Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia and the United States. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.
Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
It is nice to tell loved ones that you love them but actually that's something you should be doing every day. Love and marriage is not just for one day when you get all romantic but about living in the cut and thrust of life and surviving the ups and downs of the difficulties that life throws at you.
Maybe, we men, need to learn to be more thoughtful, to say I love you, to buy a little thing that really matters regularly and to express our love on a day by day basis.
I get a prime example of love when I look at the Lord Jesus Christ and what he did for me. The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians chapter 2 verse 20 about the Lord Jesus Christ, that he is, "the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me". That man really understood what it meant to be loved. He knew that God loved him despite his past. He realised that God sent His Son to be a sacrifice for his sins.
Sacrificial behaviour is often the truest evidence of love. Depriving yourself to provide for your loved one takes love to a deeper level. We often see this with mothers and children and grandparents and their grandchildren. This type of love is selfless, caring and focused on the needs of the person you love.
That is the type of love that this blog is consistently talking about. One of the verses that clearly teaches this is found in the new Testament and in John chapter 3 verse 16 where it says: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".
I know you will probably not agree with me but I believe that this is the ultimate example of love. All the previous examples I have given you of parents and grandparents while tremendous and heartwarming only relate to this life. What Jesus did for you when he died on the cross was to pay the eternal price to save your soul. It cost him his life and he gave it so that you might have eternal life (both in terms of quality now and quantity in the next life).
By the way, Jesus came back from the dead three days after he died. This was evidence that his sacrifice had been accepted by God in heaven.
My question to you is will the love of God (the Father) and His Son (Jesus) be unrequited. Will you ignore the sacrifice that was made to save your soul. Or will you confess your need of salvation and trust him?
I close with one more quotation from the Bible. "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," Romans 6:23.
The choice lies with you! It is up to you to receive and believe or reject God's offer of salvation and face the consequence of that rejection - an eternity separated from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
Put bluntly the choice is HEAVEN or HELL!
O please make the wise choice!