Yes, it is Valentine’s Day, but today my mind is on Christmas. That’s because, this past Christmas I felt so thoroughly loved through the gifts I received from my family members. Each gift was so special and well-suited to me, but also reflected something about the giver’s character or my relationship with him/her. My husband is an extravagantly generous giver. He usually spends more on me than I would even consider spending on myself. Christmas 2014 was no different. When he asked what I wanted, I hesitated to tell him about the expensive camera I had been eying, because I knew he would probably buy it. But when he found out that it might be discontinued soon, he decided to purchase the next model up. No big surprise. 🙂 (He takes after his parents, who were also very generous with their gifts.) I’m so grateful for my mom, who knows what clothes look good on me and seems to delight in shopping for me. And I delight in her selections! One of them, a very flattering sweater, is captured forever in the family photo we took the day after Christmas. I also think about the gifts for which my children sacrificed their allowances and gift money, a gift card to a favorite home decorating store from my brother’s family, and gorgeous handmade gifts from my creative sister-in-law. My niece gave me an assortment of treats from Starbucks, indicating that she knows me very well indeed.
Later, as I continued to think about it, I was reminded of 1 Peter 4:10. With our different spiritual gifts, we are able to demonstrate God’s manifold (layered, mulit-faceted, varied, diverse) grace. Then I thought, it’s as if each one of those Christmas gifts demonstrates, in a small way, one of the infinite facets of God’s love for me. Which makes them even more precious.
God loves lavishly.
~~ See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1) ~~
He loves intimately.
~~ You have searched me, Lord, and you know me … For you created my inmost being. (Psalm 139) ~~
He loves sacrificially.
~~ And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:2) ~~
He loves faithfully.
~~ Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23) ~~
He loves patiently.
~~ But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15) ~~
He loves unconditionally.
~~ But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) ~~
He loves eternally.
~~ For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:5) ~~
God’s Word has so much more to say about the ways that He loves us. I pray that, whether or not you are sharing this day with loved-ones, you will know and believe how much God loves you.
Thanks for stopping by,