I know the true answer. Do you?
It’s found in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (KJV)
I know it. I believe it. I’ve banked my future on it.
But “the world” isn’t very personal, is it? Does God love me personally? Again, I know the right answer, but sometimes it is easy to feel like one of the crowd. It helps me to remember that, as a mom and grandma, I love all my kids/grandgirls as a group, but I love each of them because of (and in spite of) their personal quirks, too. I love them because we have a relationship that cannot be broken.
Yes, He loves us a group (ie: “the world”). But He made each of us as unique individuals, as Psalm 139 clearly shows us. Here’s a peek at verse 6: “It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out; the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it.” (The Voice)
C. S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain, declares, “Why else were individuals created, but that God, loving all infinitely, should love each differently?”
In Plum Upside Down, the fifth Farm Fresh Romance, Chelsea asks, “Does God love me personally?” Like me, she’s been brought up in faith and knows the right words, but they still don’t register deeply. Writing this story was both a challenge and a joy. The hero of the story responds to her question by creating a set of index cards for her with verses she could memorize and claim when doubts arose.
A few are written out within the context of the story, but here are some additional verses that mean a lot to me when I consider God’s personal love for me. Click here to download illustrated note cards, print them out, and allow them to deepen your relationship with God.
Psalm 138:8 (NLT)
“The LORD will work out his plans for my life — for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”
John 15:9 (NLT)
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.”
1 John 3:1 (The Voice)
“Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us — He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children.”
Psalm 18:16, 19 (The Voice)
“He reached down His hand from above me; He held me. He set me down in a safe place; He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.”
Isaiah 49:16 (NLT)
“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”
Isaiah 54:10 (The Voice)
“Even if the mountains heave up from their anchors, and the hills quiver and shake, I will not desert you. You can rely on My enduring love; My covenant of peace will stand forever. So says the Eternal One, whose love won’t give up on you.”
Psalm 103:11 (CEB)
“As high as heaven is above the earth, that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.”
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love… Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Ephesians 2:4-5 (CEB)
“However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace!”
Ephesians 5:25-27 (The Voice)
“Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished — completely free from all impurity — holy and innocent before Him.”
Matthew 10:30 (The Voice)
“You, beloved, are worth so much more than a whole flock of sparrows. God knows everything about you, even the number of hairs on your head. So do not fear.”
Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
Isaiah 43:4 (NLT)
“Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.”
Romans 5:5 (NLT)
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Isaiah 62:5 (NIV)
“As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (The Voice)
“The Eternal your God is standing right here among you, and he is the champion who will rescue you. He will joyfully celebrate over you; He will rest in His love for you; He will joyfully sing because of you like a new husband.”
Here are some verses Keanan prays over Chelsea in Plum Upside Down, inserting her name. I’ve found this kind of prayer to be a very powerful in my life.
Ephesians 3:16-19 (The Voice)
“Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen [name]. Fill her [or his] soul with the power of Your Spirit so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in her [or his] heart. May love be the rich soil where her [or his] life takes root. May it be the bedrock where her [or his] life is founded so that together with all of Your people she [or he] will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood [name]’s entire being. Amen.”
My first Riverbend novella, Secretly Yours also delves into the question, “Does God love me personally?”
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net