February 2016 - LPNI

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February 2016

LPNI DevotionFebruary 2016
Beyond Cards and Flowers

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)
Those who write, produce, and sell greeting cards experience a surge in activity in February.  Even many children have developed the practice of giving Valentine’s cards to friends and classmates.  Like those in the greeting-card industry, people involved in growing, harvesting, arranging, selling, and delivering flowers experience a busy February.   Cards and flowers can be very nice expressions, and they might even remind us of additional more powerful and lasting expressions of love.  In fact, the whole idea of love has come from our loving God and following his lead can make the love we have for others more meaningful.  Here are just a few thoughts.
Love that BLOOMS
Flowers can be a wonderful expression. God gave us the beauty of nature.  But beyond the temporary joy of a gift of flowers can come so much more.  One of the old adages about flowers is a good one.  It goes like this:  “Flowers that last have deep roots and bloom late.  Things that endure grow slowly.”  That is true for love.  Love seldom happens instantly.  Love that is really lasting and genuine has deep roots.  It may take considerable time to grow, and it may not “bloom” in a flash. God’s love has deep roots – from the very beginning of time. His love was evident from the dawn of our world.  His love became so evident in the person of Jesus Christ.  It is a love that blooms in the lives of all those with faith in him ... and it can always grow more and bloom more beautifully.  People who are looking for love to knock them off their feet will likely be disappointed.  Those who know Jesus Christ know that God’s love is always there.  They know that with patience, nurture, and faith, the most beautiful love and the most beautiful expressions of love take time ... and they are always worth the wait.  Thank God for his gift of true, lasting, deep-rooted, and beautifully blooming love!
TELL them ... often!
When love is real and deep rooted, expressions of love are appropriate at all times. Doesn’t it feel good to be told you are loved?  God tells us often in his holy Word that we are.  But many of us miss opportunities to let others know they are loved.  Perhaps you have known someone like the stoic and serious gentleman who loved his wife so much that he almost told her.  Spouses like to hear “I love you” often. Children flourish when they know they are loved and when they are reassured of that often with words.  People who are ill, lonely, home-bound, and others who may not regularly hear from friends and family light up when they hear someone say to them that they are loved.  With cards and flowers and the reminders of Valentine’s Day, sending an “I love you” message might be easier.  But beyond that, those we know and love need to hear the message often.  God’s love for us is great and ongoing.  It never ends.  Christ was the most wonderful of all expressions of love, and his love motivates us to share love with others ... often.
Paul Devantier, M.Div., M.S., LL.D
Speaker, syndicated BY THE WAY radio program
2509 Schuman Road, Arbor Vitae, WI 54568, USA
571-235-1616   pauldevantier@gmail.com
 
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