By Samuel Oyejola
John 3:16 says, “For God so love the world, that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” This Bible verse is a popular one we all know from our Sunday school. Here, we see the love of God and its significance to mankind.
Today worldwide, we celebrate a man by name ‘Saint Valentine’, who is known as the Patron of love. He connects lovers together so that they become one. Yes, there are many stories told about Saint Valentine and the Valentine’s Day. John 3:16 reveals the demonstration of God’s love to mankind. ‘Love’ in itself is a word that sends signal to our brain once heard. ‘Love’ is the first and greatest gift given to you (Mark 12:28-30). Using our anchor scripture, we will be looking at the three significant key phrases that demonstrate love.
‘For God so love the world that He gave us His only son’. Today, we celebrate someone who gave Himself to selfless service. God expects us to love and not just loving, but a love that gives. You cannot love someone without giving, even God showed us this clearly by giving His son. Some translation says ‘only begotten son’, imagine the love of a father. What are you giving to others? What proof of love are you giving? Is it anger, hate, jealousy, backbiting? God expects us to show forth the fruit of the spirit (see Galatians 5:22), we see love coming first again.
This is not a time to misuse your body by engaging in sexual sin in order to prove your ‘love’ for anybody. For the Bible says your body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) for you were bought with a price. God gave His son for us to prove love, Saint Valentine gave his life to prove love and I pause to ask, what are you giving?
‘That whoever believes in Him should not perish’. Today, we celebrate what we were not present but believed in. You make it a thing of joy to tell someone ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ because you believe someone called Saint Valentine died because he tried to connect lovers. Do you believe Jesus loves you? Do you believe God gave up Jesus just to prove that He values and cares about you? If you do; how many people have you told about this love of God? God is interested in you; He is interested in everything that concerns you. He doesn’t want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9).
Tell someone about the sacrificial love of God today. Those your friends, neighbours and co-workers need to hear this good news today. Tell them ‘Jesus loves you’. This alone goes a long way to save them from perishing. Valentine’s Day is not a day to encourage sin or engage in sinful acts. Giving out love isn’t complete without telling others about the ‘God of Love Himself’. As we go out to celebrate with loved ones, let’s do well to tell them the owner of love, for God is love. You can’t love perfectly or correctly without knowing the giver of love or love Himself (see 1 John 4:8); let men be saved through you today.
‘But have eternal life’, some translations say ‘everlasting life’. Imagine living where you don’t have to worry about death, or any form of adversaries. Yes, what a glorious sight to behold where you don’t have to worry about anything. You get to meet your loved ones who died and part with them no more. Yes, God wants us to be part of that glorious family and it starts with a decision. A determination to surrender your life to God for that is what makes you worthy to be part of the family (see Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9). If you read that Bible verse there’s a word that is significant there, believe. If you believe in your heart, Jesus loves you and He wants you to be with Him in heaven.
God loves us so much that He gave us His only son so we won’t perish but have eternal life. What other love is greater than this? A love that is not selfish nor greedy. A love that creates room for us to be just like Him. Don’t be selfish, share this love across to as many as possible.
Jesus loves us, even on this day as we show love, act love and experience love, let’s acknowledge the LOVE HIMSELF (GOD).