A message from Pastor Berndt
This is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Gentlemen, time to buy your beloved gifts. Chocolate, flowers or maybe something that sparkles. A romantic dinner perhaps. Do not fall into the worlds trap in regards to love. The world seeks love in all the wrong places.
What is love? We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4) Love is not a feeling or emotion that comes and goes like a mist. Many times people will describe love as something that they have fallen into. That description is not good. You fall into the ditch. The Fall into sin. Falling describes being out of control. God is love. You, the Lord's, church are the receiver of God's love. That is why many times the Scriptures describes the church as "My Beloved."
What does God's love look like? Jesus going to the Cross. Because of God's love for you, He sent Jesus to rescue sinners. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5)
Holy Week can also be called Passion Week. The Cross and Empty Tomb of Jesus is God's love for you, forgiving all your sins. God's steadfast love in Christ endures forever. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2)
You, the Baptized Children of God, are now the New Creation in Christ. You live a life of love – in faith toward God and love for your neighbor. Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5) Walking in love means to serve, give, and sacrifice on behalf of your neighbor. So gentlemen, the flowers and chocolate are fine. But to serve your spouse is more than one day a year, then check it off your list. The life of a Christian is one that is mark by love and service to your neighbor.
Gentlemen, to love those around you means to serve and sacrifice on their behalf. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5)
The best way you can love your spouse and children is to serve them with what you say and do. Love your family by serving them with God's Word. As the head of the household God has called you to be. Love your family by bringing them to church. Love your family by confessing your sins. Love your family by confessing Jesus as the One who takes away all your sins. Love your family by kneeling at the Lord’s Supper. Your family gets to see Dad receiving forgiveness of sins through the Body and Blood of Jesus. Now because of God's love and service you love your family unconditionally. Without limits. The love of Christ is eternal. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4) Happy receiving God's love for you in the Good News of the Gospel. Happy love one another as Christ has loved you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
My Song Is Love Unknown LSB 430:1
My song is love unknown, My Savior’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown That they might lovely be.
Oh, who am I That for my sake
My Lord should take Frail flesh and die?