What's the greatest gift a loved one could give you?
Flowers, an engagement ring, a day to relax? Perhaps words that convey how much you mean to them?
Whether you're single or happily in a relationship this Valentine's Day, you have a wide-ranging collection of love letters right at your fingertips. We find them in God's Word. They range from powerful proclamations to ornate poetry, declarations of true friendship, passionate songs, and earnest, tough-love letters.
I promise: no frilly, sentimental valentines here.
From the beginning of Scripture, we see instances of God's boundless love. It transforms the people who are its recipients by drawing them closer to God.
King David sings of his need for God's love in a prayer for help: "I rely on your constant love; I will be glad, because you will rescue me" (Psalm 13:5 GNT). We can also take comfort in God's love for us, especially in difficult circumstances of life.
Consider the profound love God had for the Israelites, as spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: "People of Israel, I have always loved you, so I continue to show you my constant love" (Jeremiah 31:3 GNT). God pursues them with love, offering them hope of continued care and restoration. How many times does God seek us out when we want to run away?
But just as love is diverse in all its forms, so are the ways of communicating it. We see a more passionate perspective in Song of Songs. There's longing, pursuit, and fulfillment. The book starts with, "Your lips cover me with kisses; your love is better than wine," and gets steamier from there (Song of Songs 1:2 GNT). The entire book pulses with different facets of love.
As we look forward in Scripture's collection of God's love letters, Jesus speaks of the profound friendship we can enjoy with him because of the great love he shows us:
"I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them" (John 15:9-13 GNT).
Jesus shows us the highest example of a true friend, a lover of our soul, no matter our circumstances. Perhaps you've had a relationship that was cut short or suffer from loneliness. Even in the best relationships or marriages, we aren't fully known—we're only human, after all. But Jesus, who walked this earth, understands you completely. You are deeply loved and treasured. God created you and knows you to the most hidden depths of who you are.
As you look through these biblical passages on love, whether poems, songs, or declarations, discover the love notes in Scripture that speak to your heart. Enjoy each one. Savor the words.
One passage that I've taken as a love letter for myself is the apostle Paul's encouragement to the church in Ephesus: "I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, so that you, together with all God's people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ's love. Yes, may you come to know his love—although it can never be fully known—and so be completely filled with the very nature of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19 GNT)
Thinking about the paradox of God's vast love for us makes me dizzy. It's incomprehensible and accessible, all at the same time. As we experience God's love, it changes us. I know it has changed me.
More than flowers that wilt after a few days, or passionate sentiments that can fade, God's Word stands forever. God's love never ends. What an exquisite gift.
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