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It's All About Love-February 19, 2024

February is a month in which we put extra emphasis on love. Valentine's Day, birthdays and other events cause us to consider our love emphasis.

Monday Morning Devotions-February 19, 2024

It's All About Love

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.    1 Corinthians 13:7

      Having just celebrated Valentine’s Day, 2024,  a day when the focus is on love, the  timing seemed right to repeat this devotion about love from 17 years ago (February 26, 2007).        

       Want to write a song that will become popular?  It's easy.   Include love in it!

        The  Beatles proved that with their  1967 hit song "All You Need is Love."

        Many of their songs were about and/or had the word "love" in the title.  I won't try to count how many because they recorded 409 songs.  And oh yeah, they have sold 1.6 billion singles and 177 albums in the United States alone since the early 1960's.

          But this devotion is not about the Beatles, although their success does help make the point that love is, arguably, the most important thing in the world.  I just stuck the "arguably" in there to prevent arguments because as my grandmother used to say: "He/she would argue with a fence post."  Meaning, of course, a person who would argue with anybody at any time would certainly argue about my love statement.

            This is  not about money either.  You may love money and yes that is a form of love, albeit in the end, a destructive one.  "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil."  1 Timothy 6:10.

            That may be one of the most misunderstood or misinterpreted verses in the Bible. makes a valid point;  "Our attitude toward money is the problem not the money itself.  Money is morally neutral.  Throughout the Bible both the impoverished and the wealthy are considered godly.”  

            So hopefully that clears up the role of money when considering what love really is. Tony Dungy says, "Love means doing everything for someone else's benefit.  Not passively giving in to every wish or desire and it obviously is not dominating a relationship.  It's making every decision with the other person's well-being in mind."

            Love has an action part to it.  You can't just feel love.  Well, you could but what good would that do if there was no evidence to show that you loved someone else.  Naturally, that can be done in many ways, but the most important thing is to show love.

            "For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have ever-lasting life."  John 3:16.  You've heard about that haven't you?   Sure, anybody who has ever opened a Bible, and many who have not, have heard that statement.

            It is the major way God shows His love for us.  Sure, he showed love when he created the universe.  He showed love for his chosen people when He rescued them from slavery. He showed His love throughout the Bible in many different ways to lots of folks.  But, the major way, the way that punctuates all the rest, is by sending His Son to be human and dwell among us and eventually to die for our sins.

            Since God loved us so much and continues to show His love to us in many ways it is only fair (right) that we return His love.  Ever see two kids playing and suddenly one of them says; "That's not fair?"  In other words, you are not playing by the rules.

            What if God said to us,  "That's not fair.  Look at all I have done for you and that's the way you return my love."  I shutter to think what would happen if God did that."

            He won't.  Why?  Because he loves us too much to do that.

            God is the only one that always acts out of love.  I love my wife, in fact I love her so much I refer to her as "The Lovely Susette."  That has become so common that many friends just call her TLS.  I don't call her TLS just because she's lovely to look at, but she is just a lovely person inside and out. 

            Would she ever have cause to say, "That's not fair" to me.? Sadly, the answer is yes.  But she doesn't say that.  And the fact is that when I am being unfair it eventually gets through to me and I feel worse about it than she does.   Why?  Because I love her and being an imperfect human being, like we all are, sometimes we forget to acknowledge that in our actions.

            This is a good month to think about love and how you express it.  February is a great month (and not just because it's my birth month) but for at least one day love gets a real workout.  Valentine's Day!  I think love is the dominant thought on Valentine’s Day.

            OK, so maybe Valentine's Day has become very commercialized.  I don't have a problem with that.  I worked in advertising sales, and I know that I was always looking for ways to make my radio station, it's programming---especially the baseball games I broadcast---seem special enough for people not only to listen but to spend money to advertise with us.

            Money can be a by-product of love, but it is not the most important part.  The Love itself is the most important thing.  The caring, the thoughtfulness, and being other-oriented.  And I think the world becomes a better place when we do that.  Too bad we often don't seem to give it the same priority during the other 364 days.

            In an earlier devotion I shared 10 ways to Love.  I think it would be appropriate to share them again as we consider how to show our love not just on Valentine's Day but every day.

            1. Listen without interrupting.

            2, Speak without accusing.

            3. Give without sparing.

            4. Pray without ceasing.

            5. Answer without arguing.

            6. Share without pretending.

            7. Enjoy without complaint

            8. Trust without wavering.

            9. Forgive without punishing.

           10. Promise without forgetting.

            Happy Valentine's Day.   Every day.  It's all about love!

Prayer:  Lord may we let our love for others shine more brightly than ever.  Amen!

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