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“This Is Love”

February 14, 2012

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:10-11

There are Valentine gifts and there are Valentine gifts.

When I asked some ladies about the best Valentine gift they ever received, they thought and smiled. When I asked about the worst, they laughed — now, they laughed — and began shouting out bad presents like they were machine guns. Just some of their bad gifts were

* a five-pound box of candy: the kind he loves and she hates;

* an ironing board;

* a shotgun that he wanted. (She added, “I have never shot a gun in my life.”);

* lingerie which was five sizes too big or four sizes too small;

* jumper cables;

* ten years of nothing.

One rather interesting Valentine’s gift this year was given in Burbank, California. There a man presented his wife, whom he calls “the boss” with a $1 million lottery ticket. They’re going to buy a new home and a new car.

So, what kind of gift can a person give to say, “I love you”?

The answer to that question, dear friends, is provided by the apostle John.

In one short sentence the beloved disciple tells us Jesus Christ, our heaven-sent Substitute is the embodiment of real love. John has it right.

How can anyone remain unmoved by the love the Savior showed in the Garden of Gethsemane? There He received the weight of every sin humanity has ever committed. Even though He was greatly burdened, Jesus still rose up to meet His betrayer. Even though He knew what was ahead, Jesus went forward to be beaten, lied about and spit upon.

What is the best gift of love we have ever been given? Look at the cross. See the Savior who was laughed at; watch as His clothes were dispersed among His executioners; listen as He forgave His murderers, took care of His mother and promised salvation to a dying thief. Watch as He died the death we had deserved.

What is the best gift of love we have ever been given? Stand at the empty tomb and know that because He lives we shall live also.

Yes, we have been given a great gift of love in the Person of Jesus, and now it is our privilege to show our appreciation by offering Him a thankful, repentant heart.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world talks about love, but You have — in the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Your Son — shown what real, sacrificial love is. May I, in all I am and say, show my gratitude. This I pray in my Savior’s Name. Amen.

The Horacio’s Story

This is a case I have attended at LHM Argentina during my volunteer work as a third-year student at Concordia Seminary.

One of the most remarkable cases I have attended was from a man named Horacio S. from the province of Corrientes. He tells us that he spent many years in prison, and that he learned about the Gospel while he was in prison. The reason why he contacted us was to ask for help and advice. A girl who works for him and is his friend, has problems at home and he wants to help her but he doesn’t know how to do it. The husband of this friend is a drug and alcohol addict, and in addition to this, their young daughter passed away not long ago, which makes the problem worse. She is very distressed and is rejected by her neighbors, and this is why Horacio believes she found emotional support with him. He is looking for good advice to handle this situation since as God’s child he knows that the only thing that can help this girl is God’s Word and love. He thinks our advice and materials can help him guide her to learn about our Savior and change her life.

                                                                                               Claudio Fredrich