You are loved the most.

A friend of mine, said a sort of shocking thing recently. He said he told his oldest daughter that she was his favorite child; that he loved her the most.

“Gee that seems a little unfair to your other two children”, I replied.   He then told me that he also loved his middle son the best and soon thereafter said that he loved his youngest daughter definitely the best of all three of his children.

Then I began to sort of get his point. He loved all of his kids as though he or she was the only child he had.

He later told me, “I love each the most because I love each one with all my heart. I can’t love any more than loving with all my heart.  God loves each one of us with all His heart.”

You might be thinking, “….must be nice to be a child in his family.”  I agree.

Then I wondered….could this same big idea be true of God my Father….could he love ME the most…or does he love Billy Graham or the new Pope Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 3.34.39 PMmore than me?   Surely He loves my neighbor who gives more money to charity than me…or surely He loves my friend who prays all the time more than me….

It seems natural for us to think that God must love others more than us.  We live in a world where extra favor and love is given to those that are pretty, popular, outgoing and those with the most talent.  But what if your talents are few and you’re not the most popular?  Unfortunately, in many cases, you’ll be loved and accepted less in this broken world of ours.

But, happily, God has a different view on this topic of love and favoritism:

Job 34:19 (NIV, emphasis added)…”(God) who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor,  for they are all the work of his hands?”

Acts 10:34 (NIV, emphasis added) Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.”

1 Peter 1:17 (NIV, emphasis added) “Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.”

Deuteronomy 10:17  (NIV, emphasis added) “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”

These verses tell us that we are all equal under His love.  We are all equally given the wonderful free gift of His grace.  No one can skip to the front of the line, as happens here on earth, and claim the prize of His love ahead of you.

Could God possibly love YOU the best of all his children?  Do you think God has the capacity to love each of us the best?   I think He does….do you?

I am convinced that if we believed that God accepted us and loved each of us the most it would revolutionize how we think of Him and how we see ourselves.  We’d be more joyful, more confident in His plans for us, we’d smile more, we’d embrace the purpose, values and talents He’s given us….we’d fear less and we’d live more courageously for Him.

If you’ve never thought of yourself as totally and completely loved and cherished by God as His “most beloved”….then consider this.

He first loved usThere’s a great story in the Bible of a man named Hosea who married a prostitute (God told him to!).  She ran away from him to another lover and God told him to extend love (and even repurchase) to his wife so she’d once again live in his home.  God wanted her to be loved and restored even though she had turned her back on Hosea, her husband…even though she didn’t “deserve” it.  God loved Gomer (the wife) so much, that He asked Hosea to rescue her from her waywardness.

Hosea 3: 1-3 (NIV, emphasis added): The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”

Ask God today to impress on your heart how much He loves and favors you….and know the He indeed loves you the best.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

       -Saint Augustine

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