July 2, 2020
Loved Because of Who You Are
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"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1 (NIV)
I recently discovered the little gold diary where I wrote all my secrets as a girl.
It was fun to go back in time and see the beginner cursive handwriting reminding me what troubled me most back in the day: who my best friend was, who I had a crush on and, of course, ideas for the best birthday party ever. Oh, to be young again and have those as my biggest concerns.
But then I kept reading. And in between the lines that talked about whether this girl or that girl was my best friend for the day, I saw something deeper. When I had a music performance, I wrote how well I thought I did. On report card days, I talked all about my good grades. And sports teams - well, I shared how I thought I had helped the team.
What the younger version of me didn't know is she was keeping a scorecard of her life. The more points she got in her favor, the more she was "worthy" of being loved.
This was the lie I believed: What you do is who you are. The more you do, the more you're loved.
I'll admit there are times I still struggle with this, but here's what I want to say to you, friend, and all the beautiful young girls out there: You are loved and cherished simply because you belong to Jesus!
God made the decision to create me, and that's evidence enough that I am loved simply because I am His. I often wonder who I would have been if I had believed this truth back in my little gold diary days.
Today's key verse is one all of us need to know in the deepest parts of our hearts: "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him" (1 John 3:1, NIV).
John appeals to us to see - to experience - how great and wonderful this kind of love is that our perfect, heavenly Father has lavished on us! He grants us this unconditional love simply because we are His! Our achievements cannot increase or decrease His love for us, and there's nothing we could ever do for Him to take it away.
Maybe there's a little girl inside the grown-up version of you who needs to hear this today: You are loved. You are cherished. You are, simply because you are His!
And if you have a little girl in your life trying to figure out who she is in this world of score-keeping, speak this truth over her today, too: You are loved. You are cherished. You are, simply because You are His!
Oh Jesus, thank You! Thank You for loving me just because I am Your creation. I praise You that nothing I do can ever diminish Your love, and nothing I do can make it greater. Help me to rest in this truth today when I'm tempted to keep score. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
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 them." (NIV)
Romans 5:7-8, "Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (NLT)
Am I loved? Am I valuable? Am I smart? A girl needs to know she's enough because of God's love. Lynn Cowell's upcoming book, Loved & Cherished, with coauthor counselor Michelle Nietert, empowers a girl to know she can have confidence that she's loved, protected, secure, whole and valuable. When you preorder Loved & Cherished: 100 Devotions for Girls, written for girls ages 8-12, you'll receive immediate access to the first 30 devotions - before the book releases, and a private invitation to join the Loved & Cherished Moms & Girlsgroup, beginning July 16! Mom, there will be resources for you too!
Pop over to Lynn's Instagram account to enter a giveaway for your chance to win an autographed copy of Loved & Cherished for your girl! Look for the post with the image from today's devotion, and simply tag a friend who needs to hear this encouragement, too.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When it comes to understanding just how much you are loved and cherished by God, what has helped you most?
What's one step you can take today to remind your heart, which is sometimes very forgetful, just how much God loves you? Share your ideas in the comments section!
© 2020 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.