February 2019 — Celebrate Love

February 2019 — Celebrate Love

Service Project

Prepare and serve a meal or desserts at a local shelter, nursing home or Ronald McDonald House.

  •  Make the dining experience special with tablecloths, dinnerware and centerpieces. Try to find a location that would not normally be able to provide this kind of setting.
  •  Put on dinner music during the meal—preferably music that would be familiar to those present.
  •  Provide a Valentine’s Day gift for each person.

Table Games

Songs

Sing some simple love songs and then worship songs before the devotions.

Devotion for the Shelter/Care Home Visit

Luke 6:27-36 – We Are Called to Love
Introduction: God calls us to love. St. Valentine was a man who understood love (share a little history).
From our scripture we learn three things:

  •  God wants us to love, even when people are not easy to love.
    • There will be people who don’t like us.
    • There will be people who treat us unfairly.
  • We don’t grow or please the Lord by just doing what’s easy.
    •  It’s easy to love people who love us.
    •  It’s easy to give when you know you will get a reward in return.
  • We are to be like our Father in Heaven.
    • He is kind even to the ungrateful and wicked.
    • He promises our reward will be great.

Summary: During this month when we think about showing love to our friends and family, it is a good time to stretch ourselves. How can we show love and mercy to others who might not deserve it so that we can be more like God?

Devotion for the Women

“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun–scorched land and will strengthen your frame” (Isiah. 58:10, 11. NIV).

According to Bloomberg News, Americans spent $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2018. When averaged out, the amount came to $143.56 per person. Valentine’s Day is big business. A couple of other interesting statistics: 14% of women buy themselves flowers for Valentine’s Day, and 53% of women said they would end their relationship with the other person if they didn’t get a gift for Valentine’s Day. When the day is done, I have to wonder how much satisfaction is really found for all the money spent.

I like that the NIV Bible uses the word “spend” in verse 10 to describe what we do for others in need. We certainly understand that term in America, don’t we? Think for a minute what we spend our resources on, whether money, time or energy. I’m afraid too often it is on things that are insignificant or worthless—things that are far from God’s eternal view.

God looks at His people and says, “if you will spend yourselves” – if you will give from what you have in your own resources, even those things that you use to live on yourself … on behalf of the hungry and [to] satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness.” God says, “Look around you!  Who is hungry? Who is hurting? What can you give to lift the yoke? What can you give to meet the need?”

The first result of spending our resources on the right things—things that help others and please the Lord—is that we shine for the Lord. This was the will of Christ for us when He said, “You are the light of the world … let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14, 16). When we help others, we bring glory to God. In Isaiah, He says to His people, “… your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday” (Isa. 58:10).

Another outcome will be that we will see what really matters. Instead of spending our resources on what does not satisfy, we will invest “where moth and rust cannot destroy” (Matt. 6:20). The Lord says, “… your night will become like the noonday” (Isaiah 58:10). Things will be seen clearly.

Finally, we will be blessed in return. In Isaiah 58:11, we read, “The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun–scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well–watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Even in the bleakest times of life, God will meet the needs of those who have been kind and generous to others. He will never fail or forsake you.

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