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St. Valentine's Day has grown to symbolize the world's view of love—kisses, chocolate candy, romantic music, poems and pledges of devotion. It represents love's softest, most gentle side. It's sweet but not too strong.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. St. Valentine was a Roman priest and physician who clung to his love for Jesus Christ in spite of persecution by Emperor Claudius Gothicus. It cost him his reputation. It cost him his career. It cost him his livelihood. Ultimately, when he refused to recant, it cost him his life.

The test of true love is not what is gained but what you are willing to give.

So what is the difference between carnal, worldly love, and strong, Godly love? It's the difference between being a kisser and a clinger. I discovered this while reading the first chapter of the book of Ruth. Notice verse 14,
And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her.
Ruth 1:14
Orpah was a kisser. Ruth was a clinger. Orpah kissed the woman, wept tears and said, "I love you!" See emotionalism? That's religion for you.

But Ruth was a clinger. She knew that Naomi served the Living God, and she was determined to live among His children. Ruth put her past behind her. She left her home. She left her family. She left her country. Her love wasn't weak. She didn't know what the future held, but she was willing to pay any price.

The kisser, Orpah, is a perfect representation of the religious individual who walks into church crying, "I give up everything!" They are willing to give up their own plans until the past begins to pull on them. Then suddenly, the past has more allure than the plan God has for their future.

It's possible to go a long way toward Christianity and not be a Christian. Sadly, many people who go to church are not saved and have never met Jesus. They don't understand Jesus, because Jesus wasn't a kisser. Judas was a kisser. Jesus was a clinger.

Orpah acted like Ruth. She did everything Ruth did. She wept, she bawled, she squalled and she walked out of the city with her mother-in-law just like Ruth did. But, there came a point in time when it was evident that this was emotional religion. She hadn't had a vital change. She was a kisser. After that parting, Orpah's name was never mentioned in the Bible again.

Ruth clung to Naomi because she had made up her mind. 'I'm going to embrace this God, Jehovah. I may not understand all His ways, but I will accept them. I will live for Him.'

You see, her affections were set on things above. It is not what you say with your mouth but what you are willing to do with your life that makes you a clinger. A clinger is one who has totally surrendered to God. I'm not talking about a hasty resolution. God is not interested in rash promises. He is interested in a love so complete that it forgets those things that are behind.

Ruth turned her back on her past and moved forward with God. In those days, it was unthinkable for a Moabite to be in the Jewish race. Yet, God accepted her and used her in the lineage of the Messiah. Why? Because she was a clinger.

I see a lot of kissers. They embrace the Gospel only for what they can get out of it, and they end up with nothing.

I have also known many great men and women of God who were clingers. They embraced the Gospel because of the love of Jesus. They embrace the Gospel because of the love of Jesus, and some are walking the streets of Heaven today because they clung to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and were obedient to his plan for their future.

What about you? Have you determined in your heart to cling to God no matter lies what ahead?

Give it all up and cling to Jesus.

That's true love.

Jesse Duplantis Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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