5 reasons why God’s love is not a scam
Valentine’s Day has returned, prompting people all over the place to suddenly remember that they love someone and they should let them know.
Okay, that’s mostly a joke, but I don’t think we need a specific day when we’re meant to say “I love you” with cards, flowers, gifts, dinner or some other purchase.
Sadly, February 14 isn’t just time for me to politely burst the balloons of Valentine’s Day fans. It’s also a time of real and painful heartbreak for many, such as the people mentioned in The Age article this week about online scammers. Matters of the heart can be where we are most vulnerable and, in Australia alone last year, romance scams stole $23 million from people looking for love.
My heart sank when I read online scammers had manipulated so much money from Australians who believed they were in genuine relationships. What kind of person treats someone else like that?
Rather than dwell on the terrible ways people can abuse the love of others, though, I turned my thoughts to the source of love.
This Valentine’s Day, if you have been scammed or are feeling unloved, take a look at the quick list below.
1. God is Love
God is known as plenty of things. Merciful. Powerful. All-knowing. That kind of thing. But it’s hard to go passed the amazing description of God from 1 John 4:8 — “God is love”. Boom. There it is. God. Is. Love. In three simple words, so much is revealed about love, where it comes from and what it is. Such a statement is enormous and should stir you to want to know more about what it can mean for God to be love. At very least, though, our perspective on love should be forever changed by those three words.
2. God Loves You
Here comes a blindingly obvious statement: I have no idea where you are at with God. But what I do know for sure is that God has much love for you. Perhaps more than you could even imagine, if you are going through a tough time of believing that no-one could love you. Whether you feel like that, or are riding high on the love of others, there’s no comparison with the steadfast, universal love that God has on offer for you. John 3:16 is, arguably, the most famous verse in the Bible: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Romans 5:8 puts the same news this way: “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ dies for us.” Such extreme love is on offer from God, inviting us all to reach out and embrace it fully. Through His One and Only Son, Jesus.
3. Jesus Loves You
Go back to the “God Loves You” point and notice how ingrained Jesus is within it. God’s love for people cannot be separated from Jesus. In brutal contrast to online scammers or any other false demonstrations of love, the life and death (and life) that Jesus lived for us is nothing short of the perfect expression of the “God is love” truth. If you haven’t yet savoured the incredible love that Jesus holds out to those who give themselves to him, take a moment this Valentine’s Day to consider why not. Because can’t we all do with the sort of intense, uplifting love Jesus ?
4. Nothing Will Change That
When I read about people being fleeced by online scammers in the dating world, some powerful words raced into my mind. Words I’ve read in the New Testament that promise, in no uncertain terms, that nothing — NOTHING — can separate those who genuinely love Jesus from the love of God that is showered upon them from Jesus. Check out Romans 8:31-39, and grasp hold of what it’s revealing. No matter what we face in our lives, from online thieves to broken relationships, there is absolutely nothing that will stop God’s love from sticking with those who stick with Jesus.
5. Every day of the year
I can admit that the nice thing about Valentine’s Day is that it is meant to be a celebration of love. Yes, that is nice and I’m glad it’s not trying to celebrate the opposite. But if you take stock of the few points listed above, and contrast them with the “lovey dovey” action of Valentine’s Day, I hope the distinction is clear. Valentine’s Day is only one day per year and doesn’t represent the enormous, God-sized love that is on offer EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR when our hearts (and minds, and all of us) are given to Jesus.
Surely that’s the kind of love we all would love to experience, and not be separated from.