All three of my kids are both sweet and sour on a regular basis… as are all of us. Depends on the minute. Depends on the day. Every once in a happy while, however, one of my children surprises me with an unexpectedly sweet moment that becomes a heart treasure. I had one of those special conversations moons ago with my middle child, Hunter, when he was just nine years old. It was bedtime. Teeth were brushed. Jammies were on. Prayers had been prayed. The smell of shampoo lingered from his freshly showered head as I brushed a stray hair from his eye…
That’s when he initiated “project: unexpected sweetness” with an innocent question:
“Mommy, do you know what I love?”
“What do you love, Hunter?” I whispered.
“I love being loved,” he said thoughtfully. “Yep. I really love being loved.”
Lying beside him in the dark room, I could scarcely process the vastness of his statement. It was the simplest of thoughts, delightfully honest, yet one of the most profound and insightful statements I’d ever heard come from his lips – from his heart. When he spoke those four little words, “I love being loved,” I heard several things:
- He had a deep longing to be loved.
- He knew he was loved.
- His love tank was being re-filled as I tucked him in.
- His greatest need is love.
Like Hunter, our greatest longing and need is also to be loved… to feel safe, adored, and content in love. I don’t know where this devotion finds you today, but I sense God nudging me to tell you that He loves you. Completely. Perfectly. Eternally. (Yes, I’m talking to you!) He knows your name, He knows your heart, He knows your circumstances, and He hears your prayers. He loves you and desires for you to rest in His love. His Word says so.
You. Are. Perfectly. Loved.
God’s love is not based on performance or beauty. It’s not based on your position or abilities. Many times we mistakenly think that if we could just do this or that better – that God would love us more. That if we just hadn’t done this or that – God could love us more. The truth is this: God will never love you more or less…no matter what. His love is complete and you are the object of His heart’s affection.
But don’t take my word for it – take His! The Bible tells us that God’s love for us is unstoppable, unsearchable and unbreakable: …that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
No matter what you’ve believed in the past, choose by faith to believe this now: you are valued, priceless, and adored by God. “Take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18–19, MSG).
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Let those words sink in. Savor the special sweetness of God’s love for you today. Take it very personally. Linger long on thoughts of His affection for you. Let them find and fill your heart in wounded places. When you embrace the deep love of Christ as a personal reality, you will gain traction for powerful, meaningful living that begins with forgiveness and continues on in truth and grace. Go in His love today. Be assured of it. Share it. Be changed by it. Change others with it.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:16-21).
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE: Allow God to quiet you with His love today. Spend a few moments in prayer right now. Thank Him for His love. Worship at His feet. Be still before Him.
GOING DEEPER IN HIS LOVE: Most of you know that I’m a worship-songwriter chick from the word go, right? Well, I think that the perfect ending to our time together today would be to worship. Listen to this new worship song I’ve written and recorded about the love of God called Unbroken.
You can listen to and download the songs from my new worship project My Strength, My Song on iTunes or Amazon – or on my Music Page. God’s love is perfect. He has seen our biggest failures, our greatest places of shame and hurt – and yet, He beckons us to His love, forgiveness, healing, and grace. He has a plan for each life that is far beyond the shattered matters we deal with. Every step of transformation begins with our surrender to the heart of God. If you would like to learn more about how your brokenness can be reworked into a picture of God’s beauty, order Broken into Beautiful.