These past months have been trying, to say the least.
So I want to talk to you about something I believe you may need right now, and it’s the same for all of us: You need to remember just how much God really loves you.
Let me tell you how the Lord has been bringing that to my mind recently.
There are two types of TV advertisements that never fail to rivet my attention, even though I must have seen them hundreds of times.
The first one shows a group of incredibly winsome children with special needs telling us how Shriners Hospitals changed their lives. Their needs are huge, their triumph over adversity is heartwarming, and each viewing sparks afresh feelings of compassion and concern.
The second advertisement is produced by one of the American societies that rescues abused animals. Picture after picture shows shivering, wretched animals living in squalor, listlessly gazing with blank expressions through rusty barbed wire. Every time, my heart goes out to them.
Maybe it’s pity or compassion but I believe that both—and many other emotions—are rooted in love. There’s something about seeing real need that stirs my soul even when it does not want to be interrupted!
Think for a minute about God viewing our world. What does He see?
I’ll tell you. He sees people who have been wounded, born into situations that set them back from birth. He sees the abused, some from self-abuse, others at the hands of loved ones or strangers.
And what does God feel when He sees human pain, failure, rebellion, and sin? He sees in wasted lives what could have been. And He mourns the loss and grieves over the estrangement from His children.
So how does He react? With love, compassion, pity, grace, and mercy.
John 3:16 perfectly sums up how God responds to the mess in our world…
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
You see, when one of those puppies in the ads is rescued, adopted, and cared for, his tail begins to wag and his vitality is restored. He knows he’s loved.
It’s only after patient, tireless devotion to the care of a young person with a physical handicap that he learns to run without legs. It’s when she knows she’s loved that a little girl learns to paint without hands and smile without hesitation.
They know they are loved. They’ve seen it in action, felt its warmth, and experienced its power.
It is the same way with men and women who dare to believe that God loves them despite their past or their present, their failure and their fears. They recognize and embrace God’s love for them—and their lives are forever changed.
When you and I know that we’re forgiven and restored, revived and renewed, we begin to be changed into a loving and caring conveyor of grace and blessing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
My son, Pete, loves to talk about the love of God for undeserving sinners. He doesn’t talk about puppy dogs and Shriners’ kids. He talks about messy people and messy lives—and how God looks beyond our messiness to make us new.
He may use different terms than I do, but the idea is the same in the end. You and I are deeply loved and cared for by God!
Pete has recorded a six-message series titled, How Much I’m Loved. And I want to send you this series as my way of thanking you for your gift today to help others learn the truth about how much God loves them.
No doubt you know of someone—especially in these uncertain times we are all facing—whose life would be greatly changed if they embraced the fact that God loves them so much that He wants to put right what’s wrong in their lives.
This is the message we bring together through Telling the Truth. And I appreciate your support to make it all possible, more than I can say.