A weekly devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb
Valentine’s Day is this Thursday and according to statisticians we can put a price on love. This year Americans are expected to spend an average of $126.00 per person in an effort to express their love for that special someone. An additional $367 million dollars will be spent on Valentine’s Day by pet owners on presents for their pets.
Listening to these figures should cause us to stop and ask, “Have we lost our understanding of what love is?” In the New Testament, we are reminded of the importance of correctly defining and expressing love. The word “agape” (rendered love) appears over one hundred times in the New Testament and refers to an act of the will, involving total commitment and obedience. Love, as defined in the scriptures, involves the emotions but is not based on emotions. It is a volitional act grounded in our knowledge of and obedience to the giver of every good and perfect gift.
As Jesus was preparing to observe His last Passover, He washes the disciples’ feet and then gives them the following marching orders, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” The agape (love) that Jesus expects His followers to show toward others has its roots in God’s love for us, publicly demonstrated at the cross.
Although we can put a price on Valentine’s Day, we can’t put a price on God’s love for us and the expression of that love toward others. If we are a disciples of Jesus Christ then let’s prove it, just like He said.