A Valentine’s Day Thought

I John 4:10-11
In this is love, not that we 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.

How many people here saw flowers or hearts today?

I saw a lot. Why? Because it’s Valentine’s day, and because that’s what you do on Valentine’s Day…you dosomething to show your love for someone.

People are doing lots on Valentine’s day for the ones they love. I heard lots of mentions today about flowers, chocolates and dinners. Most men feel obligated to show their love to their significant other by giving a Valentine’s Day gift.

I know the love spoken of in this passage isn’t the romantic love referenced so many times on Valentine’s day, but I think there are some important parallels. We as Christians often feel obligated to do things to show our love to others.

BUT, God doesn’t want us, out of obligation, just to do something that looks like love for others.

God wants us to love Him (and others) like He loved us. From this passage, there are three things we can learn about His love for us (and therefore how He wants us to love others):
He loved us first, even though we were His enemies and had done nothing to deserve it (let alone love him first).2.
He loved us without a guarantee of returned love.
He loved us for our sake, not His.

So, how do we apply this? Love is a conscious decision, sometimes involving action towards someone who doesn’t deserve it. I would encourage all of you this week to read I John 4 and ask Christ to help you love others like he loved you (First, without a promise of returned love, and for their sake, not your own).

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0 Responses to A Valentine’s Day Thought

  1. James says:

    Good points you brought up. . . . .1) I should love God (and others) because of who He is and not because of what He does, or doesn’t do, for me.2) I should love God (and others) honestly and earnestly, not expecting a reward (like my 4 year old) for doing it.3) I should love God (and others) for Christ’s sake, and not for my own, simply because He is my Saviour and Lord.Thanks for the encouragement.Question- 1 John 5 says:To love God= OBEDIENCESo then. . . . .To love others= ???????

  2. Derek Lidbom says:

    Obedience (loving God)!

  3. Josh Creason says:

    Hmmm….I’m not sure I agree with the “God loves us for our sake.” He loves us because it brings Him glory. James – maybe obedience to God can be comperable to love being an action to others (not just an emotion).

  4. sarah says:

    I don’t care what you say, I don’t care what you heard, the word Love *pause*, Love is a VERB.Wait… I think it’s LUV…

  5. Derek Lidbom says:

    Interesting point Josh…I agree that the ultimate end (result) of all God does is His glory, but is that His motive in all He does?

  6. Josh Creason says:

    I don’t know. I’m sure he could have dual purposes if he wanted. you can do that when you’re God and you create the rules.

  7. Leslie says:

    The chief end of man is to glorify God. The chief end of God is to glorify himself. This was stated by John Piper, a great theologian.This means that we exist purely to glorify God and for no other purpose. God’s goal in EVERYTHING he does is to bring glory to his name. It is always a surprise to me that he chooses to do so through us. Leslie

  8. James says:

    Wow, some pretty deep thoughts posted on this topic. . . I love the comments. . . . .I guess my interpretation of “God loving us for our sake” was more along the lines of “for our benefit and not His” (Jn. 3:16, Gal. 2:20, Eph. 5:22 ). I can promise you this- We get the better end of the deal in this exchange. God “has/is/will be” glorified in those who love Him and obey Him. . . . .but He has never received the glory and praise from His creation-man that He is due. As an analogy, if this were a present day financial deal, He would have cut His losses long ago.. . . .it’s bad debt.My question still stands from my earlier post:1 John 5 says to love God is to obey Him. . . . .so then what does it mean to love others? (please use scripture references if possible- I have a few in mind).

  9. Derek Lidbom says:

    John Calvin talks quite a lot about this (man’s cheif/ultimate end). If you’re interested (and don’t mind reading slowly), head over to:http://www.ccel.org/e/edwards/works1/htm/iv.ii.htmI'm trying to dig through some of it.

  10. Jon Wright says:

    I disagree with the statement that man’s chief end is to glorify God. But I will not talk about my opinion, instead, I will let God speak His.Duet. 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might;” Matt. 22:36-40 “”Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Jn. 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”and when we obey Him, we glorify Him.I propose that God’s glorification is not man’s chief end, but rather the result of this end which is to love (verb 😉 ) God with ALL our being.

  11. Josh Creason says:

    But isn’t loving God with all our being the means by which we bring him glory? James: I think i would argue that God doesn’t get the raw end of the deal. He’s God…none of this is an accident that he would need to “cut bait”. God recieves more glory by creating a world, knowing that humans would sin, guiding history so that he could send his son to die at their hands, and in the end all the glory the son receives can be handed over to the father.

  12. Derek Lidbom says:

    Let me correct myself…Jonathan Edwards, not John Calvin. But, regardless, page I linked to (that is buried down in a collection of his works) discusses several “ends”: ultimate, further, chief, subordinate, next, last, immediate, inferior, etc.It’s a lot to work through, but I think he’s building a case for clarifying some of the semantics that this thread has already touched on.

  13. Jon Wright says:

    James, I would agree with your post where you said “love, obedience, and God’s Glory are intertwined in such a way that one has trouble framing one without the other”. But my point is that obedience to God is the logical and inebitable result of Loving God. Glorification of God is the logical and inebitable result of obedience to God. Without loving God, obedience would not happen and without obedience, glorification of God would not happen. So then, the cheif end of man is not to glorify God, but to love God. This is very much in line with scripture as you noted and I refered to in my last post.

  14. James says:

    Jon W.- Is your point that “glorifying God” is the by-product of “love” for Him expressed in “obedience”? (by-product may be a poor choice of words mind you). It certainly fits with 1 John 4 & 5.Josh- God is God. . . .and He will ultimately be glorified in all and through all. . . .my point is that what God did through Jesus was “sacrificial”; for my sake, not simply for His. This is what makes the Cross so phenomenal. I do, however, understand that a good case can be made for this ultimately being framed in the context of God receiving the glory.In light of the original Journal entry, I guess that these three (love, obedience, and God’s Glory) are intertwined in such a way that one has trouble framing one without the other

  15. Jon says:

    The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

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