On our road trip to IL and back, Ben discovered a new interest, Veggie Tales. (I think it's all the music.) The particular one he likes is The Wonderful Land of Ha's about the prodigal son. At the end of the DVD, the verse that they discuss is 1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!.
In the last few weeks, I have encountered various people at various stages in their relationship (or lack there of) with God. And it seems to me that these people who are weighing on my heart tonight are missing this truth. We are children of God. He loves us! He really and truly with all his heart loves YOU! Just like you are broken and bruised, tainted and tormented, and anything else you might be feeling. If you could grab hold of this truth, way down deep in your heart, this would change your life. While this verse can obviously speak to non-Christians, it is an important reminder to Christians as well. There is nothing we can do to earn God's love. It is freely given.
Love is a precious commodity, especially in our world today. There are so many who are need of it and so many who aren't willing to give it away. There are those who doubt their worth. There are those who hide their pain with friends, alcohol, games, funny words, etc. There are those who have been Christians for years and still can't quite accept this truth. There are those that stumble forward on the road of life not knowing where to go because they aren't looking at the map. There are those who become dependent on other people to fill that void inside. There are those that won't admit there is a void inside. There are those that have built a very thick solid wall around their heart and make sure no one gets in. There are those who have given so much of their heart there seems to be very little left. For all of these people and so many more, God loves you. No strings attached, nothing to fix, nothing to change. He loves you the way you are simply because you are his child. You don't have to be worthy enough, good enough, smart enough, righteous enough, etc. You just have to accept it.
My heart truly aches for those out there who do not know the comfort and power of this verse.
As this year closes, I pray that God touches your heart and that you are forever changed. May 2011 be a year of change for the good, a year of love and compassion, and most of all a year of God at work in you. God loves you and so do I.