We all know the most famous Bible verse, John 3:16 by heart. It starts out, “For God so loved the world…”
Sometimes, we can get caught up thinking thoughts like:
“God loves the huge world, but what about me? Where do I fit inside this huge, seemingly infinite number of people? Does God love ME individually out of the world? Or am I just one more grain of sand that goes unnoticed in the unending sands along the beach?”
As God’s creations, we’re created with the desire and need to be loved individually! For example, when your teacher says “good job class, you guys did great on the test,” do you really feel encouraged by that? No, not very much. You feel much more encouraged when the teacher comes up directly to you and says “good job, you did great on the test.” Why? Simply because the compliment was directed to you and you alone.
All of us, especially teens, fight for individuality. We don’t want to just be known as an American citizen, for example. We want to be recognized individually amongst the mass of other American people, too! We want to have the credibility of making an impact on the world, or at least in our community or household. We don’t like to go unnoticed! Admit it, we LOVE attention! But, guess what? God knows that! He purposely created us like that! Why? Because God wants a PERSONAL relationship with you!
Jesus spoke in the Parable of the Lost Sheep, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:4-7 NIV)
Did you catch that? Jesus does whatever it takes to find that ONE lost sheep (that one strayed Christian)! And then, when He finds him/her again after wondering away, He rejoices and celebrates with the angels in heaven! Then, Jesus says that He celebrates more over that one temporarily lost sheep, than ninety-nine others who never strayed. So, Jesus does see you individually out of a mass of people! He doesn’t just see “a herd of sheep”…rather He sees you as “one unique sheep in the herd.”
So, basically, since God created us with this need to be noticed, to stand out…He will satisfy and meet those desires! In fact, He wants to meet those desires!
Hebrews 4:13a (AMP) begins, “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight…” (You always have God’s attention!)
1 Peter 3:12a (NIV) starts out, “For the eyes of the LORD are on the Righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer…” (God sees and hears you!)
And, one of my favorites, Isaiah 49:16 (NIV), “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.” (God will not forget about you. In fact, He’s always thinking of you!)
The closer you get in a relationship with Jesus Christ, the more you’ll learn just how personal He is with each one of us. I’ve noticed God will give me certain signs over and over, things He puts in my path that He knows only has a meaning to me, and no one else.
If God created you, formed you uniquely, designed a unique plan for your life, gave the Holy Spirit to live IN YOUpersonally when you accepted Christ, listens to your personal prayers, speaks to you through His Word in a way of understanding like no one else’s, created you with personal strengths and weaknesses….then obviously, God loves youpersonally, uniquely and individually! You don’t have to worry about your voice getting swept over in the billions of other cries, because God is All-powerful! When you think He can’t hear you over everyone else, think about the billions of galaxies He’s aware of and holding together in the never-ending Universe! Surely, my friend, He can see you apart from everyone else and He can love you apart from everyone else!
“ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 NIV)
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV)