I would like to suggest that your next greatest need, after those required for physical existence like water and food, might just be love. I am thinking of our need to be loved, yes all of us. Take a moment to ponder this. I am reminded each week that the vast majority of counselling is really about “Am I loved?”

       I need you to take a moment to explore your need to be loved. The Bible has much to say about this as well as the source of true love. Let me remind us this may be the most significant character quality of God (if I could put it this way). The Bible makes many declarations about God’s character, yet the most important may be that He is love. This truth reminds us that love is not just something that He does but it is who He is. We are taught that love is the motivation driving His relationship with us. And it is listed as the first and maybe most important work in the lives of His people. Yet, because of our fallen nature we often seek love in substitutes for a relationship with our Creator. We may not see our futile attempts as seeking love but that it exactly what they are. It is reflected in our desire to be recognized, appreciated or even respected.  It is revealed in our love for material stuff that we believe causes others to love us.  Yet it is our desire to find love apart from God that bankrupts us of the joy of living.

     I was reminded of the importance of understanding God’s love for his people. As reflected in Psalm 100. Psalm 100 is a psalm that celebrates our Creator. It is in these five short verses that we are reminded of two important attributes of God. The second found in verse 5 is that of His goodness. But the first, which speaks of God’s love for us, is found in verse 3. “Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3) We are reminded that the Creator of everything has his eye on us. Fortunately God is not like us. The greater our stature in life the less we recognize others and the more that we focus on ourselves. Yet the opposite is true of God. We are reminded that while the Lord is over all it was love that motivated Him to create us. Think for a moment of the most prestigious works of art created by a master. It could be a painting, a poem or a palace. We marvel at the workmanship of the designer. Here we are reminded that the “Great Designer” fashioned you to be just the way you are. It is a reminder that you are loved.

     The difference between a designer and God is that He did not create you to forget about you. No, we are reminded that He made us His people, another glimpse of of His love for us. The statement of being “his people” and the “sheep of his pasture” also speak of His commitment to continue loving us. I am always humbled to think that God’s love for me never wavers. There are those times that I do not deserve to be loved, yet my Creator still loves me. Wow!

     This is the motivation behind, what should be, our response in the first two verses, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” (Psalm 100:1–2) So, are you celebrating your Creator’s love each day?

 -Pastor Joe Parkinson

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