Summary: This message is about love - not how the love the is generally expressed on Valentine's Day, but how it should be lived daily in the lives of Christians. If we love the way we are commanded to, the purchasing of a gift would never be needed to prove our love - it would be a bonus.
Valentine’s Day 2021
Good morning New Light. Today is February 14 and I want to wish my darling wife, Nikki, my daughters, my grand-daughter and each one of you a very happy Valentine’s Day. Now, why don’t you take a moment to wish someone a happy Valentine’s Day – I will even pause and let you text them since we are remote. Across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine – all in the name of love. The history of Valentine’s Day – and the story of its patron saint – is shrouded in mystery. However, what we do know is that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains remnants of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.
This morning I am not going to focus on the history of Valentine’s Day in the way we are accustomed to talking about it. Instead, I am going to focus on what Valentine’s Day represents – giving something to someone because you love them. I am not talking about giving a gift when the purpose of you giving the gift is to try and prove your affection for someone or worse, to receive a gift in return. If that is the reason you’re giving someone a gift today then you are missing the whole purpose of Valentine’s Day - demonstrating love. Instead you are either attempting to prove something that you’ve been unable to prove through your conduct thus far or you are trying to manipulate the receiver of your gift to give you a gift in return, and I’ll leave it at that. You see, what you’re going to hear this morning is how love shows up in our actions and when it’s done right, the person on the receiving end knows how you feel whether or not you ever give them a gift. As a matter of record, I will say that if you love a person the right way, gifts that you can purchase will never be chosen over the love that you give them. It just won’t happen.
God gave the world its first Valentine’s gift in the Garden of Eden. No, I am not talking about when God put Adam in a deep sleep to remove one of his ribs to create Eve. Actually I am talking about when God banished them from the Garden of Eden. God is love. Everything that God does flows out of Who He is – everything! I want you to understand that the reason God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden was because He loved them? Remember how He told them not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil because they would die if they did? I am not going to spend any time on this right now, but they did die spiritually the moment they ate of the tree and they died physically years later. When they died spiritually, the sin nature was formed in them. Now I do not want you to miss this next statement. God knew that if they ate of the Tree of Life that they would live forever in a sinful condition and eventually burn in the lake of fire forever so He prevented this for them! Now how is this an example of love? If Adam and Eve had eaten of the Tree of Life, they would have lived as sinners forever and God would not have been able to provide a path back to Him for them or for the human race.
Now that path was the birth, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus – the second Valentine’s gift that God set in motion to give to the world immediately after Adam and Eve sinned. This gift was also given out of love. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Now I need to ask you a question that should burn in the hearts of all who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior. Why in the world would God love this world so much when this world rejects His holy standards of living? It is because God is only being who He is and responding out of who He is. In First John 4, we read the following in verses 8 and 16: 8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. … 16And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” So He had to make sure that they would not have an opportunity to eat of the Tree of Life. God loved the human race so much, that His first “Valentine’s gift” was banishing Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden which paved the way for His second “Valentine’s gift” – sending His Son to die in our place.