Devotion for January 9-11, 2018

Let me call you Sweetheart, I’m in love with You. Let me hear you whisper that you love me too.

Many of you probably recognize those words that come from the song by the name of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” And those of you who do remember, may be thinking about famous couples and love songs, such as those sung by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in the 1930’s and 40’s. While they never sang this song in one of their movies, Gene Kelly and Kathyrn Grayson did sing this song in the movie “Thousand Cheers.”

All of this brings to mind the mid-February celebration of Valentine’s Day. And what could be more romantic and lovely than roses, a heart shaped box of candy, a beautiful card from someone you love? Or maybe for you it is about a fancy dinner out with that special someone, a lovely glass of wine reflecting the candlelight on your table as you linger and recall many precious times and moments together. Isn’t that after all what love is about?

There is another song that talks about love. It is a song from the Jesus People Movement of the 1960’s. Many of you may remember this song, written by Reverend Peter Sholtes, a Southside Chicago Pastor, it was titled. “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love.” The song written in 1968 is also known by the opening line which reads. “We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord – ” This song reminds us of the great commandment that Jesus gave to his disciples on the night of the Last Supper. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34–35

So as Christian believers what type of love is February all about? The answer may not be as easy as you might think.

For after all God is the creator God, who created us male and female, making us different, unique and yet attracted to each other. God is the God who created marriage. Early in Genesis, we are told that for his wife, a man will leave his father and mother. So certainly we believe that God is a God of love, love for a husband and love for a wife. And he certainly wants us to express and celebrate that gift of love.

Yet there is also the love that Jesus talks about. It is not romantic love. It is that love that loves without expectation of anything in return. It is love that is given because we share a common focus and belief in a Savior who loves us enough to give up His life to pay the price for our sins. In response to the great love that he shows us we respond and love him. We show him that love by coming together as an assembly of believers in worship and fellowship. We respond to his love by our gifts of time, talents and financial support of ministries. Yet there is more that he asks us as our response. And that is to show our love for those who do not yet know Jesus as Lord and Savior by telling others about Jesus and how he has saved us.

So this month why not share the love — tell someone the Good News about a Savior who loves them so much, that he died, that they may have eternal life. That is real love!

Prayer: Grant me, I beg You, Almighty and most Merciful God, fervently to desire, wisely to search out, and perfectly to fulfill, all that is well-pleasing unto You. Order my worldly condition to the glory of Your name; and, of all that You require me to do, grant me the knowledge, the desire, and the ability, that I may so fulfill it as I ought, and may my path to You, I pray, be safe, straightforward, and perfect to the end. Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give me an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give me an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon me also, O Lord my God, understanding to know You, diligence to seek You, wisdom to find You, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace You. Amen.