“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth… Love never fails.”
~1 Corinthians 13: 6, 8
[Blogger’s Note: For clarification purposes, I have liberally used the term, “Valentine’s Day,” but have enclosed such term in quotation marks to indicate that I do not believe nor do I subscribe to this celebration.]
Mid-afternoon of February 13th, I was walking down a crowded shopping center with too many things running in my head. I kept on seeing stalls with nicely-arranged flowers, elegant balloon arrangements, elaborate bouquets, and lots and lots of heart-shaped and cupid cutouts. Then, I muttered to myself, wondering, “Why on earth are they celebrating their supposed “Valentine’s day” early? Would not these flowers wilt?”
It was only hours after, after I’ve seen too many coffee-shops with overrated good-for-two promos and after my elementary classmate greeted me an advanced “Happy Valentine’s Day” while I was having some documents photocopied—it was only then that I realized that yes, for the unbelievers, “Valentine’s Day” was the day after that.
I don’t know their reason for celebrating or the history of it, though I must admit that before I became a Christian, I used to buy the worldly and highly-commercialized idea of Valentine’s Day. I used to be fascinated with chocolates, flowers, balloons, and love songs. I used to get excited for February 14.
By God’s grace, however, as I accepted Christ, I was able to see the non-necessity of celebrating this day of love. I was fortunate to have attended a Bible-centered church and February 14 was usually spent evangelizing about the greatest love of all—the Father’s love demonstrated through Jesus Christ (John 3:16), who despite our being sinners, died for us and was resurrected to give us a new life (Romans 5:8). Of course, this change of heart and mind came slowly and there were times that I had to fight and struggle with my worldly and fleshly nature.
And so I am writing this entry to celebrate this Perfect and Greatest Love and to remind myself that with Christ, everyday is a day of His Perfect Love.
The aforequoted verse came out as I was preparing my mother’s speech for the Hearts Day Celebration of the public elementary schools which invited her to be a speaker. It was my desire that through her speech, the love of God may also be preached though my mom has yet to fully understand Jesus Christ.
I praise Jesus and I thank Him profusely that He has appointed this task to me, that even if I cannot personally tell these elementary kids about the Greatest Love this day, I can write about it. What’s more, my mom can actually read what I’ve written and I know that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in her heart to fully understand what it is to accept Christ. I know, God is just amazing, right?
Anyway, back to my point. I’ve been reading this Biblical definition of love for quite some time now, even way before I became a Christian. Too many times I’ve pondered on this, studied this, quoted this and memorized this passage about love.
But it was only today that 1 Corinthians 13:6 made a great impact in my life. It was by His grace that this verse has been given new meaning and life in my existence.
Love does not delight in evil. When Jesus Christ died for me out of His Perfect Love for me, He has pulled me out from the pit of darkness. I was living in sin but His grace was overflowing that He chose me, despite the filth that I was in. He chose to save me and die for me because He did not enjoy nor did He savor the fact that His beloved child was entangled in a web of wickedness.
Jesus sacrificed for me out of His Great Love. He chose to overlook all my sins and instead covered all of them with His own blood. He didn’t ask me of my family or educational background; He did not ask me to explain my sins; He did not criticize me. Instead, He looked at me with so much compassion and love. And He has freely given Himself as the full payment and ransom to the enemy in exchange for my life.
It is written in the present tense of the verb. God’s love does not delight in evil. Now that I am His child through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He does not want me to continue gratifying my sinful and horrible nature. He has to cleanse me and prune me so I will remain in His love (John 15). He has to cut all of my connections with the darkness because He does not bask in the darkness.
Instead, He savors the light and He is light Himself. All my connections to darkness include my wounds of the past, my insecurities, my inferiorities, my negative thoughts, my malicious feelings, my scandalous emotions, my doubts, my envy, my jealousy, my lack of trust, my repulsive nature—all these and more He wants to separate from me as far as the east is from the west. He wants that He alone illuminates in me.
And now, He wants me to rejoice in the truth. Rejoice has several listed synonyms, including celebrate and remember. At this point of my life, Jesus is telling me to celebrate the forgiveness that He has given me, the Perfect Love that He is continuing to share with me. He wants me to exult and take pride in Him and Him alone. He wants me to accept His forgiveness with so much openness and be happy in His love and in nothing else.
Jesus also wants me to remember the truth—that I am His and He is mine; that He has called me by name (Isaiah 43:1), that He has erased all of my past sins and have completely forgotten about all of them. He wants me to live this truth that in Him, I have been given a new life, a life that must be spent wholly and completely abiding in Him. He wants me to keep in mind and learn by heart that because of His great love for me, He has defeated sin and the enemy. In times of temptations and enemy attacks, He wants me to bring to mind that I am fighting from His victory, that I will never lose because He has won the battle already. The battle belongs to Him!
He wants me and He needs me to say to the enemy the truth—that His sacrifice on the cross is more than enough, that the enemy is powerless to bring back my old sins on my mind because Jesus has separated all of them from me.
And at the end of it all, His love never fails. I may fall and falter, I will sin again, I will feel bad and be bitter in some days but because His love never fails, I am assured that I can fight all the aforementioned battles with Him in me. The enemy may attack but the Lord Jesus will always remain victorious. He will always be the victor, the winner.
How great is Jesus—my King and Savior! And as I finish writing this blog entry, I am so full of His love and I can proudly say that I am more and more in love with Him!
And I pray that as you read along, you have been blessed by my realizations. And I pray, that you, too, will get to experience the Greatest Love of all, the love of Jesus Christ!