“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” (1 John 3:23).
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
It is fitting to reflect on what love means on this Valentine’s Day.
“And this is his command…” Whatever else follows, this is not a suggestion or a good idea but a command. This is what we are called to do if we are followers of Jesus Christ.
“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ…”
We are to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ. What does it mean to believe in his name? First, names meant more than what it does today. Names often reflected the character of the person. There are two names given to the Son: Jesus and Christ.
- Jesus – the name literally means Savior or one who saves
- Christ – the anointed one. Our Savior is one who was born in order to die for the sins of the world.
The first thing we are called to do is to believe that Jesus is the Savior of sinners. We turn to Jesus to save us from the punishment of sin, and that is exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross and by descending into hell. Jesus bore the brunt of God’s wrath against sinners. And Jesus rose again from the dead so that all who believe in him will be raised with him.
The second thing we are called to is “to love one another as he commanded us.” The Greek word for love here is agape, or unconditional love. Love is not a feeling, it is not an emotion. It’s not talking about having warm fuzzies for someone. This is a choice. Agape, unconditional love, has to do with a willful decision for the other.
We are to love one another by choosing to believe the best of others and by willing the best for others.
Have a great Valentine’s Day. Celebrate love. Celebrate the willful and deliberate decision to do what is best for others.