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Devotional Archives
(February 2, 2005)

How Much Does He Love Me?

      By Fern Horst

"For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:11-14)

Do you ever feel as though it may not matter if you existed? You know there are people who love you, you know God loves you, but in the grand scheme of things do you sometimes sense you aren't really that important? Worse still, do you sometimes think that your existence is a burden to God and to others, rather than a blessing?

There's a healthy sense of realizing that we aren't what holds the world together. But when we start thinking that we don't matter, or that our existence isn't all that important, we've gone to the unhealthy (and untruthful) end of that spectrum of thinking.

Jesus told His disciples the story of a shepherd who, when he discovered that one of his sheep was missing, went out into the mountains looking for it. When he found it, he rejoiced that he had found that one sheep, even though he already had many others. He was of course referring to Himself, who is our Shepherd.

Each one of us could be that one sheep whom Jesus values enough not only to risk His life as the shepherd in His story did, but to actually give His life for us. When we grasp hold of that truth (not a feeling, but a truth), we can realize anew what value we have in His eyes, and how much He loves us and is taking care of us.

Have you strayed in your realization of His love for you? He longs to bring you back into the realization of how much He loves you. Each one of us is important to Him. And it is His love that compels us to live for Him and to reach out to others with His love so that they too can become His.

If you are struggling with this concept, take time to meditate on this one powerful statement: "Jesus loves [your name]." Say it over and over again both silently and out loud until it becomes a part of your very being. Don't let any thing else that happens to you or that people say about you affect this truth, that you as an individual are important enough to Jesus that He gave His life for you. And don't let Satan tempt you to doubt it, even when your prayers may be met with a "no," or a "not now." God doesn't delight in not answering your requests; rather, He has His best in mind for you and that best is based on His goodness and His love. Let's keep trusting in His goodness and basking in His love.

© 2005 Fern Horst

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