February 14, 2010
God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
For our Daily Devotion readership, here's a story of true love for Valentine's Day.
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 I'm pleased to report that Huissen 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 sinful, sorry old world has ever seen. Readers of our Daily Devotion will immediately know we are, of course, referring to 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.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, there is no love that is even close to Yours. Thank You for a love which is eternal, a love which is personal, and a love which has proven itself victorious over death. Now I ask this: Lord, grant me the grace to love others as You have loved me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries