God’s Gift of Love:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”—Genesis 1:1
God, the Creator of all, first created the heavens and the earth, filled them with light, divided the waters, created firmament, crafted land, etc…
He created a world. A universe. Full of beauty, life, and light. So beautiful that you would wonder why He would allow any being but Himself to be responsible for its care.
Yet, because of love, He did just that.
He allowed lesser beings to be responsible for all the earth, plants, animals…
He gave us—human-kind—authority; an inheritance.
“So God created man in His own image… male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’
“…‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food’; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”—Genesis 1:27-31
Surely, for God to have crafted us in His own image would have been enough. Yet, He loved and continues to love us with such a passion, such a desire… that He gave all the good He created to us.
He made us His children, His beloved, and gave us dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air; everything! He did not merely make us. He empowered us! Giving us all life and love as our inheritance.
God’s Love and February 14th…
As we come to February 14th—Valentine’s Day, the pagan day originally devoted to things not of God—it is worth taking a look at how this traditional day is celebrated. Or rather, what it is meant to represent in modern times…
February 14th is intended to be a symbol of love; primarily romantic, but also familial and friendship based. However, when we observe what the God of all gave out of His unfailing love, the traditionally celebrated day known as Valentine’s Day pales in comparison…
Yes, it can serve a purpose, bringing our thoughts and actions more in line with God’s through the remembering of love. Yet, only God is the true example of love; and only we can learn to love with all our hearts, souls, and minds from His leading, guidance, and of course, His Word.
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”—1 John 4:8
As it says in 1 John 4:8, “…God is love.” He is the ultimate embodiment of love; its purest form. Because of this love He never leaves us nor forsakes us—despite our doing everything to deserve such a fate. He desires to give us everything that is of Him, because, as it says in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…”
The earth was given out of His love.
Everything was a love note from God, given to us so that we might flourish.
Yet, how often do we ignore that gift? The gift of every sunrise and sunset. The gift of rain. The warmth of the sun.
EVERYTHING that grows, EVERYTHING that breathes, is God’s love in motion…
This love of the Father, our Beloved, is never-ending, never-changing… and it is ours! Our birthright and our covenant inheritance as sons and daughters of the King of kings!
The ultimate gift.
So, what does this have to do with Valentine’s Day?
On the whole, it has very little to do with Valentine’s Day, and not simply because of its pagan origins, but because God’s love cannot be contained within a day. Still, that does not mean that we cannot learn from February 14th…
If we take the underlying intent of love—being kind, giving extra care to those around us—then combine that with the love of the Father—the love He freely places inside each and every one of us—then, well… the day becomes special. As does every day we choose to implement the principles of our Father, taking a leaf out of His Book of love and spreading His light all around.
We can do this in many ways. Some in simple fleeting moments…
Others from thoughtful consideration:
- Sparing a smile as you check out with your groceries
- Cleaning the house to ease the lives of your family or roommates
- Giving the person in front of you the few extra dollars they need to pay for their things
- Holding the door open for the large crowd behind you
- Volunteering your time at your church, local shelter, etc.
- Sponsoring a tree on a farm in Israel afflicted by BDS boycotts
- Gifting a kind word to someone having a hard day
These are just a few examples. And, while we might not all have the time to do these, the money to help, nor the strength to hold open a door… God’s love is not one of bondage. His Spirit within us will tell each of us what we should do. However, sometimes, just as with the love of God hidden in the sunrise, or in the unfolding of a flower, we have to have our eyes open. Opportunities to share God’s love through our actions, to be that light in the darkness… well, they are hidden everywhere. We simply have to have eyes to see.
At My Olive Tree we are always seeking new ways to show this love. New places to spread it.
With the help of people like YOU we are striving to plant a portion of acreage in the Negev desert with olive trees. While we have planted in the Negev before, this opportunity to help is unique. Unique because it is for the planting of a multi-generation family farm. Unique because their struggles are due to anti-Semitism from across the sea—BDS boycotts in Europe that banned the sale of their flowers. Unique because the family already has the equipment and knowledge to grow and process olives.
The only thing this family—the Bitan family—requires is YOUR help.
They need 600 trees planted by March 29th to make retaining their family farm viable…
A farm they have tended since Israel’s return as a nation. A farm they have tended through every bombing, fire-kite, balloon, and rocket. A farm that is in their family’s blood!
Let us in this hour show the Bitan family that God’s love within their Gentile brothers and sisters is alive and well. Let us join together to save their farm!
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”—Ephesians 2:4-6