For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
“Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.” Many Christians grew up learning this as their first song. But it doesn’t take long before we realize we’re not so lovable. Our classmates don’t include us at the lunch table. Our teenage crush dumps us. Our adult neighbor avoids talking to us at the mailbox. And worst of all, the person in the mirror doesn’t even like us.
Why? It’s not just a difference of personalities. When it comes to the person in the mirror, it’s often what’s on the inside that makes us feel ugly and unlovable. We see our thoughts. We see our disappointments and how we’ve disappointed. We see our guilt. And we soon change the lyrics from, “Jesus loves me. This I know,” to “Jesus loves me? I don’t know.”
When that mis-sung lyric rings loud in your heart, savor the sweetness of John 3:16—God so loved the world. As a pastor, I have often directed people to those words. To the one who confessed adultery, “Are you part of the world? Then what does that mean? God loves you.” To the woman plagued by an abortion from a decade earlier, “Are you part of the world? God loves you.” To the Christian fighting homosexual desires, “Are you part of the world? God loves you.” To the one who tried to take their own life, not once but twice, “Are you part of the world? God loves you.” To the one sitting reading this devotion, “Are you part of the world? God loves you.” It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done; you are the recipient of God’s love. Savor the sweetness of that truth.
Lord, when I feel unlovable, turn my eyes to the truth of your Word which assures me of your universal love. Amen.