The Color Of Love (A Valentine’s Day Blog)

“Roses are red… Violets are blue…”

We’ve heard it time and time again. People even customize their own ending to that rhyme. But why are Valentine’s Day’s colors red, blue, pink, etc.? I don’t think there’s a clear-cut answer.

What is clear is that today is about love. Maybe you’re thinking “romantic movie love”. But as believers, we have God’s unconditional love selflessly given to us by the blood of Jesus… The blood that makes even the foulest clean, the blood that makes us white as snow.

It’s ironic though because red, as an emotional color, has a different impact outside of the blood of Jesus (or even Valentine’s Day). A red light, red flag, red bullfighter cape, code red… It’s often associated with stopping, or alarming news, or even danger.

But with today also being Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season, let’s consider Jesus’ death and resurrection leading up to Easter Sunday.

Imagine the day that Jesus bled and died on the cross for us. To spectators, it was alarming and even seemed like the end of the line. But to much of the world’s surprise, that red blood would be fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah and cleansed us, making us white as snow! That very “red” led us to a new life in the Lord, resurrected with Christ! Praise God!

So yes, today will be filled with much chocolate and red roses, nice dinners and surprises. But during the next 40 days of Lent, we invite you to also pray and prepare for the Easter season, thinking about the significance and impact in your life by what Jesus has done. He deserves it all!

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”Isaiah 1:18

Reflection Song: Nothing But The Blood

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What Is Love? (A Valentine’s Day Blog)

What is love? (Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more). For those of you who don’t know the reference, I’m talking about the 1993 hit song “What Is Love” by Haddaway, which you may recognize from the Will Ferrell/Chris Kattan comedy “A Night At The Roxbury“.

Where am I going with this today and on Valentine’s Day, of all days?

Haddaway was recently interviewed and was asked the question, “So, what is love?”. He responded, “People always ask me what I meant… I meant that ‘what is love’ needs to be defined by everyone by his own definition. It’s unique and individual. For me, it has to do with trust, honesty, and dedication.”

And that’s the truth, isn’t it? People want to be loved specific ways and they also express love to others in different ways. I was reminded of a story I heard on Christian radio not too long ago. Last summer, Nabisco released limited edition Swedish Fish Oreos across the country… Chocolate cookies. Fruit flavor. Cream filling.

I know.

To each his own, right? Everyone enjoys something different, even if that “something different” is actually something disgusting. Likewise, you might love to receive Godiva chocolates today. Or Lindt because of the colorful wrappers. Or Russell Stover… because you like to inflict pain upon yourself. Whatever the reason, the point is that in the end you’re satisfied… for the time being.

So why is it so hard to be satisfied by love? It’s because we all carry our own definition and prerequisites for love. We have our own expectations and bars set in place. But as Christians, it’s simple. No matter what, God is the very definition of love. He’s the epitome of satisfaction. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

If today’s a day where you can spend time with a loved one, fantastic! Love selflessly and in a way that brings glory to God.

If you find yourself “alone” today, you’re not! God is always with you despite the Hallmark holidays that may make you feel unloved. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” Show & share that love to someone!

It’s easy to think that love is an individualistic mentality of feelings between one another, but the love we should be focusing on is the all-encompassing, multi-ground covering, completely satisfying love of God. You might respond differently to love, compared to others… in fact, people might not even know what it takes to make you feel loved! But God’s love is a perfect match every time for every person’s unique needs.

Love isn’t in the number of roses you receive or the enormity of a teddy bear. It isn’t in titles or cute nicknames you give someone. What is love? God is love.

Reflection Song: Here Today

Top 10 Posts Of 2015

It was a great year for movies, music, and of course our blog! We’d just like to take a moment to extend our gratitude as we head towards the new year. It may have come and gone all too quickly for you, but we hope you can continue along this journey with us as we share posts with you in 2016. Here are our most visited entries of 2015:

  1. It Is Finished
  2. Smiling Galaxy Cluster
  3. In The Light
  4. Temple Of Legos
  5. Perfect Love (A Valentine’s Day Blog)
  6. Love God, Love Others
  7. Post-Easter Self-Control (Fruit of The Spirit)
  8. Christ Alone, Cornerstone
  9. Epic
  10. God Our King

And here are our top posts from previous years. Thanks, everyone, and Happy New Year!

2014
2013

Perfect Love (A Valentine’s Day Blog)

The other day at our church small group, a few of us were talking about the unfortunate lack of communication these days and how that’s impacted our signs of affection. It’s gotten to the point where we aren’t sure what “I like you” means anymore because some feel the need to differentiate “I like you” with “I like like you”! That’s some real emphasis there!

With Valentine’s Day so imminent, those who have a date may be getting ready for whatever’s planned – but those who don’t may be wondering “does he/she like like me?”, much like the classic “he loves me / he loves me not” flower petal plucking…

But I think it’s great that Valentine’s Day lands on a Saturday this year because the following day is Sunday, the day we gather together to worship the One who truly loves us. And in case you aren’t sure how much God loves you, let’s take a look at the very famous verse, John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

You see, God showed His love for us on the cross with His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. There’s no doubt about it after reading that verse that it’s because of God’s perfect love. And in case you need that extra emphasis or clarification, take a closer look: “For God so loved the world…” – that’s like saying, “For God loved loved the world”! That’s quite some love! It’s the same perfect love that casts out fear and insecurity (1 John 4:18)… the perfect love that helps heal & cure… perfect love that we are made aware of and get to experience every day.

So whether you’ve got plans or you’ve got plans to stay at home, God so loves you… in fact, God is love and His perfect love is unconditional, unmatched, and unmeasurable.

Reflection Song: One Thing Remains

Top 10 Posts Of 2014

As this year comes to an end, we want to thank you for keeping in touch with us. Your tweets, messages, Instagram comments, etc. encourage us and we hope that our posts do the same for you. Here are our most visited entries of 2014:

  1. Hand Of God
  2. The In-Between: Transitions In Worship (As seen on The Church Collective)
  3. Honesty Is The Best Policy
  4. The Father Heart Of God
  5. Endless Love
  6. Jesus Saves
  7. The Day After The Most Depressing Day Of The Year
  8. True Love (A Valentine’s Day Blog)
  9. Multitasking God
  10. Masks And Make-Believe

And here are last year’s top posts. Thanks, everyone, and Happy New Year!

True Love (A Valentine’s Day Blog)

Maybe you’ve seen a movie like 2010’s Valentine’s Day or some other rom-com where they try to answer the age-old question “What is love?”, or you’ve been to one too many weddings where they quote 1 Corinthians 13, or you’ve been able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with somebody special over the years.

But perhaps on this Valentine’s Day, I can offer a different perspective: Valentine’s Day is about true love. Can you believe that just 300 years ago, Valentine’s Day flowers, chocolates, and cards never even crossed our minds?

The story goes that Saint Valentine was a Christian priest and physician in early Rome, during a time where it was very anti-Christian and anti-marriage. Yet, he constantly did good deeds, cared for the sick & the poor, and secretly performed Christian weddings. Right before the Roman Empire beheaded Valentine for his Christian faith, he fell in love with a woman and gave her a final note signed, “Your Valentine”.

Now where in that story did you see true love? The origin of Valentine’s Day cards? Or how Valentine knew the value of his faith and love for Jesus Christ that he would take it to the very end?

When we think of true love, we may think of romance… but real, true love is unconditional, like the true love shown to us by Jesus Christ – the perfect sign of God’s love on the cross. This true love is what inspired and drove Valentine to do what he did. He risked persecution, punishment, and even death to take a stand for his Christian faith. Jesus was his shameless plug.

So this Valentine’s Day, have fun with the candy and flowers but don’t just fall for the commercialism and Hallmark holiday of February 14 – Valentine’s Day is more than that. Consider true love and show true love to those you care about: your friends, family, husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, and even strangers. How can you show more of the true love of Jesus?

Reflection Song: Here Today