Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

Sadly we live in a world in which many people don’t feel loved. Some children don’t have parents who love them.  Some people are caught up in loveless marriages.  And then there are those who are simply alone.  Even people who are blessed with good relationships occasionally can feel lonely and unloved.  As a result, many people yearn to understand what it means to be loved by God.

Jesus tried to explain God’s love for us in ways that we might understand. I often think about the parable of the prodigal son in this regard (Luke 15: 11-32).  In that story, the son does just about everything wrong.  He asks for his inheritance before his father has even died.  He then squanders his inheritance and becomes destitute.  He has blown it.  So when he eventually returns home to his father, he merely hopes to be hired as one of his father’s servants.  His father should be angry with him.  However, the father’s reaction to his son’s return is just the opposite.  He is so relieved to see his son again.  He celebrates and welcomes him home with open arms.

That is the perfect depiction of God’s love for us. We can do stupid things.  We can mess up in every way imaginable.  And yet, if we return to God, He will be so happy to have us back.  He loves us without restriction.  We may reject God, but He will never reject us.

In the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15: 1-7) and in the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15: 8-10), Jesus offers another message about God’s love for us. In both parables, an owner is searching for something precious that he or she has lost.  Interestingly, in both stories, what is lost is not unique.  In the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd has 100 sheep and one is lost.  In the parable of the lost coin, the woman has 10 drachma coins, but simply cannot find one of them.

Jesus’ message in both parables is clear: You are precious to God. Yes, our earth is inhabited by approximately 7.2 billion people.  But in God’s eyes, you are important.  You aren’t one person in a sea of people.  You alone are precious in His sight.  You matter to God.

God tries to show us His love in a multitude of ways. One way he does so is by placing special people in our path in order to bless us.  My daughter has a teacher who God has put in her life.  For the past two years, this teacher has taken a special interest in my daughter.  She has encouraged my daughter, and because of this teacher my daughter has achieved things that she would not have otherwise.  In my own life, I have had people who were placed there by God.  They helped and encouraged me at just the right times.

Whenever we face a significant hardship or challenge, God shows His love for us by being there with us. He doesn’t necessarily take away our problems.  Instead, he gives us the courage to face them.  Each time I have faced challenges, God has blessed me with the strength overcome them.  He has given me wisdom and clarity when I needed it.  And when I have followed His will, He has transformed my challenges into blessings.

God loves us in small ways as well. Sometimes when I look out my office window, and I will see a bright red cardinal or two deer.  God is blessing me in those moments.  His blessings are all around us.  We simply have to pay attention.

This week, meditate on God’s love for you. Know that you are never alone, and that you are never unloved. God loves you.  He wants you to have a beautiful life.  He has given you the Bible to guide you as you go through your days. And He will place special people on your path in order to bless you.  You matter to Him.  You are loved.

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