Last week we observed Valentines Day. The more cynical among us would suggest it is a holiday perpetuated by florists and greeting card companies to sell more stuff. Some among us would take theological exception to it, declaring it to be a pagan holiday that pays homage to evil so we should avoid it. But the vast majority of us will use it as an opportunity to do what we should all do more often anyway... to tell and show the one we love how we feel about them.
Throughout history, the love of a man for a woman (or vice-versa) has inspired us to reach for the heights of our creative abilities in search of a way to express that love. Look at all of the songs that have been written, the words that have been penned, even the monuments that have been erected. They say that the majestic Taj Mahal in India was built to express a man's love for a woman.
In like manner, man has gone to great lengths throughout history to express praise, adoration and love to God. But all of our efforts seem to fall short of the mark. While we can find words to express human love, we find it hard to comprehend, much less express or return the agape love of God.
We wrestle with the concept of God's love because much of the time we have a hard time loving ourselves and certainly have a hard time loving each other. If we can't love ourselves, if we can't love our brothers and sisters in Christ, how can we comprehend the perfect love of God?
Only God's love is unfailing. Even the best, most godly people will let us down. But God never fails and His love never fails.
Only God's love is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and His love is as unchanging as His character.
Only God's love is unconditional. As much as we love our spouse or our children or our parents, our love can never be completely unselfish or with absolutely no strings attached. We are not capable of that kind of love. But God is. There is nothing that you can do to earn God's love. And there is nothing you can do that can cause God to not love you.
With our finite human minds we cannot fully comprehend the love of God, but we can accept it. You don't have to understand something to know that it is true.
Karl Barth, the great theologian, was once asked by a group of divinity students what was the most profound thing that he had ever heard. He paused and pondered the question for a moment while the students waited with their pens poised at the ready to record some deep truth. And then he said, "Jesus loves me, this I know; For the Bible tells me so..."
Every now and then when I tell my wife I love her she will smile at me and playfully say, "Why do you love me?" "Because you are so easy to love!" I say in return. It's the same with my Lord. I may not be able to understand how God can love me, but I know He does, and that makes it so easy to love Him in return. He loves me, and that love is expressed in the grace, mercy and favor He has bestowed upon me all of my life. And it was best expressed when Jesus gave His life to give me the gift of eternal life.
Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me!