, and love one another as He commanded.

Why are the 2 parts of this commandment so important?  Can we have one without the other?

We cannot have one without the other....the evidence that we love Jesus is that we allow Him/His Holy Spirit to flow through us...it shows through when we love others fully and sacrificially.  It's God's kind of love flowing through us!  God loves those around us more than we can imagine...He went to the cross for them.  We get this skewed idea that God is annoyed with peoples faults and flaws in the same way we are - He's not!  He loves with grace, focusing on the good and on people's potential.  He leads them gently on the right path, giving them time to learn, grow and change.  He covers over little faults and flaws.  He forgives freely.  

What if we loved this way?  How different would our interactions with and thoughts about others be if we viewed them through the lens of God?  

1 John 4:19-21 - We love because He first loved us....Anyone who does not love a brother or sister, whom he has seen, cannot possibly love God, whom he has never seen.  He gave us a CLEAR command, that all who love God must also love their brother and sister. 

The evidence that we truly love God is that we love others well.

Here are some more verses that if we let them, will inspire us to love like Jesus loves...

Model love that: 

GIVES: John 3:16 - 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.

UNITES: Colossians 3:14 - And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

ACTS: 1 John 3:18 - Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

SACRIFICES: John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

FORGIVES: Proverbs 19:11 - Smart people know how to hold their tongue;
    their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

With love,

Christina L.