A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. St. John 13: 34,35
Every one falls short of loving perfectly—for it is impossible in our own nature to attain the Lord’s perfection. Only the Lord can love without any conditions attached and we come up short of His glory.
How wonderful it is that the vilest of human beings will always be welcome to come before the Throne of Grace and receive Mercy. How sad, it seems to me, that having received such blood-bought forgiveness, we should sin against God’s Holy Spirit in holding a grievance against a brother or a sister in Christ.
As a true Valentine gesture I say, if you have hard feelings toward anyone, ask the Lord to help you to love that person as He has loved you! Be tender hearted, and forgive that person. I have found that the Lord is always ready to answer that prayer of petition, “Lord, help me!” In that way we may participate in His nature! He makes His home with us through His Holy Spirit, therefore, you are immediately blessed with a generous portion of His love for that person, and you find words of encouragement and cheer to offer.
Some gesture is called for to show that person that you are full of loving kindness and ready to demonstrate it! A phone call, a Valentine greeting card or a note is sure to be received in the spirit that you offer it. The important thing is to speak your love—again and again! Love begets love—true words that we all know from our own experience. You can’t stay angry in your heart with someone who loves you and says so, then shows you the sincerity of the words by some act of kindness.
Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to make everything right with everyone. Nothing compares to knowing that you can face the Lord unashamed, because you have acted in obedience! We remember that these words of his are a commandment! We have no option! The only way possible to be in purest worship is when we are acting in obedience to His commandments to love God with all the heart, with all the mind, with all the strength and to love others as He has loved us.
Here I will tell a little story out of my own weakness to show how this is made not only possible but easily doable when we call on Him for help. In my devotional one morning I felt how weak I am and how miserably short I fall in this important spiritual requirement, and I cried out to the Lord, “How can I possibly do this?” I had my head down on the table. Suddenly the image of a leaf popped up in my head and I jumped up and ran to the encyclopedia, flipping over to the leaf section and reviewing again all the properties of the leaf.
Here I simply translated those into a spiritual application and saw that the dear Lord was showing me how to alwaysabide! As we say in everyday speech, “Hang in there!” Think of yourself as being a leaf on the branch which is securely fastened in the Vine, Jesus Christ! Always consider yourself as a LEAF. You are a LIVING part of the BODY of CHRIST here on EARTH! The spiritual functions can be compared to the finite version of the leaf which falls off when its season is over but it does not die! Its physical form becomes merely dormant at the close of the season. In its active seasonal state it provides beauty (glory—strength) to the tree; it brings identification (Christian), and when the active role closes it falls to the ground and continues its life through the root system—and that compares to our eternal life in Christ. (Ps.1)
Again and again I have had reason to “see” the image of the leaf as the Lord reminds me of the morning that it happened, and He also brings the message back so that I am continually encouraged and strengthened by recalling it and by sharing it with others as I have done here today! All for a testimony to the power we have to act as Jesus commanded, for he explained all of that in replying to Philip and Jude there in the Gospel of John, when Philip asked Him to show us the Father—and to the reply He gave then Jude asked, “How will that be possible?” The Vine life shows how we are connected to the Lord at all times, and nothing can separate us.
Now here I must digress just a bit for the Lord is nudging my mind and saying, “You need to show the danger here of NOT abiding IN the Spirit.” All right, here it is. ONLY GOD CAN DO GOD’S WORK. Remember, He is always available and you must call on Hin and do all your spiritual tasks IN HIS NAME—then your labor is not in vain IN THE LORD. When you go plowing ahead in your own strength you are doomed to failure and all your work is stubble, and you dry up and have no fruit to show. The Lord prunes the ones who bear fruit so they can produce more fruit, but a fruitless twig means a lifeless twig. These are not my words, but the scripture’s. If you are not bearing fruit, it has serious consequences. Enough said.
We all love so much to think of our individuality being evidenced by the fingerprint, and likewise each of us bears the “soul-print” of Jesus. Even though every leaf on a maple tree, for example, has the identical pattern, but just like the snowflake—no two are exactly the same in every respect! Examined under the microscope these differences are apparent! Let’s all praise the Lord for this great Truth—we are ONE in the Bond of Love but we retain our spiritual individuality so we never need compare ourselves to anyone else nor our work to that of anyone else.
Every leaf is important to the life of the tree, and the stories of the Lost Coin, and The Prodigal Son are given to illustrate this truth.
I thank the Lord for his LOVE and for the scriptures that have been preserved for us down to this day and age! From the beginning to the end these great stories bring us assurance that nothing can separate us from His Love!
And I especially love the fact that through a web site I can know that this message of love radiates my thoughts out to the world at large. My mother taught me that we are given “special eyes” and “special ears,” so that we can come closer to God and learn of Him. I pray that in reading my Valentine greeting to you, your special eyes will allow you to “see” the BIGNESS of God, and “hear” the music of the spheres—the Voice that has gone out to all the earth! Then that you will respond with me in a glad “hallelujah!” LOVE IS THE REASON FOR IT ALL!