This past week, I got to celebrate another birthday. I often say birthdays are fun until you reach about 25 years or so, then they are just a reminder that you are getting older. I think our kids are twice as excited when my birthday rolls around as I am. I chose to take my family on a picnic and hike during Labor Day, followed by some cherry pie instead of cake, since I was working on my birthday. When I got home, they were excited to tell me happy birthday and share some cards they had made. It is nice when family and friends send you birthday cards and wishes on social media, even if you don’t like a big production, because it shows someone cares, even a little. What makes you feel special?
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
Earlier today, as my kids were leaving for a trip across town with my wife, I asked my 3-year-old daughter if I could have a hug, and she told me ‘no’, that she only had one hug left. Then she reached up and decided to give me her last hug anyway, so I felt a little more loved at that moment. It doesn’t always take a big event to make us feel appreciated and loved by others, as it can be something as simple as an unsolicited hug, small gift, or well-timed compliment that can make someone’s day. Maybe you have heard of the five love languages, which are ways that we both give and like to receive affection from others. Most of us have preferences and often tend to show affection in the same way we like to receive it (e.g. those who give hugs or gifts often tend to like the same from others as well). So, knowing that someone you care about feels loved when others spend quality time with them, allows you the chance to make them feel special from time to time. What actions from others make you feel most loved?
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:10-11
I’ve often heard some refer to the Bible as God’s love letter to us. While that may be somewhat of a stretch, and gives a little more attention to us than we deserve, it can be a valid conclusion. When we look at some verses throughout scripture written about Israel and those who follow Christ, we can see a pattern in words used to describe the love God has for his children. Even if you have read through these things several times and know them well, do you feel God’s love in your life today? You may even say, ‘I know God loves me, but don’t always feel a close connection to Him.’ I suppose we could say that about anyone in our lives…our spouse, our parents, our siblings, our children. Is there anything you have experienced from God that made you feel loved and special at that moment? Share those stories with others and find ways to celebrate the joy that He brings to our lives. Whether through seemingly big events or in little ways, we all have at least one story of how God has changed our lives. May we rejoice in that love and look for new ways to experience and share that love with others each day!
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced 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 8:37-39
Yours in Christ,