'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.' (Jeremiah 29:11)
I often ponder that thought...just what does God REALLY say about me? I don't know His mind. I can't envision His thoughts, or His feelings, or even His purposes, most of the time. But I can look to His Word, the Word that He Himself gave to us, to find out exactly what He says about me. Well, and of you too!
When God created mankind, Genesis 1:31 says that He saw every thing He had made, and it was very good. Ok, so for the very first thing, He was pleased with the man and the woman He had created. He wanted them. He didn't NEED them. God doesn't need anybody or anything. But He WANTED them. That right there warms my heart, knowing He wanted each one of us. Because remember, He wanted them, and then He wanted them to go forth and populate the earth. Well, isn't that how we got here?
Fast forward to Exodus 3:9-10. Yes, I've skipped over Noah and the flood, and Abraham and Him leaving his home and wandering into a new land because the LORD told him to. Also, how the LORD allowed Lot and his daughters to be saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. But this passage in Exodus just radiates to me again how God loves us. Shh...Listen!
'Now, therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.'
Doesn't that just scream out to us that God loved His 'people', so much so that He would use a man who could not speak publicly to deliver them from their slavery? He heard their cry. He knew they were oppressed. And He had had enough of that. And then He did indeed deliver them, from the bondage of slavery.
On to 1 Samuel 17. We learn of David, and how he bravely faced, and defeated, Goliath. You may say, what does that have to do with God loving us? Think of it this way...would God have allowed David the skill, and the strength, and especially the courage, to take that Giant down with a little old slingshot if He didn't love him? God chose to use David from that point on in so many ways to influence our lives, our choices, our understanding. He certainly does demonstrate that when He chooses an example for us; it is someone who may be different than us in many ways, but just the same, meaning human, in so many other ways. David was victorious. David fell. David stood back up. David died with God's hand upon him.
Queen Esther...one of my favorites! God shows love once again, for a young Jewish girl who may have easily forfeited her life, simply because she chose to speak to her husband, the king, without him speaking to her first. Sounds silly when we think about our freedom to speak to anyone at all today, doesn't it? But in that era, in that culture, that is exactly how it was. To save her people from certain destruction, she fasted and prayed, and asked others to as well, for three days, prior to going to the king to tell of her plight, of her fear for her people. And what did God do? He did what He always does for those He loves...He delivered her from harm, caused the king to respect her anew, and her people, God's people, were saved.
Now, here we go, into the New Testament. In Luke 1:26-38 we read of the sending of the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to speak with the virgin maid Mary. He told her that she had found favor with God, and she would bear a son, and would call Him Jesus. Of course she did not understand at first. Can you imagine an angel telling you these things? But she was obedient, for she truly loved the LORD, and she told Gabriel this. Is this not love from God? To be chosen as the one to bear His only Son? How amazing is that?
Let's look at John 3:16 now. We all know these words by heart. They are words of complete and uncompromising love. 'For God so loved the world...'. When He speaks of the world in this passage, it is not as the carnal, secular world. It is as the body of humanity. For you see, in this verse God is declaring His love for mankind. Yes, He loves each and every one. It has never been His wish that any should perish. And this verse leaves no doubt of that great love.
I could go on and on, but I would literally have to just copy and paste the whole Bible right here! There was the woman at the well...she was living in sin. But Jesus showed her who she was, and who He was, and her life was changed. There was the other woman who was about to be stoned. But Jesus defended her, taught a lesson to her accusers, and again, He changed her life.
We see lepers, the crippled, and the blind healed. We see the dead raised. We see oil flow continually until there are no more pots to contain it. We have seen thousands cross a dry river bed, only to have the water come crashing down once they have arrived safely on the other side. Most of all, we see a young Man preach His own gospel, His own story, a story of love, compassion, eternal life, and then we see Him go to the cross to save those who believed, and those who doubted as well, if they will simply choose Him as Saviour and LORD.
Jesus is the ultimate proof of God's great love for us. Jesus said that once He had us in His hand, we could not be snatched from it. I believe that. Don't you?
Now tell me you don't think God loves you! If you don't believe it now, you never will. But I have an idea you already knew it, didn't you? Because He has told us every day of our lives that we are the apple of His eye. He continually blesses us, He provides for us, He delivers what He has promised. He is amazing grace in every way it is possible to be. He is God, and He loves us.
So what DOES God say about me? What does He say about You? It's the same, for all of us. We are His peculiar, protected, and much cherished children. Life may not always be a bed of roses, and we will still go through trials. But at the end of the day we can rest our heads on our pillows, knowing that what the Father says about us is all that really matters, after all.