February is the month when many people think of Valentine’s Day and dating. I remember girls having a hard time in school because they did not have somebody to give them candy and flowers on Valentine’s Day. This kind of behavior reveals something about the way many think of love. Some people think that love is a feeling or emotion produced by a certain chemistry that exists between two people. This idea reduces love to a basic hormonal response to what we find appealing. Others think love is something that can be expressed or earned through the benefits of a relationship. For example, someone who thinks that a committed relationship should result in receiving gifts or being in a financially and emotionally stable environment. Although these characteristics can and do exist in loving relationships, they are not love. These are the result of love. Love is something much more precious than these. Jesus demonstrated the purest form of love through selfsacrifice. God says that he sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
The word propitiation is a word people use when they talk about something offered to God to avert or appease his wrath. That may not be a comfortable idea for you but the reality is that God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men (Romans 1:18). Unless you have always thought what God says you should think or done what God says you should do the wrath of God has been prepared for you. Nevertheless, true love intervened. Seeing the desperate need of a lost and dying world, God sent Jesus to satisfy his demand for justice and to appease his wrath by willingly taking our place on the cruel cross of Calvary. You can benefit from this love by believing in Him! In this is love: the self-sacrificial acts of mercy where we meet the needs of others and do what is in their best interest. To do this without thought of personal benefit, self-interest, or reservation is to love as God has loved. Feelings and benefits will follow. May the Lord continue to teach us how to love as he has loved us.