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Welcome to iwantthemtoremember.com! This is the fourth day of a week of Valentine’s Devotions for Families using Biblical passages on love.
If your family is at all like mine, you need Biblical reminders of how to love one another all year long, but the Valentine season is a great time to emphasize God’s teachings on love. Spend a week in February (or anytime really) encouraging your family to love with Valentine’s devotions. I suggest you start the Sunday before Valentine’s and celebrate love all week, but you can use them however is best for your family. Links for each day will be added at the end of this post as they are complete. I pray these Valentine’s Devotions bless your family in Christ.
Click here to start with Day One.
Ask each person to complete the following statements: I love _____________. You can tell because I always __________________.
Example: I love football. You can tell because I always play it, watch it, and talk about it. I love pizza. You can tell because I always ask to have it for lunch and I eat a lot of it.
We say we love a lot of things, from people to pizza, from sports to school subjects, from family to food. We talk about the things we really enjoy and spend a lot of time involved in things we love, but who are we supposed to love most? God, of course.
Now try to complete the statement: I love God. You can tell because I always _________________________.
Was it harder to complete the second statement this time? People can tell we love God from some of the same ways they can tell we love other things. When we talk about Him, spend time with Him through the Bible, prayer, and church, and enjoy learning about Him others can see our love for God.
One of the scribes asked Jesus about the most important commandment in the law. In answering, Jesus quoted a foundational Old Testament passage from Deuteronomy that the Jews repeated often. Read about this encounter in Mark 12:28-34.
More than anything else, God desires us to love Him. We were created to love and be loved by our magnificent Creator. As the scribe rightly recognized, loving God is more than just following all of the other religious practices. For us today, loving God is more important than going to church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, helping the poor, or anything else that makes us look religious.
With All Your Heart
First, Jesus said to love God with all our heart. We usually think of the heart as the place of our deepest emotions. Yesterday, we read Romans 10:9 that urges us to believe in our hearts. When we love God with our heart, we have a longing to be with Him, even more than with the people we love. Though feelings do not define our faith, they are an important part of who God created us to be. Loving God with our heart includes feelings of joy, tenderness, and gratitude as we set our heart on Him.
With All Your Soul
Next, Jesus said to love God with all our soul. It is hard to talk about the heart and soul separately. Our soul it the essence of who we really are. It is the part of our self that is eternal. We love God with our soul by trusting Him with it for eternity through accepting Jesus as our Savior. We are loving Him with as much of our true selves as we know how.
With All Your Mind
Thirdly, Jesus said to love God with all of our mind. Part of loving God with our minds is to guard our thoughts and keep them on Him. Paul reminds us to take each thought captive for Christ and to think on things that honor God.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
Another part of loving God with all of our mind is to use the intellectual abilities He gave us for His glory. We need to do our best to learn about Him and His world whether that is through studying hard in school or continuing to learn as adults.
We also love God with our mind by studying His Word and being prepared to give an answer to those who ask about our faith. This includes both specific knowledge from the Bible, as well as apologetics or being able to explain why we believe when the world sees our faith as nonsense.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 1 Peter 3:15
With All Your Strength
Finally, Jesus said to love God with all of our strength. We usually think of our strength relating to our bodies. When we love God with our strength we use the physical abilities He has given us for His glory. We also take care of our bodies so we have strength to serve Him whenever and wherever He calls. King Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes to do everything we do with all of our might. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
Love through Obedience
Experts and experience tell us that kids spell love as T-I-M-E. Scripture tells us the God spells love as O-B-E-Y. When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we will obey His Word.
Jesus said if we love Him we will obey His commands (John 14:15 and John 14:21) and that if we say we love Him, but do not follow Him we are lying (1 John 1:6). Those are pretty strong words. Our love for Him is shown by our actions. We can say we love God all day, but until we obey Him we are not truly loving Him.
Obedience is important, but we must be careful not to confuse obeying to show our love to God with obeying to earn His love. As we talked about on Day Three, His love is a gift we can never earn or deserve no matter how much we do, because we can never be perfect. Both may look similar in actions, but our motives are different. Our obedience shows Him our love.
Family Affirmation and Application
Think back to the question in the opening activity. How can others tell you love God? Ask each family member to share one way another person shows they love God. Example: I can tell Dad loves God because he reads the Bible with us every night. I know Ava loves God because she likes to sing about Him.
Then, ask each person to share one way they want to show love for God more using a prayer. Example: Father, help me to love you with all of my mind by trying harder in school. Father, help me to show I love you by obeying your command to love my siblings.
Worship through Song
If time permit, listen to or watch the song below.
Father, we desire to love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We know we can only do that through the guidance of Your Holy Spirit. Please make us willing and show us how to love you more. In Jesus name, amen.
More Valentine’s Devotions for Families
Thank you for joining me for Valentine’s Devotions for Families. I am sharing this with my children and youth group because I want them to remember the importance of living a life of love. I hope it helps your loved ones remember as well. To continue with Seven Days of Valentine’s Devotions for Families or start from the beginning, see the links below.
Day One: Without Love
Day Two: Love Is . . .
Day Three: How He Loves
Day Four: Love God
Day Five: Love Others
Day Six: Love Yourself
Day Seven: True Love