Valentine's Love                

A Devotional Snapshot

 

by God's Little Boy
© MakeshiftDarkroom.com 2014
Posted 2/14/14

 


While the historical accuracy of the "legend" of Valentine is uncertain, the legend(s) that has survived until our day, carries a Christian theme and leads us to the beauty of God's love. The legend of Valentine is a story that reveals the true nature of the highest kind of love - agape love. Though we can not verify the details of this account, something happened in antiquity to inspire this legend and celebration of love. When God is involved his love is present and active.

According to legend,

In the third century, a Christian named Valentinus (probably a Bishop) was imprisoned by a Roman emperor Claudius II for ministering to fellow Christians who were suffering under Roman persecution. Before his eventual execution, some accounts tell of his teaching and ministry to the jailer's blind daughter while he was under arrest. In that day such a needy and disadvantaged child would have found little hope or compassion from others around her. The world was different in those days; such a one who sat in the darkness of her own blindness would also have been surrounded by the darkness of a world without love. What a joy and hope the warm gift of Christian love would have been to such a desperate lonely soul. A number of years ago, my wife gave me an embellished written account of this legend which suggested that the jailer's daughter's sight was miraculously restored by God through the ministry of Valentine's love. My wife had prayed that God would give me a fresh revelation of his love, and her prayers were answered. After reading the account I was overwhelmed with thoughts of God's love for the unlovely, and I cried for two days.

Only God knows the true details of this account, but this legend inspires thoughts about the truth of God's love, which truth is certain. In this story, Valentine was constrained by the love of God, and he ministered the same to those who God has compassion for. In the shadow of his own impending demise, he loved in the place of Christ with the highest love, to the end. Before his execution, it is said that he addressed a note to the jailor's daughter and signed it, "Your Valentine."

Before Christ came into the world, agape love was largely unknown by the world. Jesus brought it to us and expressed it in its fullest sense, and with such love he changed the world. Agape love is the unconditional self-sacrificing love of God as demonstrated on the cross - Calvary's love. Agape love has given itself for all who are in need of spiritual healing. For too long the sick and weak and disadvantaged were run over, passed by, and despised as victims of fate. But where human loves often failed, agape love abounded as a glorious light from above bringing with it a sweet taste of heaven. Jesus has come to love! He comes to the world in the ministering care of his saints who God has made channels of his love and tender mercies by the grace of God.

There are lesser natural loves that frequent the human heart. Storge - the loving affection among close family members, phileo - brotherly love and friendship based upon common interest or close association, and eros - which does have a positive meaning of romantic or physical love, but is in its basic essence a love for what pleases self - loving someone or something because of the benefits it brings to oneself. This is how eros is manifest in the context of fallen humanity. Eros swims in the shallow waters of self, but agape can fill the oceans of the world to overflowing. Indeed, neither the oceans of this earth nor the heavens above them can contain the love of God. Those who have learned to swim in its waters and sit at its table have a continual feast. Other earthly loves may offer some measure of good, but each one has its limits and can go only so far, and then no further. Agape love exceeds them all in its limitlessness. Agape has but one source within the universe; it is the only love that comes from God and is given by his Spirit. If you thirst for agape you must come to Jesus to obtain it. The love of God rich and deep and full and free!

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 13

 

If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

3 Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.

4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.


7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

9 For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect).

10 But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.

12 For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].

13 And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love. (Amplified)

 

 

 

The Love of God

Frederick M. Lehman
1917

 

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Refrain

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Refrain

 

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