"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Valentine's Day - The Lost Art of Ascending in Love

Falling in love.

The phrase is an oxymoron. It's a figure of speech that is contradictory.

It's like saying "I'm falling to the summit of Everest" or "I'm falling to the office of CEO."

You may fall in lust, but you can't fall in love.

Love requires effort.

The creation didn't fall into place by accident. The Sistine Chapel isn't great artistry because Michelangelo did nothing. Transcendent greatness requires a creator who cares.

Love is an art. Love takes knowledge, effort, and perseverance. Love is something you ascend to, not something you fall in.

Since one falls into lust and ascends into love, the greatest artists of love are those who understand the differences between love and lust.

Lust is a feeling of pleasure that attaches to me like a virus. I'm not sure where it comes from, I only know I have it by the symptoms it brings, it usually ends in some form of pain, and I need help from others to identify it and get rid of it.

On the other hand...
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, it does not boast, and is not proud. Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, and it is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (I Corinthians 13:4-8). 
Therefore, love is an art and lust is an appetite. Love is selfless and lust is self-absorbed. Love is of God and lust is of myself.

Love takes work because it's not a natural attribute of the naturally self-absorbed.

Valentine's Day 

Americans will spend nearly $12 billion dollars on flowers, candies, and cards that say "I Love You." 

The ancient Romans gave Americans this holy day called Valentine's.  The Romans celebrated an annual festival in February called Lupercalia,  Roman men stripped naked, sacrificed a goat and a dog, and then whipped naked women in the marketplace with the hides of the animals they just killed.

Young women would actually line up for the Roman men to hit them, believing participation in the festival would make them fertile and the festival would be the means for the ladies to find strong, handsome, virile men to whom they could mate.

The Romans were kings and queens of lust.

On February 14, during a Lupercalia festival in the 3rd century, Roman emperor Claudius II executed two men on  - both named Valentine - for their rebellion against the emperor. Both Valentines followed another King they called Jesus.

After the fall of Rome, the Roman Catholic Church took to calling February 14 Valentine's Day in honor of the two Christian martyrs who died during Lupercalia.

Though the name has changed from Lupercalia to Valentine's, the spirit behind both holidays remains the same.

Even Christians tend to forget that love is an art which you ascend and attain and not an aura into which you fall and remain

If I say, "I love my church," but I'm looking for what I can get from my church rather than what I give to the people who make up the church, then I'm infected with lust.

If I say, "I love my spouse,"  but I'm looking to receive something from my spouse rather than to give patience, kindness, forgiveness, hope, protection, truth, honor, and perseverance to my spouse, then I may need a fresh reminder of the difference between love and lust.

Love is an art.

And the only way to learn how to love is to take a class from the Master Artist.
"Love one another. As I have loved you," Jesus said.


Rex Ray said...


“My sweetheart’s the man in the moon.
I’m going to marry him soon.
‘Twould fill me with bliss just to give him one kiss.
But I know that a dozen I never would miss.
I’ll go up in a great big balloon
And see my sweetheart in the moon.
Then behind some dark cloud where no one is allowed
I’ll make love to the man in the moon.”

Would you say this fictitious person was in lust or in love? :)

I believe there’s a difference between lust and attraction even though it seems Paul didn’t think so in 1 Corinthians 7:9 “…it’s better to marry than to burn with lust.”

It’s been said not to judge people until you’ve walked in their shoes. So don’t tell me when I was attracted to someone and got the courage to date them that it was because of lust because more than once when they wanted to have sex I didn’t date them anymore.

You said in effect that Jesus was the Master Artist; “Love one another. As I have loved you.”

Since Jesus loved both men and women, if those words were in context with the subject, men could marry men, and women could marry women. Don’t think so.

BTW, Judy liked your post.

Wade Burleson said...

Glad Judy liked the post. :)

Wade Burleson said...

The fictitious person - for the purposes of my post - was in lust. :)

Rex Ray said...

Paul may have liked this ‘valentine’. [I had to sneak this in some way. :) ]

Heriod Agrippa ll was known as King Agrippa. He was educated in Rome, and was a Roman client king who sided with Rome against his Jewish brothers in the Jewish War of 66-73.

“Here’s what we want you to do. We have four men here…Go with them to the Temple…Then everyone will know that the rumors are false and that you yourself observe the Jewish laws.” (Acts 21:21-24)

When Paul did what the men who called him “brother”, he was never free again.

1. Paul’s first trial was before Governor Felix in Caesarea. (55 miles from Jerusalem)
Acts 24:1-22. “Ananias, the high priest arrived with some Jewish elders and the lawyer Tertullus to present their case against Paul to the governor.” “Tertullus presented the charges…”
“We have found this man to be a trouble maker who is constantly stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world…”
“He is a ringleader of the cult know as the Nazarenes.”
“He was trying to desecrate the Temple.”

I’m sure James or one of the 70 elders could have refuted these charges, but they were absent.

2. Paul’s second trial was before Festus in Caesarea.
“…Jewish leaders from Jerusalem…made many serious accusations they couldn’t prove.” (Acts 25:7)

“…no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!” (Acts 25:11)

3. Paul tells his story to King Agrippa in Caesarea. “You almost persuade me to be a Christian.” “This man could be set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” (Acts 26:28, 32)

Paul wrote, “At my first answer [trial] no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16 KJ)

Was Paul treated like Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband? “…David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver.” [letter:] “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so he will be killed.” (2 Samuel 11:15)

The last part of Paul’s prayer (“I pray that it may not be laid to their charge”) was the same he heard Stephen pray as Paul watched him die. I believe the same crime had been done.

Michael Lee said...

I truly learned something today I did not know before. Thank-you for sharing about learning from the Master Artist! (Mike and Sherry - Ohio)