A New Lease On Love

By Pastor Tim
“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)
Valentine's Day floods people with emotions. Some of us love Valentine's Day; the romantics at heart swoon when we see all the bouquets of roses, the boxes of chocolate and the sea of red candy on the store shelves. Others are flooded with a sense of loneliness and sadness because we don't have anyone to celebrate Valentine's Day with. And for others we don't care; it's just another day.
Personally, I’m a romantic; I love celebrating Valentine's Day with my wife of 22 years. Last year, I fixed a big fancy candlelight dinner for my wife and daughters. I loved seeing the delight in their faces when they saw the elaborate table set just for them.
This Valentine's Day will be very different for our family. It'll be bittersweet. Valentine's Day would have been my sister and her husband's 42nd wedding anniversary. But my sister is preparing to celebrate alone. Her beloved died last November of cancer. While I was looking forward to spending time with my wife and daughters this year, my heart was breaking for my sister who’d be facing her first Valentine's Day alone. I shared my concern with my wife, and she came up with a great idea. She graciously suggested that we invite my sister to a “Family Valentine's Day dinner.” My wife unselfishly gave up our time to demonstrate our love to my sister.
Yes, this Valentine's Day will be difficult for my family, but this Valentine's Day has given me a new lease on love. What a precious gift my wife has given me by providing me with the opportunity to show love to my sister. Regardless of how you feel about Valentine's Day; it can be a reminder to show love to someone. Why not let this Valentine's Day give you a new lease on love? Why not take the focus off yourself and find
someone who needs love? Let’s live a life that looks for ways to love others! Discover 3 ways to do just that:
First: Love the Lonely
"Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good."
Romans 12:9 (NLT)
We can probably all think of those who might be alone on Valentine's Day: shut-ins, widows, and widowers, kids away at college, those who are incarcerated, in the hospital, first-responders and military personnel. Why not think of a way to show them God's love this Valentine's Day? It is easy for us to get caught up in ourselves if we don't have that special someone to spend Valentine's Day with or to get carried away with Valentine's Day plans.
Why not look at love through a new set of eyes? Look for a way to love those who might be struggling with loneliness this year. Why not find someone who is lonely this Valentine's Day and "really love them"? Who do you know that needs to feel God's love this Valentine's day? What can you do to love on them?
Second: Love Those Who Need to be Lifted Up
“So, encourage each other and build each other up, just you are already doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)
It is easy to get caught up in our loneliness and begin to ask the" why" questions. Why am I alone this Valentine's Day? Why do I not have someone to share Valentine's Day with? Perhaps we should start asking "what" questions. What is God up to in my loneliness? What is God using this time for in my life? Have you ever considered that God might be using this time for you to serve others? Why not take time on Valentine's Day to reach out to those who need to be lifted up? Yes, it's easy to focus on our difficulties and our struggles. Why not get a new lease on love by reaching out those who need to be encouraged? Perhaps you can think of someone who is struggling with family issues, addiction, depression, illness, or loss.
Why not encourage them and build them up this Valentine's Day? Who do you know that needs to be encouraged? What can you do to encourage build them up?
Third: Love the Lost
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Romans 5:8 (NLT)
Valentine's Day allows us to focus on the greatest love of all; God's love for us. The greatest day of love was shown some 2000 years ago at Calvary when God sent His one and only Son to take the horrible punishment of death for our sins so that we could have a relationship with Him.
Why not let your relationship with God give you a new lease on love for the lost? Why not tell someone about God's amazing love on Valentine's Day? Who do you know who desperately needs to hear about God's love? What can you do to share God's love with them?

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