I grew up in a home where the phrase “I love you” was as natural as the word “hello.” Because of the way I grew up, it’s easy for me to receive and understand God’s love. My parents were always good to me and showed me their unconditional love and approval. Because I was always accepted by my parents, even when I made a mistake or did something wrong, I can easily believe that God accepts me. Because I knew my earthly father loved me, I had the confidence to go to him when I messed up. I knew he would love me and help me through any difficulty, and I know that God loves me and will help me through anything!

Maybe you weren’t raised in a family like mine, and it’s hard for you to believe that God is so loving and forgiving. I want to encourage you today to “redefine” what you know as love. Today, know that God’s love goes way beyond any human love you’ve ever experienced. He is always patient and kind, always just and forgiving. He weeps when you weep and laughs when you laugh. You are His delight, and He longs to have a loving relationship with you. You bring joy to His heart, and I know He is smiling on you right now as you read these words.

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve made a mistake; it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve blown it, God is always ready to receive you with open, loving arms. Imagine Him in front of you right now with His arms outstretched, ready to welcome you. Don’t run away from Him; run toward Him today. Simply take a step of faith to embrace His love and forgiveness!

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15, NIV)

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