A CLOSER WALK
Pastor Bill Meadows
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1)
Can any of you tell me what Friday is? That’s right it’s Valentine’s Day. If a person is your Valentine that means that means they are the one you love the best! Now, can anyone tell me how Valentine’s Day started?
There was a priest by the name of Valentine. He lived in Rome about 250 AD. That was a long, long time ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor by the name of Claudius. Some people call him Claudius the Cruel.
Some called Valentine St. Valentine because he didn’t the like emperor Claudius, and he wasn’t the only one who didn‘t like Claudius, lot of people felt the same way. Claudius wanted a big army; he thought men should volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives, children, or girlfriends. So, not many men signed up to fight. This made Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages.
Well after Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine kept on performing marriage ceremonies, but he did so secretly. He would whisper the words of the ceremony while listening for soldiers on the steps outside. One night, he did hear footsteps. The couple he was marrying escaped, but he was caught, he was thrown in jail and told that his punishment was death. Valentine tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what happened?
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 in his cell. They often sat and talked for hours. She believed Valentine had done the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and continuing to perform marriage ceremonies. On the day he 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 AD. Now, every year on this date people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And 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!
You know love is very important. The bible tells us is, “My little children, let us not love in word, nether in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Our love must be true love. And we should show that love by what we do. Valentine not only loved, he backed up his belief with action until he died: just the same as we find in John 3:16. God sent His only Son to show us the love of God. How about Romans 5:8? “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
With love, we know God loves us from the way He treated us from the very beginning. Let’s show God how much we love Him, by loving others.
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