Happy Thursday, people! Happy almost-Valentine’s Day, as well.:)
Yesterday morning, as I finished reading the book of Jeremiah, some of the very last verses caught my eye, stopped me, and made me think. My train of thought led me to ponder what love really is and does, so I decided to share the whole works with you today and dub it a rather unconventional Valentine’s themed post.:)
So here are the verses that started it all…
“Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. So Jehoiachin changed from his prison garments.” – Jeremiah 52:31b and 32a
This in itself is just a fragment of a historical account. Nothing outstanding. But a parallel jumped out at me here, and I remembered…
I’m no longer in the prison of sin. Jesus freed me from that. So I need to leave my prison garments behind, and Colossians 3 says they are…
“… anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”
And what does the clothing of this “new man” look like?
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
“But above all these things…
“put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
We’re not talking about the frail manifestation of dutiful affection that seems to abound at this time of year. We’re talking about the real deal.
Honest-to-goodness true love.
The stuff that remains when all the beauty and romance of life is gone. When there are no happy emotions. When sin has left deep, open wounds on the heart and there seems to be nothing left but hurt. When everything that’s in you screams to leave it all and run…
Love is what picks up the pieces and painfully carries on when the road is so broken, life seems to have no direction or meaning anymore.
Love suffers long, and it’s kind.
Love doesn’t envy.
Love doesn’t parade itself… it’s not puffed up.
Love doesn’t behave rudely.
Love doesn’t seek its own.
Love is not provoked.
Love thinks no evil.
Love doesn’t rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.
Love bears all things.
Believes all things.
Hopes all things.
Endures all things.
Love never fails.
So let’s celebrate it. Celebrate true love this season. It’s tempting to glaze over all the flaws and rough spots in our relationships with glitter and flowers and such…
But how about making this Valentine’s Day different from the rest?
How about digging deep into our hearts right now, crying out to God, and asking Him to root out everything in us that isn’t born of Him… that isn’t born of love? We may not have much left when we’re through… but it’ll be pure. It’ll hurt… but it’ll be worth it.
I’m not an expert on relationships of any sort… and maybe that’s why I’m writing this. Because I know I can’t be a good friend, daughter, sister, you name it, without God. Without the deep, unshakable love that He alone offers me. And I can’t offer it to others unless I have received it from Him.
Two things, people. Love God, love people.
Happy Valentine’s Day. ❤
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.