You Are Loved
Heavenly Father, I’m so very grateful that You treat me with such mercy, patience and unfailing love each day.
Read Luke 18:1-8
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us ‘the beloved.’ Being the beloved is the core truth of our existence” (Henri Nouwen). What a wonderful mystery!
This intriguing story is begun and ended by insights into Jesus’ own thinking. It begins with a clear statement of his purpose: that we will persevere in prayer (1). It ends with a question: how much of such persevering faith is there to be found (8)?
Between the two lies a gripping mini-drama of a needy woman, desperate in her poverty, who by the power of sheer determination persuades an uncaring judge to hear her case (3-5). The lesson is not that we should badger God–elsewhere Jesus has specifically outlawed such mindlessly verbose prayers (Matt. 6:7). The lesson, rather, is that we should not be afraid to approach God, because he loves us. God is not an unjust and uncaring judge. He is not a civil servant who will help us only because he has to, or because we’ve worn him down. He wants to hear our prayers. He wants to answer. What is being described here is the relationship God wants us to have with him. We are not his clients. We are not inconvenient problem cases. We are not strangers. We are his children.
This is the foundation of the faith Jesus calls us to: to know that we are loved. This is our starting point. Such love, John later tells us, drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Jesus invites us to take our place as the beloved, and to see our fears dispelled. Many people mistakenly assume that the journey of discipleship begins when we confess our love for God, but it begins more deeply than that, at a place in our hearts that perhaps we have buried. It begins when we confess God’s love for us.
You have a name; perhaps a job title. In your family, a role is given to you. But above all, you are the one Jesus loves. Reflect on that.
Loving Father, I thank You that I am so greatly loved and that You are ready to hear my prayers and eager to answer them.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2024 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.