Next week people will be celebrating Valentine’s Day, a time when LOVE is said to be in the air. Five weeks later people will celebrate the arrival of Spring, when love is also in the air. In both of these cases, it is hoped that love will not only be in the air, but also in the heart. Love is not really airborne like some contagious diseases, but when it finds itself in the heart it can truly be contagious. For diseases to be such is not s good thing, but it is truly a good thing for love to be contagious. There are, however, different kinds and degrees of love, but there is one love that is especially desirable.
“Words from Above” in the Bible tell us that the very best kind of LOVE is the love of God. God did not depend in the least on demonstrating love by putting it in the air when He created the world, but He demonstrated it by sending His only begotten Son Jesus into the world. He did that so that the people of the world need not perish, but that they could have eternal life, as we are told in John 3:16. Jesus, as well, demonstrated love to the world by willingly leaving His seat next to His Father on His throne in order to come to this world in human form.
The good news is that God the Father and God the Son served as good examples of how to love, and they have made it possible for us to love like them. Not only did Jesus demonstrate love by leaving heaven to come to this earth, but He also willingly allowed Himself to be crucified on the Cross to demonstrate His love for us. He paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to pay the penalty for the sins of all the people of the world. The penalty for sin is spiritual death, so by paying that penalty He spared us from spiritual death, and gave us the free gift of salvation.
In order for us to actually receive this gift of salvation and eternal life, we must confess our sins to Him, ask His forgiveness for those sins, and then invite Him to live in our hearts. The way He lives in us is through His Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that God breathed into the nostrils of Adam to make him a living soul. The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5:5 that God then pours His love into our hearts through His Holy Spirit, pouring them so full of love that it overflows into the lives of those around us.
Larry R. Steffee is pastor of the Center Hill Brethren In Christ Church on Miller Road in Smithville. Everyone is welcome to attend. For informa-tion, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.