God loves you. That’s not new news to you. You have heard that before. You have heard that God created everything and cares for His creation. However, very seldom do we stop to think that God loves each one of us as individuals. He desires to have a personal, intimate relationship with YOU. He loves you! Yes, you!! Forget about all the rotten things you have done; forget about the good things you have neglected to do. Forget your successes, your failures, your faithfulness, your faithlessness, everything. He knows it all, but that does not influence His decision to love you with a perfect and abiding love. He knows everything about you and still He loves you. Yes, YOU!
You have heard that God sent His Son to die for the whole world. John 3:16-18 declares, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (NASU)
Have you ever stopped to let it soak in that this really means you personally? He loves you if you have accepted His Son and His gift of everlasting life with Him in a place called heaven. He still loves you even if you have rejected His Son. However, He does not override your decision. God will not bring you to heaven unless you choose to trust Him. If your heart’s desire is not to allow His Son to move in with you here and now, God will not force that on you in the future. You choose to be part of His family or you choose not to be part of His family. You choose your eternal destination. 1 Timothy 2:3-6 tells us that God desires that every person be saved and that Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for every person.
But there is an extra-special love reserved for those who place their trust in Him. Don’t believe that? May I remind you of some things He wrote to you? Psalm 17 declares that you are the apple of His eye and that you reside in the shadow of His wings. Zechariah 2 says that anyone who touches God’s child touches the apple of God’s eye. Psalms 35:27 declares God’s benevolence toward His children, “And let them say continually, “The Lord be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” (NASU) Isaiah 62 proclaims that God rejoices over you as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride. Let me quote Zephaniah 3:15-17 for you, “The LORD has taken away His judgments against you, He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You will fear disaster no more. In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not be afraid, O Zion; Do not let your hands fall limp. The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (NASU)
If you have admitted your sin, turned from that sin, and trusted Christ as your Lord: God has taken away His judgments against YOU; He has cleared away YOUR enemies; He is in YOUR midst; He exults over YOU; He rejoices over YOU with shouts of joy!!!!!! Don’t ever forget that.
STEVE ELLISON is director of Ouachita Baptist Camp in Arkansas. You may contact him at email@example.com.