Winter is in its prime right now in America. Besides the cold and the snow, February is a month that's shorter than the rest, is recognized as Black History month and has three holidays that we observe: Groundhog Day, Presidents Day and Valentine's Day.
Have you ever wondered about the history of Valentine's Day? There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine".
Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine.
Over time, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers and there was often a social gathering or a ball.
(Click here to read St. Valentine, The Real Story By David Kithcart from The 700 Club): http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchAndMinistry/ChurchHistory/St_Valentine_The_Real_Story.aspx
Love is the most powerful force in the world. The power of love shapes us, drives us and makes us who we are in life. As Christians, we have another insight about love when we surrendered our hearts to Jesus Christ because of His perfect love for us.
In the world today we see that being loved and accepted is the greatest fulfillment in life. We are bombarded with this by the marketing from ads, radio, television and the internet. Those outside of God's heart and plan are daily trying to fill that void of being loved unconditionally. It's a cycle that has been going on since Adam and Eve.
We know that God so loved the world that He sent His only son (the best gift of love) to die for us so we could be saved, filled with His spirit and be given eternal life with Him. The best part of this whole event is, it didn't cost us anything - it's free!
I have shared my testimony while ministering at various places and have talked about growing up in a Christian home and that my parents are pastors, but yet in my teens to early twenties I strayed from God and lived like the prodigal son. Eventually I came home to my heavenly Father who rejoiced and washed away my sins and set me free. Talk about the power of love when total forgiveness is gifted to you and being physically healed without even asking. That's the kind of love that Jesus gives and it's always more then what we can ask for or even imagine.
One of the key passages in the bible that has shaped me as a worshiper and worship leader comes from Luke 7: 36-50. In this passage, it says "she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." What a visual for what true worship (worth-ship) really is.
And then a few verses later Jesus says this to the host of the dinner and to the woman: "Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." This is where our worship comes from. How is our worship to God measured in our hearts?
In an article just released this month from worship leader Klaus Kuhn, he discussed this very thing. With his permission I have added an excerpt from his newsletter with his observation about this very same passage:
"I wanted to leave you with a thought concerning worship. When the woman with the alabaster jar worshipped Jesus, she spilled the whole of it in a moment. Historians tell us it was very costly. She broke it open preparing Him for the burial to come. The Bible does not say that she measured out a little at a time, not wanting to be excessive, but rather poured it all out in that moment of worship! If we are still measuring our offerings, we have not seen His worth! The religious leaders said it was too much and that she was not worthy, (sounds religious, the very opposite of what Jesus came for, which was to seek and save that which was lost and convert rebels into worshippers). She saw His worth because of what He had done in her life and poured out extravagant worship in exchange for the extravagant love that He had shown her.
My prayer is that all of us learn that type of worship in our lives. Not just in a given moment, but every day. When you are poured out for the broken and the destitute, you do it as unto the Lord, as an act of worship. May we be broken and poured out for the world around us."
Visit Klaus Music at: http://klausmusic.com/index.php
As Christians we are to be a mirror image or reflection of Jesus Christ here on the earth. One thing is for certain, we are to be Christ like in love. I have shared many times that we are living in the greatest time as believers and that the Church is about to enter in to her greatest destiny ever. But before that happens we will need the heart of the Father with His love and compassion.
I have been drawn to the verse where Jesus would be among the throngs of people who were hurting, diseased, oppressed and "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
As I lead worship and minister at different places, I'm so moved when I see people have an encounter with God. From joy on their faces to being prostrate on the floor in tears, I find it humbling that God loves us so much that He would pour out His goodness to us all.
From being in full-time ministry or ministering where God has placed you in life, we must live our life to show the world what true love is all about. We have been blessed with so many tools and resources to evangelize the world with but without love it profits nothing. (1 Cor. 13:1-3)
In closing, the Apostle Paul through the Holy Spirit gives us what "true love" is. Let's take a look at it in: (1 Cor. 13: 4-7, 8-10 & 13 from the Message Bible)
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10: Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
13: But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
May we become like the woman at the feet of Jesus in our daily worship. If we can pour ourselves out to Him I know that He will fill us up with His perfect love so that we will move in love and compassion where we have been placed to minister. The world is watching and waiting for you and I to show them what the true power of love is and that it is freely available for them as well through Jesus Christ.