Devotion written by Colleen W.
for In the Glow event "Frands and Ampersands"
February 11, 2017
When I was in elementary school, I remember decorating shoeboxes for Valentine’s Day. You’d wrap the box in paper, bling it up, and place a slit in the top so your classmates could drop in valentines. Back then, kids didn’t have to bring a card for everyone. That meant, how many you got was a measure of your popularity and, in turn, your self worth.
Of course popularity on Valentine’s Day was no guarantee of popularity to come. Even those whose boxes were filled to the brim were hanging onto the precious commodity of peer approval by a thread. As Heidi Klum says on Project Runway, “One day you’re in, the next, you’re out!”
Is there any greater joy than knowing God doesn’t operate this way? The agape love He offers can’t be measured. It goes farther than time itself, into the deep recesses of eternity past and into eternity future. It’s not based on what we can do for Him or what have to offer. We don’t have to worry - even for an instant - that He’ll reject us or give us the cold shoulder if we make one wrong move. He knows us inside and out. He knows all our strengths and weaknesses and He lavishly loves us just as we are.
Flashing forward from shoebox Valentines to our adult experiences of this holiday. Chances are you either greatly anticipate or dread it, depending on your current relationship status. Or maybe you’re like me: ambivalent because it’s so highly commercialized. The good news is, no matter how you feel about it, whether you are single, married, divorced, separated or widowed you have a perfect Valentine! No heart beats with more love than His for you. No one has ever proven his love more perfectly than He did. He made you, He loves you, and you are His forever.
This Valentine’s Day, because we have received this amazing gift of everlasting, unconditional, and unselfish love, let’s share His love with others. Not just with the usual suspects like boyfriends or husbands or kids. Let’s love all of the people in our lives and those who cross our paths…even those who are a little more challenging.
It's not an easy task, but it isn't totally up to you. Without God, this would be impossible because our love would always be conditional. But because He has poured out His immeasurable, unquantifiable love for us through Christ, we have been changed. We’ve been given the Spirit who lives within us. He enables us to love in a new and different way. Through the work of the Spirit, we can give without expecting anything in return. We can be patient, kind, and compassionate.
Like Melissa shared in our last Glow Reads: when our hearts are open to receiving His perfect love, there is no other way for it to travel than out! His boundless love cannot be contained.