A Love Note From God

It’s February and love is in the air! Red roses and heart-shaped boxes of candy greet shoppers as they enter the stores. Bright reds and pinks flood the aisles of greeting cards. Valentine’s Day is all about love, and about taking the time to express love to the special people in your life.

All of this reminds me of my childhood and the love notes that kids passed to each other in school. A scrap of notebook paper, folded into a tiny wad bore this simple message: “I love you. Do you love me? Check one box (yes or no).” The one writing the note was putting himself out there to be accepted or rejected. It took guts to put his name on a note like that and pass it to his beloved, watching with great anticipation or trepidation as she discreetly unfolded the note, read it, and checked one of the boxes. What would her answer be?

In similar fashion, God has written us a love note: The Bible. A foundational theme of the Bible is as simple as that child’s love note:

“I love you. Do you love Me?”

God is the Creator of the world and everything in it, and Man is the crown jewel of His creation. Every person, male and female, is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). He made mankind for a real and personal relationship with Himself, one based on pure love. By His actions, creating Man and a beautiful environment that would sustain his physical needs, God effectively said, “I love you,” and waited for a response from Man.

How could Man demonstrate his love for His Creator? Obedience (see John 14:15). God gave Man an opportunity to express love for Him by obeying Him, but Man chose his own way and disobeyed God (see Genesis 3). Since then, the world has been a broken, cursed place. Sin has been present in every generation, and every person has had an inclination toward sin. But God’s good plan could not be thwarted by this. His plan was to have a love relationship with the people He created for Himself, and that plan included a Savior who would reconcile sinful people to Himself.

God sent Jesus to be our Savior, to pay the price for our sin (death according to Romans 6:23) and make it possible for us to be in a love relationship with Him again. Motivated by love, Jesus left Heaven and came to Earth. He lived a sinless life in the body of a man, suffered in every way as we do, and died a brutal death. Because He loved us, He died in our place. Just think, instead of facing death to pay for our own sins, we can live through Jesus and have a love relationship with God!

He continues to say, “I love you. Do you love Me?”

Before you “check a box,” think about the love He has for you. It was while we were His enemies that Christ sacrificed Himself for us (Romans 5:10). That sacrificial love is difficult to grasp! The love of Christ is so long and high and wide and deep that it surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19), and nothing can separate us from it, “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation… (Rom 8:38-39). On our darkest days, in our grief, our suffering, our sickness, our pain, nothing separates us from His love! He is always with us and promises never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). His everlasting love is abundant and steadfast (Jonah 4:2). We can depend on this love and draw strength from it.

“I love you. Do you love Me?”

What is an appropriate response? Luke 18:17 says, “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” We must respond to His childlike love note with childlike faith: trusting Him completely. His Word says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Do we really believe that? This kind of faith is more than checking “yes” on a love note. It is faith which produces action: Jesus said, “If you love me, you will do the things that I command” (John 14:15).

What does He command? Love. Love God and love people. How? Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). Here’s the most amazing part: When we say yes to Him by faith, His Spirit enters our hearts and causes us to obey His Word (Ezekiel 36:27). Because of His presence in us, our priorities change. He comes first, and whatever we have (assets, skills, talents, personality, connections) is available for Him to use for His glory and His kingdom.

When the Lord comes first, everything else falls into place (see Matthew 6:33). Even our relationships with people are transformed. Will life be perfect? Free of adversity? No! In fact, we can expect a different kind of adversity in our lives – opposition from the spiritual enemy. But He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)! “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:22).

 “I love you. Do you love Me?”

As we are surrounded by reminders of love this Valentine’s Day, let’s remember that God created us for a love relationship with Him – the deepest, longest, richest, most secure love relationship we’ve ever known. God is love, and He wrote us a love note (the Bible): “I love you. Do you love Me?” What will your answer be?