Earlier this month we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a holiday celebrated around the world where people display their affection for one another with flowers, cards and - my favorite, chocolate! Valentine’s Day is most often equated with romantic love; but love can be expressed and received in various ways – with words of affirmation, gift giving, presence, touch and selfless, thoughtful acts. Regardless of how it’s expressed, love is something we all desire. Deep down in our very core, we all yearn to be loved and known.
In English, love is a word with many meanings; but, in Greek, the written language of the New Testament, there are several words for love, each with a different meaning: eros - physical love or touch; philia - a friendship or brotherly love; and storge – a love naturally shared among family members. I imagine you have experienced at least one of these expressions of love in your relationships – either as a recipient or giver. Yet, none of these alone or even as a whole articulate the complete expression of love like agape, the love of God.
The bible tells us the essence of God’s character is love (1 John 4). His love for us is profound, unending, incomprehensible and immeasurable. The ultimate expression of God’s love comes to us wrapped in the person of Jesus Christ, who left heaven behind to come to earth in human form, to give His life for you and me as a once and for all sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus bridges the chasm that was left between us and God because of sin. He restored us back to the Father, giving us access into His very Presence.
Through Christ, we are crowned with His righteousness and holiness and given His Spirit who resides within us. Even more, we live in community with God through Christ, as adopted daughters in whom He delights. That is who we are. Known. Chosen. Loved.
Love in this world is nice and may even be worth celebrating; but it is incomparable to what God offers us. His love is the real thing! When it seems as if your longings to be loved are not being fulfilled or you’re overwhelmed with feelings of being unlovable, insecurity, or loneliness, remind yourself of the truth of God’s unconditional love for you. Oh, believe dear sister, in who God says you are to Him: dearly loved, chosen, and a daughter of the King!
- Deneen McDonald (US Director, Crown of Beauty)