Chocolate, flowers, dinner out, cards with flowery sentiments….is Valentine’s just a Hallmark Holiday? Well…some say YES, others revel in the day!
Over the next few weeks at Alive we are going to be looking at love, sex and dating in our Back to Basics series. This past weekend we dove into defining what LOVE really is! And although I didn’t use this verse specifically this weekend, I love when God puts a random verse on my path that aligns with what I’m studying and teaching on! Romans 12:9 says….LOVE must be SINCERE…hate what is evil and cling to what is good!
Sincerity seems to be a lost art in our culture. Sincerity defined is the quality of being free from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy. We are inundated daily with images, advertising, news, posts, twitter……that are laced with half-truths and sometimes outright lies. Our culture has fallen in LOVE with using the word LOVE….and so it has lost its depth of meaning. To cling to good seems almost counterculture and I want to encourage that to change. I want people to be attracted to GOD because evidence of His love is flowing out of my life!
Here’s a challenge….describe LOVE in 5 words or less! Would you use words like: feelings, emotions, commitment, decision, or choice? How do we describe LOVE and where do we get our information from? From our culture, movies and TV, our upbringing, or the Bible?
Our FOCUS this weekend was that LOVE truly COMES from GOD! It has nothing to do with our feelings or emotions BUT everything to do with how HE feels TOWARD US! If we look further back in Romans 12:2 we see that we are taught not to copy behavior and customs of this world but to let GOD transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. We can LEARN to know God’s will for us, which is good and pleasing and perfect. The only way we can LOVE is to KNOW the author and maker of LOVE…GOD!!!! The more in-tune with Him that we become the more we CAN SHOW LOVE to other people…we can become more patient, more kind, more tenderhearted, less easily angered! By growing CLOSER to GOD we can be more loving people that will attract others to relationship with GOD!
Isn’t that what we all want….to invite more people into KNOWING and LOVING GOD!!!