As a spiritual director, I get a front-row seat to seeing the Spirit is working, moving, wooing, and drawing people closer to Him, which is God’s deepest desire–relationship with you and me. In my years of walking with people, I have noticed a consistent theme, a struggle to accept and live into one truth that could radically transform their lives. That truth? God loves you.
Before you roll your eyes and quit reading this blog, hear me out.
A lot of us have heard “God loves you” since childhood. Jesus loves me, this I know. Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. We’ve seen the bumper stickers, heard the sermons, read the devotions. But our familiarity with the concept has caused us to lose its potency, its intensity, and its transformative power. We gloss over this truth the same way we do a rolling stop at a stop sign. We sort of acknowledge it, but roll on past it without a second glance.
Instead, STOP. Breathe in this truth: God loves you. Allow it to penetrate past your intellect and soak into your soul.
The God of the universe, who flung the stars into space and gives each one a name, also knows you by name.
God loves you.
The God of the universe, who flung the stars into space and gives each one a name, also knows you by name. He has called you by your name and claims you as His own (Isa. 43:1). The God who holds the oceans in His hands also holds you in His hands. The all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present Lord loves you.
God loves you.
Paul wrote, “Long before he [God] laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love” (Ephesians 1:4, The Message). God is crazy about you. In fact, Zephaniah 3:17 says God rejoices over us with singing. WITH SINGING. How many times have you stopped to marvel at the fact that the God who created vocal cords sings over you? That’s love, my friend.
God loves you.
He doesn’t look down from his throne with a lightning rod in hand waiting to zap you when you sin. That’s not God’s heart. When you rebel, He goes to great lengths to pursue you and bring you back home (read Luke 15). Why? Because He wants a relationship with you. Not just Billy Graham or Mother Teresa or the preacher down the street. He created you to love you. God loves loving you.
God rejoices over us with singing. WITH SINGING. How many times have you stopped to marvel at the fact that the God who created vocal cords sings over you?
If you and I could fully embrace our status as God’s beloved children (1 John 3:1), our lives would change radically. We could look shame and regret in the face and say, “Nope. Not going to dance with you anymore.” We could live each day with full confidence in who God made us to be instead of playing the comparison game (and always coming up short). Those who choose to believe God loves them live in freedom because they trust that God is good even when their circumstances are bad. Knowing He loves you can bring calm to the chaos.
I’ve listened to so many people who think they’ve sinned too much. People who think they have to jump through behavioral hoops to win God’s approval. People who live out the idea that God may love them, but they’re on their own to make it through life. As I sit with them, I long for them to believe–REALLY believe–God loves them. He doesn’t just put up with us or treat us as a second-class citizen of heaven. He gives all of us a place at His table. We are ALL invited to drink deeply of the grace and love and mercy and tender affection of God.
No pit of despair, shame, sin, or regret is too deep for God’s love to break through.
So what about you? What keeps you from believing you are God’s beloved son or daughter? Trust me, no pit of despair, shame, sin, or regret is too deep for God’s love to break through. He specializes in healing broken hearts, redeeming past mistakes, and restoring what sin has marred.