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Rf Memo, 3/25/2014

002 How Do I Know God Likes Me?


 

It was a Sunday morning during the summer of 1987, and I was attending a weekend conference focused on the love of God. Leading the conference was a well-known Christian counselor. I was worshiping in the congregation along with several hundred other believers.

At that point in my life, I did not believe that God liked me. Oh, I believed that He loved me, just like He loved everybody else, but that didn't mean anything to me. My teachers had made it clear to me that God's love was not about His feelings, it was a choice of His to do good. I figured that He made the same choice for everybody, but when He considered me personally, what He felt was impatience: “When is he ever going to get it right?” I thought that at best, God tolerated me.

While we were worshiping there, I had a vision. In this vision, I was standing in a similar but much, much larger congregation, in a massive amphitheater the ends of which could not be seen. God was sitting on a throne on the stage of this amphitheater as a king in regal garb, and an uncountable multitude was praising him enthusiastically. I could see myself in the crowd, out to the left of the stage.

In my vision, God looked directly at me in the middle of the crowd, caught my eye... and winked at me.

He did not say anything, but what I understood in that moment was “This is all very formal, and for now we'll do things by the rules. But afterward, you and I can get together and have some fun.”

It rewrote a script deep in my soul. God didn't tolerate me, He enjoyed me. What a relief!

God actually likes all of us. How could it be otherwise? He made each of us deliberately. He knows what we're capable of, and He knows what we're good for. None of us is an accident. And He cares about our individual problems even though He has 8 billion people to keep up with. (And that's just the humans! Who knows what else He keeps track of?)

We also know that God sent Jesus to die for us all even while we were still sinners, and even while we were His enemies. (Rom 5:6-10) So we know that He loves us even though we sin. No, He's not angry with you, and He is not throwing hardship at you because you've disappointed Him. That's not His way.

In my next newsletter I will be writing about something called the Anthropic Principle. It's something discovered by cosmologists (scientists who examine the origin of the universe). But I'll give you a hint in advance: the point of the Anthropic Principle is that God went to a lot of trouble to make sure that you appeared. And He looked at you and called you “good.”

Enjoy God, and I'll see you in a couple of weeks.


 

Phil Weingart

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