Friday was Valentine’s Day and many of you celebrated someone you love. Some of you were lonely because your valentine is gone. My thought today is that all of us have a valentine who loves us unconditionally and has demonstrated His love for us in multitudes of ways. His Name is Jesus.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

In 1965, a catchy song came out that said, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of. What the world needs now Is love, sweet love – No, not just for some, but for everyone.”

I think those words are still true. It’s interesting that the song’s author said it was written to God.

The world we live in now has redefined love in a somewhat selfish and fleshly way. But if we recognize the true meaning of love in God’s way of loving, the song is a really good prayer. God did answer that prayer. He sent His own Son to live, love, and die for everyone. Perhaps the world has all the love we need in Jesus, but we have rejected it.

There have been so many people who have, as another song said, “looked for love in all the wrong places.” The human heart longs to be loved, accepted and valued. There are those who exploit those desires to manipulate and abuse others. The longing for love has left many wounds and scars in people’s lives.

God made us with that longing so we would find satisfaction in Him alone. When a person rejects God’s love, they are left with a cheap substitute that is inadequate to meet that hunger.

The good news is that God’s love can heal those wounds, fill those voids and give us the love we really need. Still, many people reject God’s real and powerful love. They reject God because they have a wrong idea of who He is, what He has done for them and what love is.

“God so loved that He gave His Son.” Love is not getting. It is giving. Those of us who know Jesus have received God’s love in His forgiveness, acceptance into His family, and His care for our lives now and for all eternity.

Even though we know that God loves us, we often want love from someone in the flesh. As a child once told her mother, “I want a God with skin on.” Do you want to represent God to those around us? Do you want to represent God with skin on to someone who needs a friend, to someone who is troubled or wounded?

I pray that God’s people would pour out God’s love in our community so that those who don’t know Christ would see it and want to experience it for themselves.

Rev. Paul McKibben is pastor of Grace Community Church in Osage.