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When Is Each Day Valentine’s Day?

By Henry Nelson



1st John 5:3   “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. And what commandments is this talking about? For those who are not aware of it Valentine’s Day is quickly coming. A friend of mine will take his wife to Wal-Mart they will stand together in the greeting cards section and he will read the Valentine Cards to her. Now, that seems to work fine for him, but I doubt that many men could get away with that.Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day got started? Approximately 250 years after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was a priest by the name of Valentine. He lived in Rome. At that time, Claudius was the Emperor of Rome. Some people called him Claudius the Cruel. St. Valentine did not like Emperor Claudius and he was not the only one! Many people felt the same way. Claudius wanted a big army.{{more}} He thought men should volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to leave home and go off to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their girlfriends and wives. So, not many men volunteered for the Roman army. This made Emperor Claudius very angry. He had a crazy idea that if men were not married, they would be more inclined to join his army. So Claudius decreed that there would be no more marriages. Young people thought his new law was really cruel. Valentine thought it was ridiculous! One of his favorite duties as a priest was to marry people. After Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine kept on performing marriage ceremonies, but secretly. He would whisper the words of the ceremony, while listening for soldiers on the steps outside.  One night, Valentine did hear footsteps at his door. The couple he was marrying escaped, but he was caught. He was thrown in jail and told that his punishment was death. St. Valentine tried to stay cheerful. Many young people came to the jail to visit him. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love. One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit him in his cell. They often sat and talked for hours. She believed he did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and performing marriage ceremonies. On the day Valentine was to die, he left her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “Love from your Valentine.” That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. When they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh because they know that love can’t be beaten! How should Christians celebrate Valentine’s Day?” Stand up for the truth and proclaim the Gospel of God’s love. Psalm 40:9-10 says, “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousnessin the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself knows. I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart; I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your loving kindness and your truth from the great assembly.” Amen!Sometimes it is dangerous to stand up against injustice, hatred, and prejudice. Sometimes it is difficult to oppose the world’s view of things. Sometimes it is difficult to proclaim the truth of God’s Love, but that is what St. Valentine did! And that is what you are called to do! 1st Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” So we can expect opposition from the unsaved! Our message is foolishness to them! It is not always going to be easy to stand up for Jesus! It won’t always be easy to tell of His love, but that does not give us an excuse for remaining silent! Paul writes in Romans 1:16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Paul explains how boldness to proclaim the truth comes to us. It was Holy Spirit power and agape love for Jesus that transformed a band of scared disciples on the day Jesus was crucified into a bold team of Gospel proclaimers.According to tradition, all of Jesus’ disciples except John died horrible deaths rather than deny their Lord. They all went out under dangerous conditions to spread the Gospel. Paul wrote a letter of encouragement to Timothy. 2nd Timothy 1:8 says,” Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.” Paul tells Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord! And then he tells Timothy what he might have to face! “Share with me in the sufferings for the gospel” Not everyone we speak to about Jesus will want to hear it! Some people may try to stop us! Some people may choose to avoid us!Now, let me make one thing very clear! You should be willing to tell people about Jesus! However you should never try to ram it down their throats! Jesus said in John 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Amen! Unfortunately, many Christians think they are doing right by running around shaking their judgmental fingers at lost sinners! They hit people over the head with a bunch of Bible versestrying to convince them that they are going to hell if they do not change their ways! You should never try to lead them to Christ by being mean-spirited and hateful! The Gospel is a message of Love! God loves the sinners! Jesus loves them so much He was willing to die for them! But you won’t convince them that the Gospel is true. And that God really does love them. If they do not see some love in you!Jesus said in John 15:13says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Now again, this does not have to be confined to actually dying for another person! It can also mean sacrificing your wants for the needs of others! It can just as easily mean placing other people’s feelings above your own! Galatians 2:20 says, ”I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Amen! Try it this Valentine’s Day. Sacrifice what you want for what your loved one wants. Give your life to Jesus. John 3:16 says. “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.” Amen! O.K. We claim to believe in Jesus and so we are saved! But are we loving people? 1st John 4:8-9 says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” Amen! If we are truly living through Him then we will walk in love!1st John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.” Amen! If we have given our lives to Jesus then we will abide in Him! To give your life to Jesus means becoming a new creature!1st John 3:23 says, “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” So, we believe in Jesus as the Son of God who came to save us through His death on the cross and we choose to love one another! This “love” that the Bible talks about is the sacrificial “agape” love that desires nothing but the best for others! God is love and the source of true love. God loved us enough to die for us! St. Valentine loved God enough to die for God’s Truth. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to commit or recommit your life to Jesus?Love is the greatest thing we can possess as Christians! It is the thing that will last! When I was in Grade School, we gave out valentines. That was good for some kids in the class. The boys and girls who were popular received more valentines than anyone else. Some of my classmates got lots of nice valentines! Others got a few.  And some did not get any. These Valentines from God are not just for a few. They are for you for me, for everyone!And they are not just for February 14th, but for every day of the year. Each day is Valentine’s Day when you are the beloved of God! Amen!

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