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Valentine’s Day is almost upon us!  It is time to find that special card or gift for the person you love.  Americans are estimated to spend 23.9 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day this year!  Love obviously is big business.  What is love worth?  Maybe this is the better question.  What would you give for someone to love you completely and totally?  How do we begin to express the depth of our love for someone else?  Flowers and candy seem to be  paltry and pale expressions for the gift of genuine love.  These are the deeper and harder questions of our lives.  All of us want to be loved.  We all want to be loved just for who we are, not based on the idea of what someone wants us to be.  At the end of day, love can be hard, difficult, and painful.  Yet, it is also one of the most motivating, powerful, and fulfilling experiences of our lives.  This week is the end of our sermon series Seeking Holy Ground in 2023 with the sermon Real Love. Last week we looked at regaining love through the grace of God in our lives that empowers forgiveness and generosity of spirit.  Real love is God’s unconditional love for us.  If you fail to bring that special someone a token of love on Valentine’s Day, things may not go well because human love can be very conditional.  God’s love is not conditional and this makes it hard to understand.  We are loved completely and fully.  There is no better description for this love than 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.  This type of love is sacrificial, does not keep grudges, or remember our worst moments.  We know it is very costly and painful because Jesus gave his life that we would have this love in our lives. These verses are not just descriptive but they are also prescriptive!  They can help us find the path to this gift that is worth everything that we have!  We pray that you will experience this love in your heart as you read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13:


If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)