An American Folk Hymn taken from Ingall's Christian Harmony, 1805

Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.
Deuteronomy 11:1

Blest by Thy love, dear Lord, that taught us this sweet way,
Only to love Thee for Thyself, and for that love obey.

Secular songs of romantic expressions abound on this day. For the Christian, a hymn about love is also appropriate for Valentines Day; and there are few sweeter expressions of one's love for Christ than these anonymous lines from an early American folk hymn.

For the early Christians, February 14th was a special day. Tradition tells us that a man by the name of Valentine was a Christian doctor who went about doing good deeds wherever he could, in imitation of his heavenly Master. Valentine became a good friend and helper to the Christians, who were being persecuted by the cruel and evil powers of the Roman Empire. It is believed that the good doctor was eventually imprisoned because of his loyalty to his fellow "followers of the Way". After he was beheaded on February 14th, that day was observed each year in Valentine's honor by the early Christians.

As time went on, however, Valentine and his deeds of kindness were forgotten. Because February was near the beginning of spring, with its feelings of romance, the day became a secular holiday celebrating romantic love. Tokens of love and affection were given to sweethearts and friends, starting the custom that we still see in practice today.

Dr. Valentine gave his life for his fellow Christians because of his deep love for Christ. We too can express our love for the Savior with these simply stated yet profound words..."but how much I love Thee my actions will show."

I love Thee, I love Thee, I love Thee, my Lord;
I love Thee, my Savior, I love Thee, my God;
I love Thee, I love Thee, and that Thou dost know;
But how much I love Thee my actions will show.

Iím happy, Iím happy, oh, wondrous account!
My joys are immortal, I stand on the mount;
I gaze on my treasure and long to be there,
With Jesus and angels and kindred so dear.

O Jesus, my Savior, with Thee I am blessed.
My life and salvation, my joy and my rest.
Thy Name be my theme, and Thy love be my song;
Thy grace shall inspire both my heart and my tongue.

Oh, whoís like my Savior? Heís Salemís bright King;
He smiles and He loves me and helps me to sing:
Iíll praise Him, Iíll praise Him with notes loud and clear,
While rivers of pleasure my spirit shall cheer.

*For Today*: Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 6:5, 30:20; Joshua 22:5; Luke 10:27; John 14:15; I John 4:19

As we continue celebrating this special day dedicated to expressions of love, we can make it truly a "holy day" with our love for Christ and by sharing His love and concern for others.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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