March 3, 2020 God loves you! You matter to God! - Father Michael's Words to Live By
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NSRV)
My closest family and friends know that in my early formative years I struggled with life and living. My family was never particularly religious. We never offered grace before meals, never prayed together, never attended church as a family, and thus, I never experienced the power of God’s love, grace and mercy.
My parents divorced when I was seven and from then until age sixteen – I became a bitter young boy. So bitter in fact, that I discounted the existence of God. I became the essence of an, angry, hateful, spiteful, self-centered human being.
At the age of ten, my mother packed up all our belongings and we relocated to Dallas, Texas. We rented a house next door to a very loving, caring, compassionate, Christian lady. And through this woman’s genuine love, care, prayers, and witness – I finally discovered the God who had always loved me.
I share this with you just in case – like me you’ve somehow forgotten there is indeed a God and He loves you as if you were the only person in the world to love. You matter to Him.
The following excerpt is from a sermon preached by Dr. H.B. London (2009), Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“God Loves You -- You Matter to Him!”
Dr. H.B. London Jr.
Many years ago, in my pastoral ministry, I began to use a phrase that I probably repeated in some way every Sunday in worship. It was simply: "God loves you as though you were the only one in the world to love and that makes you a very special person."
Although St. Augustine had a similar phrase, I think the Apostle John crystallized the thought when he said, "For God so loved the world that He came in person for you -- as though there was only you in the world!”
That is a truth our people should hear over and over again. They are loved in a unique way by Almighty God. What a great message! If people could, as little children, embrace that truth, the spiritual journey would come so much easier for them. When they struggle with that truth, faith always seems difficult.
What about you? Do you believe and understand that God loves you as though you were the only person in the entire world to love? He loves you to that degree. He really does.
The battles you engage in are God’s battles. The circumstances you face are familiar to Him. The burdens you bear may be placed on His shoulders with His permission. The weapons formed against you are, in a real sense, formed against Him, and they will not prosper. You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you. Nothing will ever separate you from the love of God.
So often, under the pressure and microscope of life, we feel we must "make it work" or else. Not so! You belong to the kingdom of God. He called you out from the world. He guides each step you take. Please don’t ever forget that.
In fact, God has given us permission to call Him "Father" -- to climb up in His lap and, like a little child, grow quiet in His loving embrace.
So many influences in the world would like to discourage us by getting us to believe we are simply "one in a billion." Don't ever believe that, my friend ... you are one that God loves as though you were the only one. God's love for you is the greatest love story ever written ... and it was written just for you.
“See what love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)