This past week was Valentine’s Day. Hard to miss, with all the pink, red, balloons, flowers, candy, stuffed animals, fancy dinners… and that was just Facebook. Love was definitely in the air and to be celebrated.
I’ll admit, I did have some awkward moments, a sort of sense of failure really, when I walked past the displays in the stores, realizing that none of the tokens of love would be given to me.
Valentine’s evening, however, brought a greater token of love. I found myself sitting at a table with friends, talking about the meaning of 1 John 4:10:
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Atoning — to make reparation or supply satisfaction
Sacrifice — the act of offering to a deity something precious; destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else
Jesus was the precious offering. He supplied reparation, not for his sins, but mine.
“Your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:7
All else, no matter how great and wonderful, are trifles compared to the love of God for me. That verse, like so many, is a token to imprint on my heart the realization of God’s love.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all… (Isaac Watts)
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river. (Frances J. Crosby)
By the grace of God, arranged and played by Katie