March 12, 2010
With All My Heart
"The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'" Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
"I'm giving this to you with all my heart, Daddy." Annie spoke those words as she handed her daddy the wrapped gift. Dan opened the gift to find a small cardboard box, the lid had been torn off, mailing label still attached and a rubber band had been secured to fashion a handle. Dan scooped up his daughter in his arms and thanked her for his birthday gift promising to carry his new lunch box to work the very next day. Dan was true to his word and proudly carried the new lunch box to work the very next day.
Now how many people would actually carry their lunch to the office in a tattered and torn cardboard box? Talk about showing your love with your life in a world where talk is cheap and we value appearances over promises! Dan's tender act of love toward his daughter touched my heart and brought this verse to mind.
1 John 4:16, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him" (NIV).
While Dan's new lunch box fell apart within a day or two, Dan's love for his daughter is real, personal and lasting just like the love God has for us. God's love sees beyond our brokenness and sin and transforms our tattered and torn lives into something beautiful and precious.
Our heavenly Father's love is not based on appearance or gender, education or wealth; it's based on one thing: Love. It is God's very nature to love. It is the love of self-sacrifice. God proved His sacrificial love by sending His Son Jesus to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sin. God draws us to Himself by forgiving us of our rebellion against Him, and by sending His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. God did this in spite of the fact that we did not deserve it. "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8, NIV).
God's love is personal. He knows each of us individually and loves us personally with all His heart. His love is a mighty love that has no beginning and no end. Why does God love us? It is because of who He is: "God is love."
If you're longing for the personal and individual love of a father and have never experienced the deep, rich, immeasurable love of God I encourage you to stop and follow these five simple steps.
1. Admit your sin and your need for a Savior.
2. Be willing to turn from sin (repent)
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you.
4. Through Prayer, receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior.
5. Surrender your will to His, and ask Him to help you trust and obey His ways.
Dear Lord, I believe You are the Son of God. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask You into my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Zoe's blog for more encouragement.
When a Woman Meets Jesus: Finding the Love Every Woman Longs For by Dorothy Valcarcel
The Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God by Nancy Stafford
Read more on Hearing God
Begin to read your Bible everyday. This helps you grow in your faith.
Pray. Prayer is simply talking with God; you can talk to God any time.
Join a local church. Other believers will help encourage you.
Do you often feel like you're going it alone or are you looking for God's presence?
Psalm 36:5, "Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." (NIV)
Psalm 36:7, "How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings." (NIV)
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (NIV)
© 2010 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 12 March 2010.