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Today is the much celebrated Valentine's Day, a day that has its roots in Roman mythology. But love itself is no myth. Love is real and it does exist. Today also coincides with the Chinese New Year, which is also marked by the giving of gifts. Valentine's Day which first began, according to legend, with a jailed Catholic priest sending a love note to his lover, has now grown into a highly commercialized event.
In the days leading up to February 14, merchants do a brisk trade in chocolates, flowers, cards and other items, all designed to communicate feelings of love. Gifts will be exchanged, and this is all well and good. For me, if Valentine's Day and chocolates go hand in hand, then I would wish everyday was Valentine's Day. But whatever the gift, the sentiment behind it is what counts.
Which brings me to one of the meanings that Webster dictionary gives for the word 'love.' It is the 'unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the well being of another; the fatherly love of God for humankind.' And God showed His 'unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern' for us by giving His best gift - His only begotten son, Jesus Christ.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us(Romans 5:8) NIV.
Note carefully, while we were still sinners. The Bible does not say after we had repented, or after we came to love God. It says while we were still sinners. When we cared nothing about Him, when we didn't know He existed, while we were still dead in our sin, God loved us so much that He sent His son into the world to die for us.
Today, Valentine's Day, lovers will look to each other for gifts. We would hardly give a gift to someone who has been mean to us, or someone who is unaware of our existence. And when we give, we usually expect something in return. But all God wants is to save us from hell and destruction. His is agape love, the 'unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern' for our good.
And He doesn't ask for anything in return. Only that we accept His gift - beautifully wrapped in the person of His beloved Son Jesus Christ. If we accept, we get to go to the lavish banquet He's throwing one day in heaven, and live with Him in eternity. His is the gift that keeps on giving. Will you accept? Say 'yes' today.