Valentine’s Day

pink and white hearts illustration
 
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”  1 John 4:7-12
 
Happy Valentine’s Day! Ok, you might be reading this a few days early, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, February 14th. Many Christians may not realize it, but this is not just another Hallmark holiday. Instead, February 14th is the commemoration of St. Valentine. According to church tradition, he was a physician and priest who lived in Rome during the third century. While many stories exist about his life, what is fairly certain is that he was arrested, beaten, and beheaded, because of his faith in Jesus.
 
Known as a man who preached about the incredible love of God in Christ, and who shared that love with others, he received in return hatred and persecution from the Romans. What were they threatened by? What was there to fear?
 
Evil hates goodness. Though Christ has won the ultimate victory, until He returns, Satan and his allies will continue to fight to the very end to drag down as many as they can and to hinder the message of the Gospel at every turn.
 
While writing this, the words of Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” came to mind. In the third verse we sing,
 
“Though devils all the world should fill, All eager to devour us,
We tremble not, we fear no ill; They shall not overpower us.
This world’s prince may still   Scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none.
He’s judged; the deed is done. One little word can fell him.”
 
As the hymn concludes in the next verse, “Our victory has been won. The Kingdom ours remaineth.”
 
Men and women through the centuries have given their lives for the sake of the Gospel. The battle wages yet today, but the victory is ours in Christ. We need not fear, only hold on to Christ.
 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, the apostle John declares that God is love. Fill us up with love for you and for one another despite the assaults of the enemy. Make us strong in faith and in our witness to your saving grace for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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