Romans 5:8 (NIV)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Consider this: 78-year-old Aleida Huissen of Rotterdam has been smoking for 50 years. For almost 50 years Huissen has been trying to give up the habit.
Like so many, Huissen had failed time and again. She kept failing, that is, until recently. Today she has given up her cigarettes, her cigars, and her pipes.
Would you like to know the secret of her success? I'll share it, although it probably won't be of help to anyone else. Her secret weapon against smoking is Leo Jansen.
That's right, Leo Jansen, age 79.
Jansen asked Huissen to marry him, but he refused to tie the knot until his true love stopped smoking.
Huissen says, "Willpower never was enough to get me off the tobacco habit. Love did it."
Chalk up another victory for love. Love has seen many other such victories over the centuries. Love has ended wars. Love has made life bearable for millions. Love can transform our days from something bearable to something wonderful.
And -- lest we forget -- the power of love is active every day and not just on the day named after the Christian martyr, Valentine.
Of course, when we talk of love, we'd be terribly remiss if we didn't point to the greatest love this is the love humanity has received from the Triune God.
The Lord's love is incredibly unique.
God's love gives when people don't want it. God's love gives when people feel they don't need it. God's love is self-starting, self-maintaining, and self-sufficient. God's love reaches out to those who are unwanted, uncared for, and physically unattractive. God's love is not stopped by political boundaries, by the clock's ticking, or even by the grave.
God's love is personified in Jesus, and it comes to us by the Holy Spirit's power.
And when God's love finds a place in sinful hearts, it forgives, transforms, and restores.
Dear Lord, we pray today that we take the chances that are before us to show Your love. Thank You for Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.