However much you think God loves you… (Zephaniah 3:17)

I am being held captive, but if you try to set me free I will fight you.

Her name is Sylvia, and she is our brand new granddaughter.

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We have three grandchildren in heaven, so Sylvia is our fourth one, and she made it. Sometimes I wonder if her parents and grandparents are lavishing her with all of the love we had stored up for the other three babies, in addition to the love we have for her.

When I am with Sylvia, time stands still. My entranced heart memorizes every sight, sound, touch, and smell (yes, smell). There is no area on the top of her head I have not kissed. I hum spontaneous songs of devotion to her. I am holding her but she has me tightly in her grip, spellbound and captive. I adore this kid so much I would have to lapse into heavenly languages to articulate it adequately.

Our daughter and son-in-law love her more than Carla and I love her.

And God loves her MUCH more than they love her.

God, in fact, loves every one of us more than parents love their kids and more than grandparents love their grandchildren.

Zephaniah 3:17 is part of a prophecy about God loving His people back into geographical and relational restoration. It says this:

“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
He will quiet you with His love, calming all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful singing.”

Because we are able to think in pictures, I invite you to read that verse slowly and let your imagination create a scene for you. What does it look like for you to be loved by God in the ways this verse describes? Imagine God lovingly delivering you, lovingly delighting in you, lovingly calming you, and lovingly singing over you with unrestrained joy.

Make sure your imagination has all of the necessary information – that in the context of the passage God’s people are not exactly delightful or even loveable. God loves us as much when we are at our very worst as God does when we are at our very best.

What do you see in the verse? Go with it. Take it in. Accept God’s acceptance of you.

One of the phrases in that verse says God is the Mighty One who will save. If it became necessary for Sylvia’s parents or grandparents to give our lives for her, we would do that without hesitation. And in the person of Jesus Christ, God did that – loved us to death and back in order to save us.

I hope and pray you become avidly receptive to God’s love for you. Nobody on earth will ever love you like God in Christ does and nobody on earth can do for you what God in Christ can do for you.

Grace and peace,

Rick Jordan (www.rickcarlajordan.com)