“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
-Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentines’s Day, originated as a church holiday on February 14th to honor martyrs of the faith by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. The saints whose names were Valentine or Valentinus. It is believed that the first heart valentine note was sent by a Valentine who was in prison for a girl he loved. Valentines notes have been recorded for as far back as the Middle ages. While the meaning and celebrations of Valentine’s Day has changed, it has remained as a special day to shower with love those we hold close. What better way to celebrate than with affirming words of love. Valentine’s day can create diverse emotions for different people. For some; it creates great satisfaction celebrating the love you have between you, your spouse, your friends and family. For others it can cause feelings of loneliness. Whether you are single or in a relationship. God has unconditional and indescribable love for you. No matter your age or stage in life, Valentine’s Day can be celebrated because of God’s great love. Love should be sincere and true. We are called to consider others before ourselves through selflessness and uphold peace in all situations. This is a calls to sacrifice and laying one’s life for each other just like Christ did for us.
We give thanks to You Lord for You are good and Your love endures forever. We thank to You Lord of lords for You are good and Your love endures to all generations. We thank You for You died for our sins and redeemed us with Your precious blood. Thank You Jesus for loving us. May You forgive us all our trespasses and wash us with Your precious blood. May You instill in our hearts sincere love for You dear Jesus and for each other. We thank You for enabling us to see this new day, we rejoice and are glad in it. May You bless us and bless the work of our hands that we may bear much fruit. May You reunite us with our families and our loved ones dear Jesus. May You give hope to the hopeless. May You strengthen the weak and heal all those who are sick among us. May Your remember all those who are single and waiting on You marriage that You may unite them with their spouses. May You bless all those who are married and cement them with codes of love that cannot be broken. May You remember all those who are divorced or separated that You may respond to their hearts desires. May You remain close to the widows and widowers dear Jesus. May Your love and grace be ever present in our lives our loving Savior. We love You dear Jesus, thank You for loving us first. All glory, honor, power, wisdom, wealth, blessings belongs to You Jesus now and forever. Amen
Further reading: John 3:16, Matthew 5:9
1 John 3:16-18
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
-According to Greek, love is categorized into four main classifications. We have Agape which is the love of God, Storge love for love for family, Philia love between friends and neighbors, and Eros love between married couples that involves sexual desires. Everything revolves around Agape love, the love of God. It is because of God’s great love for each one of us in the whole world that God demonstrated His love for us by sending His only begotten Son so reconcile us to Himself. Todays word reminds us that if anyone sees a brother or sister in need but doesn’t pity on them, the love of God is not in them. God gives us Philia love, the love for friends and neighbors that we may demonstrate our love through actions and not only by mere words. Philanthropy originates from the word Philia and it expresses acts of charity. God calls us to demonstrate sincere love through giving to the poor and needy in the society, and we shall possess our heavenly inheritance. Matthew 25:31-46 reveals the judgement criteria that comes through acts of kindness and compassion to those who lack basic needs, those who are sick and imprisoned. Sometimes people give to the poor in the society not because they are driven by compassion but by fame and selfish interests. Jesus reminds us that whatever we do to any of these, we do it unto Him.
Abba Father You are great and greatly to be praised. You are worthy Almighty Father to be adored. Thank You Abba Father for loving us. Thank You Jesus for loving us. Thank You Holy Spirit for loving us. We appreciate You Holy Trinity one God for Your love and care upon our lives. We bless Your name Jesus for loving us and for sacrificing Your life for our salvation. While we were still sinners, Jesus You died for us. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. We come to Your throne of grace with boldness that we may find mercy and grace to help us during our time of need. May You fill our hearts with Your grace of compassion so that we may have sincere love for one another and to help all those in need, for the glory and honor of Your name. May Your grace enable us to accomplish our purposes dear Jesus. May Your love abide in us according to Your merciful love that we may lay our lives for each other. Amen
Further reading: Luke 16:19-31
1 Corinthians 13:1-4
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing”.
-Apostle Paul explains the absolute necessity of sincere love. He contrasts the eternal qualities of love and the temporal qualities of gifts. Some among us strive more for spiritual gifts and forget the absolute essence of love. As revealed in the scriptures, the gifts of the spirit yields no good if we do not have love. Even though these gifts of the Spirit manifest the love of God in particular situations within the community of faith, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to perform them. Since God is love, even if one performs these acts of faith but has no love, he is nothing. The whole essence of love is made clear when we have God in our hearts and posses the qualities thereof.
Dear Father, we are here before You today, in humble adoration and thanksgiving. We are nothing without You Lord and can do nothing without You. Father we thank You for first loving us and sending Jesus to die for my sins and because of Your love for us; help us to love each other with the same love. Father we thank You for You have made known to us the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge and for filling us with the fullness of God. Dear Lord may You touch and cleanse our hearts by Your precious blood. May You teach us how treat each other well and how to love them sincerely so that the gifting You have given us may make an impact to them positively. May You increase in us as we decrease all for Your glory. Truly You are a God of love, fill us with Your love that we may share it to others and we may understand and comprehend the depth of Your love. Lord forgive us where we have not shared the love of Christ to others how we pray that You will guide us by Your Holy Spirit that we may always be like Christ. Dear Lord You are great and wonderful. There is none like You and none can be compared to You. We worship You and Glorify You for You are great. We pray this in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.
Further reading: 1 John 4:7-12
“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”.
-Jesus provides no room for hatred by calling us to love our enemies. Even though many scenarios arise where enmity can be created, Jesus reminds us to forgive seventy times seven times. He prescribes sincere love in place of wrath, persecution, conflict and violence. Luke 6:29 tells us that, “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” Love also calls for debt cancellation which is a major cause for strife (Luke 6:34). Sincere love provides for humility, patience, peace and forgiveness. Love keeps no record of wrongs and does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6).
Thank You Abba Father for loving us and giving us love in our hearts that we may love one another sincerely. May Your love abound in us that we may love our enemies. Thank You for dying on the cross for our sins dear Jesus. May You forgive us all our trespasses and help us to forgive those who trespass against us. May Your give us Your fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control, Holy Spirit. Thank You Jesus for You are faithful to us even when we become faithless. May You teach us to do Your will always dear Jesus. We thank You and praise Your holy name, now and forever. Amen
Further reading: 1 Peter 4:8-11
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ”.
-Apostle Paul brings out both aspects of sincerity and love. So we ask, what is the point of being sincere if you are sincerely wrong? Paul point is so not keenly focused on sincerity since sincerity by itself has never been enough. The Pharisees were sincere, but it profited them nothing. Their sincerity was based solely on fulfilment of the law. Since the Lord reminds us that we are not under law but under grace, sin shall not have mastery over us.
Sincere in the Old Testament is translated as tamim, which means complete, entire and wholesome. In the New Testament, the word sincere renders four different meanings:- adolos – without guile, unadulterated – desire the sincere milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2), without blame or pure (Philippians 1:17) and without corruption – that the love of God should be sincere (Ephesians 6:24), which brings us to the main point. We should love God and one another sincerely. Jesus summarized law into love, for love is a fulfilment of the law. Love in itself a law. Romans 13:8-10 tells us that we are indebted to love one another, and whoever loves has fulfilled the law. Love does no harm to one another, and it is because of sincere love that we love our neighbors as ourselves. Love for God and love for others cannot be separated. As John puts it, “God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. And this is the commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also (1 John 4:16, 21). Sincere love is also selfless, as we are called to honor one another above ourselves (Romans 12:9-10). Sincere love means to lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters, just like Christ lay His life for us (1 John 3:16-18). This calls for pure sacrifice and doing good t0 one another, which is unadulterated love. Even though some instances have spark out conflicts and disagreements among us, creating enmity. Jesus calls us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:27-28). This is sincere love. Jesus also calls us to have compassion on those who are weak and needy in our society, for this is also sincere love. To exercise our gifts of prophecy, tongues, teaching, helps, faith and others, through love, for without love we are nothing and gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-4). We know that everything will pass away but the word of God will remain. Faith, hope and love will remain, but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). We realize that we cannot love on our own without Christ. Only Christ can give us sincere love by His grace. With sincere love we are likened to Christ through Christlikeness.
Dear Lord Jesus we love You, thank You for loving us first. By Your love You have saved us by faith through grace, we appreciate Your dear Jesus. By Your love Your sacrificed Your life for us, and redeemed us from the curse of death. Thank You for Your saving grace upon our lives. We appreciate Your Jesus for loving us. You have provided for us, protected us, sustained us, led us in Your paths, healed our wounds, given us Your gift of salvation, thank You for loving us. May Your grace of love abound in our hearts that we may love You with all our hearts, minds, soul and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. Give us the grace to our enemies, and to forgive all those who trespass against us. Thank You dear Jesus for loving us and for Your saving grace upon our lives. May Your grace abound in our hearts that we may love sincerely in all areas of our lives. May You heal all those who are sick, and provide for all the needy in the society. May You remember all those who are in prison and all those who contemplating suicide with Your mercy. May You grant favor unto all the candidates undertaking their exams during this season dear Jesus. We thank You and bless Your holy name now and forever. May You bless us Lord and keep us. May You make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us. May You turn Your countenance upon us and grant us peace. Amen
Further reading: John 13:34