Wednesday, September 12, 2012

God Loves YOU Specifically

A new favorite verse of mine has got to be Isaiah 49:16. Here, Isaiah records the Lord saying the following:
"See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before me."
Before iPhones and iPods and electronic devices of any kind, people wrote on paper. And when something was of the utmost importance? They wrote it on their hand. Have a major homework assignment that you CANNOT forget? Write it on your hand. Remember that you must do something when you get home? Write it on your hand. When something is written on your hand, you don't forget it. And normally, you put only the most important things on your hand.

This verse says that God has inscribed us on the palms of His hand. To me, this verse comforts and strengthens me. It gives me courage to face whatever things this life may throw at me, because the Creator of the universe knows me, intimately, and cares for me, deeply.

There are ways, though, that I can erase my name from His hand. I can choose to abandon Him--to walk away from Him and ignore the blood of His Son. Or I can choose worldly, temporal things over Him. I can choose drugs, alcohol, fornication, gossip, crude "entertainment," or to simply sleep in on Sundays and avoid Him. I can choose to put other things ahead of Him, like a relationship or a hobby. He wants a relationship with me, and Has made every provision to have one, and yet He has given me a choice.

While there are ways I can choose to ignore God, there is nothing I can ever do to deserve a relationship with Him. After all, He made and controls everything. And so, I will do all that I can to stay in His favor. I will do what He says (put on Christ in baptism, flee sin) and I will pray every day that He will forgive my failures and shortcomings. I will do my very best to "overcome" so that I can inherit all things (Rev. 21:7).

My brain cannot comprehend why God would ever love me--why He would ever send His perfect, sinless Son to die for me. But I know, I KNOW, that He does love me. And not just me in the generic sense, either. God knows me personally. He loves me, Emily. After all, He has me inscribed on the palm of His hand.

Please don't forget that God loves you, too. He has made a way for you to be with Him for all of eternity. Don't miss that opportunity because something worldly seems better right now. Some relationship, some form of pleasure, some hobby, some status. Listen when He says He loves you and He wants to be with you. And when you listen to and understand that, give up all of the things in your life that you're either putting ahead of Him or that you're doing in spite of what He's said.

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