The title of todays blog is so cliché and redundant that we fail to really take the time to understand what it can mean to us personally.  I don’t know about you but it seems that when the phrase “God loves you” is used,  it seems to encompass a group of people…..the pastor from the pulpit who says it to everyone in his congregation, the bumper sticker proclaiming it to all who read it, the song sung to millions on the radio written about it.  We mentally acknowledge that God loves everyone, but we don’t seem to stop and think about God loving us as an individual and how that would affect our life if we did truly believe that He loves us as an individual. 

We are each and every one of us a child of God.  Now like all children some children of God are living in rebellion to their Father in heaven, while others choose to obey His voice.  The problem is many times those who choose to obey His voice try to do so by their own will power.  But if we are a child of God, we are growing up in His presence.  So here enters another cliché phrase,  “God is Love”.  If ‘God loves us’ and ‘He is love’ then as a child of God growing up in His presence, I am surrounded by His love.  Pretend for a moment that your parents are perfect, for some that may require more pretending than others, but pretend that you grew up with two parents that truly loved you.   What would that have looked like?  No being yelled at.  No unfair punishment.  Being loved and accepted despite our many childish mistakes.  Maybe instead of being yelled at and punished for lying, your parents picked you up and sat you on their lap and told you how wonderful you were, how glad they were that you were their child and how much they wanted you to be happy.  And then they told you that in order for you to be truly happy you needed to always tell the truth. 

When we live in the presence of the love of God, the truth of His love will set us free to live the happiness that God created for us.

….. there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!  Luke 15:7 NLT