There’s a song we learned in Sunday School a few years back that goes, “Love, love, love, that’s what it’s all about…”  As I was thinking about February and Valentine’s Day coming up, I began to think about love since that is what is associated with Valentine’s Day.  Then I wondered approximately how many times the word “love” is mentioned in the Bible, so I did what everyone does these days – I went to Google.   Here’s what I found.  Depending on the version you have, it could be anywhere between 310 and 538 times.  In other words, “love” is pretty significant!

In Matthew 22:37-39 we read, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And a second is like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Sometimes that’s a pretty tall order, especially loving others as yourself, but we must make that our goal.  If we find ourselves disliking someone for a particular reason, who are we to judge them?  Jesus tells us not to judge others so that we will not be judged (Matthew 7:1-3).  None of us are perfect.  If someone has wronged us in some way, we find it difficult to love that person.  We must work at forgiving that person before we can truly love them.  Jesus talks a lot about forgiveness in the Bible.  Matthew 6:14-15 and Matthew 18:21-22 are just a few of the many passages dealing with the topic of forgiveness.

Sometimes we don’t love ourselves.  That makes it very difficult to love others.  We need to work on our self-esteem.  We are all children of God. Each one of us is unique and special in his sight.  God loves us and there is no reason not to love ourselves.  God doesn’t make anything badly!  Perhaps we have made wrong choices along the way, but that doesn’t affect who we are or whose we are.  We can make better choices.  We can ask God for forgiveness and start over.  That’s one of the great things about God – we can repent and make a new beginning any minute, any hour, of any day!  Perhaps we’ve been subjected to so many “put-downs” that we’ve come to believe what those people are saying.  No one’s opinion really matters but God’s, so if we are sincerely trying our best to follow in God’s footsteps, that’s what is important.  Therefore, we can look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I am a child of God.  God loves me, and I love myself.”  Say it often, until you internalize it.  Then you are freed to love others.

Love is not just meant to be talked about or thought about.  it’s meant to be acted upon.  Therefore, I challenge you that during the month of February, you find ways to show your love to others.  I came across a clipping about love  a few days ago. There was no author mentioned so I have no one to credit for these ideas, but I thought they were good.  Following is what it said:

  • The hand of love – Write a letter or send an e-mail to someone and tell them how much they mean to you.
  • The voice of love – Telephone two or three people for a short chat.  Call those you intended to call, but somehow never did!
  • The deed of love – Take something to someone who is lonely or needs a friend.
  • The heart of love – Make a list of people for whom you will pray daily.  Forgive those who have offended you in some way.
  • The mind of love – Pray for yourself and look inward.  Take time to read the Bible or a devotional each day in order to help yourself draw closer to God.

If we do all the things mentioned in the above article, we’ll be well on our way to fulfilling Gods greatest commandment.