By: Rosella Abenio

“…Fighting for the farthest heart You gave Your own life for all to see. Your love is relentless. Your love is relentless…” These were the heart-warming verses that echoed through the walls of the church as the praise and worship team enthusiastically led young people to celebrate a love so manifold. “INSTALOVE”, a Valentine’s Day special of EFC-Cagayan de Oro last February 14, 2016 gave the young people a very enjoyable celebration of the hearts day together with the entire church family.

Delightful surprises were lined up, tailored not only for all the singles but also for the married couples. Also, families and many new comers came to witness and experience love in a different scale

When one speaks about love, others would typically refer to the romantic kind of love. However, what does the Bible really say? Pastor Robert Padinit shared 1 John 4:9-11, “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  What an eye-opener for the young people on what real love is!

“Let me tell you, you will never understand what love is, what true love is, until you understand its source,” stressed Pastor Robert in his sermon.  He said that God is the source of true love. Like the electricity running through electrical wires, love comes from God to the church, and then flows through the church and to others in the community.

Having known that real love comes from God, one must also know how it is demonstrated. God demonstrated His love for all mankind over 2000 years ago when He sent His one and only Son to pay the price for all sins.

Another important point mentioned by Pastor Robert was the reflection of God’s love.  Young people can reflect God’s love by having and keeping His commands. That’s God’s love language. He does not only give His people the command to love but has also modeled for them what true love is. “We reflect His love back to Him by being students of His love note to us.  Second, we reflect His love back to Him by not only having His commands, but by also acting on them,” Pastor Robert added.

Nearing the end of his sermon, Pastor Robert encouraged the group to accept the love God has offered, reflect that love back to Him by learning and obeying His commands and display that love at home, at school, on the job and in the world.

The Valentine fellowship continued to sizzle as an inspiring poem was rendered by Brian Ang. There was a loud roar from the crowd for everyone was able to relate with his love thoughts. Phillip Salinas and Reza Ybanez, an engaged young couple in the church, were then called up in the stage to testify their love story. The crowd was so inspired when they listened to the couple’s testimony of how God has blessed their relationship and their journey from friendship to courtship and soon to marriage. “When we allowed God to be the center of our relationship, blessings and favor inevitably follow.” said Reza.

Then, a video was played about married couples sharing their blissful marriage secrets and sharp, yet, sweet advices for the younger crowd that was listening. ‘Don’t rush!” was the predominant advice given by the couples in the video. Great lessons were taught for the singles while waiting for their life time partners, wisdom for those who are already in a relationship and a caution for those aggressive young hearts. There was also a group and a couple’s game that stirred up the crowd’s cheers and glee. In the end, the best “Instalove” photo was chosen among those posted on the photo wall. Last but not the least, every tummy was glad when Pastor Andrew’s special batchoy was finally served.