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By BARBARA BROWN
My calendar says Valentine’s Day is coming, and store shelves are filled with greeting cards, sweet candy and soft, stuffed animals. People will be paying a little more attention to one another, doing kind deeds and giving gifts of love. And I think this is a really good time to appreciate the one who first loved us, God our maker.
In the good news of his word, we find how great is his love. “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
And again his word exclaims, “See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children — and indeed we are! (1 John 3:1)
I’m so glad God did not wait for me to first love him before he showed such generosity. And I remember my stunned reaction when I first heard the good news of his great love. Jesus on the cross, taking my judgment and condemnation; a message so clear and an act so undeniable. “But God demonstrated his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
God is love. And God’s gift to us is his son. Jesus’ gift to us was to take our place on the cursed cross. God is good. He shines his light into our darkness and never leaves us alone. The psalmist David reminds us of God’s faithful love, in the 25th Psalm, “Lord, I turn to you. My God, I trust in you … Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; I wait for you all day long. Remember Lord, your compassion and your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with your faithful love, remember me because of your goodness, Lord.
Barbara Brown is a ministry team member at the Lighthouse Church of God