“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…”
This is not just a cute Sunday school song. In fact, I’ll probably never listen to that song again without understanding the impact of what it really means.
You see, for the first time in my life, I’m reading through the entire Bible with our discipleship program this year. And from being almost 70% through the Bible, the one thing I am sure of is this….God LOVES me. And He LOVES you.
From the beginning God always provided good things for his children….the Garden of Eden, Freedom from Slavery, Victory over their enemies, and a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey.
God gave them commandments to follow that were meant to protect them from what they did not understand. But instead of trusting God and obeying those commands they chose to do things their way. And as they broke God’s laws, everything started falling apart.
So God warns them through his prophets that judgement for their sins is coming. But even as he tells them what he’s planning to do, he gives them an opportunity to repent. And if they repent, he tells them that he will withhold judgement and not do what he was planning to do.
But as the story goes, they do not repent and God removes his hand of protection over them…their enemies overtake them, and they are eventually carried off into exile in Babylon.
But with every prophecy of judgement and punishment, comes a promise of hope and restoration.
Here’s what I understand even more clearly now than I did before.
- God loves us so much, that EVEN in our sin, He provides a way out.
- When we don’t respond as we should to his grace and mercy, He reminds us that He STILL has a good plan for us.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord . ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord . ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.’ (Jeremiah 29:10-14 NLT)
So wherever you find yourself today, know that God’s love and His plan for you is more than anything you could ever imagine.