February is best known as the 'Love' month. Adults and children invest much in this holiday. It has been estimated that the average person will spend $142.31 on flowers, candy, apparel and more. The approximate calculation of total spending of our nation for Valentines day will be $18.9 billion.* This is astonishing considering the economics of America. Isn't it interesting that people will 'find' the needed money to spend on things, just to express their love to another? It's the proof that we demonstrate love through giving. Whether it's children at an elementary school having a party, parents giving cards and candy to children, or two adults expressing love through flowers, candy, dinner out and the likes - love is being conveyed. All this takes place on - 'Valentine's Day'!
This particular holiday's history is uncertain, and several stories of a martyred mysterious saint called Valentine lay claim to it's formation. Yet regardless of it's past, we surmise the need to exchange a token of affection. Thus the giving of cards and gifts. I think it curious that we have established such a dominant holiday for the declaration of love. If only people shared such passion of demonstrating love to God.
Having established that love is expressed by giving, we find that God was the first to give. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." God gave what was precious and most valuable to Him, His Son. Jesus gave His life so that you and I might live eternally with Him. How great is that? Jesus also said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13
These are not the only gifts that God has given. Through out the Bible we find His love for us communicated through his gifts: (Eph. 4:11-12) Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for equipping us ; (Acts. 2:38) The Holy Spirit for empowering us; (1 Cor. 12:4-10) Gifts of the Holy Spirit, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, gift of faith, gifts of healings, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues & interpretation of tongues; (Rom. 12:6-8) Motivational gifts according to His grace - "Through the grace of God we have different gifts. If our gift is preaching, let us preach to the limit of our vision. If it is serving others let us concentrate on our service; if it is teaching let us give all we have to our teaching; and if our gift be the stimulating of the faith of others let us set ourselves to it. Let the man who is called to give, give freely; let the man who wields authority think of his responsibility; and let the man who feels sympathy for his fellows act cheerfully." (Just naming a few.)
If God has shown His love for us through all these gifts, what have you given Him to show your love? Giving our life to Him, allowing Him to live in us and through us exhibits love for Him. Committing in service to Him by helping in church: greeting, hospitality, ushering, teaching children, praise and worshipping and all the many available areas reveals we love what He loves. Giving of our finances, not only proves we trust Him, but that He's our only Lord!
Since this is a month of Love, why not take this opportunity to express your love to the Father. Search your heart to see what you can give to Him!
Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
* Estimations were calculated by the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."