February is the month in the U.S. commonly referred to  as the “Month of Love”. The word “Love” is so misused in our culture and the era we live in. In the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, it is described initially as;

“strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”, romantic affection or feelings, the object of attachment, etc…

However, further down in the definition as I read on I found a more scripturally sound definition that we should adhere to as true believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was almost surprised to have read what it said next because we just don’t hear love being defined in this manner often;

a :  unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) :  the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) :  brotherly concern for others
b :  a person’s adoration of God

This almost sounds like Luke 10:27 and various other verses in the gospel accounts.

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[a] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’

Loving God and loving others is our mandate as Christians. Yes, we all have feelings of love but our response to those feelings doesn’t always show true love because those feeling are tied to things like selfishness,  nd maybe even lust.  Real love typically leads us to action, not just an emotional stirring. We can often say “we love chocolate” in the same way we say “we love God and our brother.” This month…and in the months to come, let’s be the authentic people of God and focus our energy on biblical love in our lives. My wife, Leanne, a Kindergarten teacher, uses this simple acronym to paint the picture of love which leads to JOY for her young students….

J – Jesus

O – Others

Y – Yourself

Keeping our focus on loving Jesus first and foremost will cause the proper alignment for love in our lives. If your love for Him is first, then a natural outpouring of love for others is prominent in your life. It is the fruit of love. It multiplies. It is the fruit that everyone sees; your neighbors, family, and all with whom you come in contact with.

Pastor Bill Kluender