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Does God really care about me? Or is He too busy dealing with the big things like wars to pay attention to someone like me?
Does God Really Care About Me?
*a guest post by author Cathy Bryant*
Every one of the Miller’s Creek novels (Christian romance and romantic suspense) took root in my head because of a spiritual theme. The latest book, Crossroads, took on even more importance because of its theme of winning back those who have defected from the faith.
We all know someone–maybe a friend, co-worker, or even a family member–who has turned away from the faith in Christ they once professed.
During the course of the story, I tried to examine their objections to the faith as well as the tough questions we’re often asked by unbelievers. This devotional guest post attempts to answer one of the most frequent questions: Does God care about me?
Of all the questions levied at us by nonbelievers, this one breaks my heart the most because it reveals their doubt that God is interested and involved with mankind on a personal level. They have bought Satan’s lie that God doesn’t love us. Nothing is further from the Truth, as evidenced by Jesus’ advent to earth to become the sacrifice for our sins.
God’s Word reveals that He is indeed a personal God, He does care about His Creation, He desires a personal relationship with each of us, and one day He will put an end to evil through the triumphant return of His Son Jesus. Not at all for the sake of argument, I hope instead that my research on this topic provides each of us with answers we need to “…make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15).
Loving God – In the Garden
From the very first chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1-3) we see God lovingly and precisely speak our universe into being. The crowning event of Creation–the day He called “very good”–God created man in His image and breathed life into Him.
To me, the big “Uh oh” in the story of creation is when God places man in this perfect Paradise and hands over the keys. He warns Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they will die.
And we all know what happens next.
What God said would happen, happens. But I want us to focus in on what comes next. Adam and Eve are hiding when God comes calling as he usually does. Yes, God came down to visit His Creation and walk with them in the cool of the day. He was involved in their lives. He had a relationship with them.
He already knew they’d messed up, but still He called out, “Where are you?” It was God who initiated the reconciliation.
Our God is a loving and personal God.
Loving God – Other Old Testament Examples
Obviously one blog post isn’t enough room to list all the examples in the Old Testament of God desiring a personal relationship with mankind, but I want us to consider just a few. Fast forward to Genesis 5:21-23 where it says that “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Here we have an example of someone who had such a personal relationship with God that the boundaries between this world and the next were blurred.
In Exodus 3-4 we find the adopted son of Pharaoh–now in hiding for killing an Egyptian–in a life-changing encounter with God, initiated by God, for the purpose of rescuing His people from slavery (a beautiful picture of what Christ did for us on the cross). Later we see God talking to this same man, Moses, face to face as a man talks to his friend (Exodus 33:11). More evidence of a loving and personal God.
In Psalm 63:1 we see another man on the run–this one a king awaiting his throne–King David on the run from the very jealous King Saul. Notice David’s words: “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (emphasis mine) On the run in a dry and barren wilderness, what David longed for more than water to drink was time with his God. God was personal to David.
Though I won’t address it here for the sake of time, I highly encourage you to read Isaiah 40:21-31. In this passage we see God as ruler of His creation. One tiny verse in the middle of the passage reveals that the people of Israel felt the way we sometimes feel. “Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God?’” Read the rest of the passage to see how God answers this big lie with further proof that He is a loving and personal God.
Loving God – Jesus and the Holy Spirit
When the angel announced the coming birth of the Messiah, He was given two names: 1) Jesus, which means “God saves,” and 2) Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” Why would God’s Son, accustomed to the splendor of heaven, give all that up to come to this evil earth as a helpless babe, born into poverty, sought by wicked men for execution from the time of his birth? Only one reason that I can think of: He loves us and wants a personal relationship with us. Again, God was taking the initiative in bringing back mankind unto Himself.
In John 1:10-14, we see an overview of what Jesus did by coming to earth. The key point is in verse 14: “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” This word “dwelling” goes all the way back to the early books of the Bible when God moved with His people through the wilderness, when He set up camp and pitched His tent among the young nation of Israel. In this passage from the book of John, we see Jesus doing the same thing–He pitched His tent and dwelt in our midst.
Fast forward to John 15. Jesus is spending the night speaking with His disciples before His arrest and crucifixion. He talks a lot about abiding (dwelling) in Him, just like branches find nourishment, sustenance, and fruitfulness by remaining connected to the vine. He then tells them that they are His friends–more proof of this oh-so-personal and loving God.
What Jesus mentions next in John 16–what comes to fruition in Acts 2–is the promise of God’s very Spirit indwelling the lives of believers. The Holy Spirit, the Counselor (paraclete), the One called alongside us to give us guidance and direction, is still here in our midst. God is a heartbeat and whisper away, not some distant monarch who wants nothing to do with us.
He loves us still.
I want to conclude with a quote from C. S. Lewis and his wonderful book, Mere Christianity:
An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. He is trying to get into touch with God. But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him. But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God–that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him….God is the thing to which he is praying–the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on–the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal. So that the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers.
God before us. God beside us. God within us. It just doesn’t get any more loving and personal than that.
About Cathy Bryant:
Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant writes Christian fiction set in the heart of Texas. Her popular romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the fictional town of Miller’s Creek, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons. All the Miller’s Creek novels have been on the Amazon Best-Seller list and are rated at 4.5 stars or higher on Amazon. Her debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Since then five other stand-alone novels have been added to the series, one of which was a reader-nominated 2013 Grace Award nominee (PILGRIMAGE OF PROMISE). Readers have compared her work to that of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks.
A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. She’s written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books in collaboration with other Christian authors, and for online sites. She also has released a Bible study book, THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS. In addition to her writing, she enjoys thrift store shopping, romping in the great outdoors, and mini-farming. To learn more about Cathy and her books, visit her website at www.CatBryant.com or make contact with her in these places:
a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian contemporary romance
A former soldier battles for the soul of a prodigal…
After a devastating divorce, a bitter single mom and atheist starts her own real estate company in the nostalgic and picturesque town of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then her young daughter’s disturbing symptoms lead doctors to discover that her leukemia has relapsed. With her new life now turned upside down, Mara Hedwig struggles to keep her business afloat. And her daughter’s worsening condition forces her to rethink her beliefs about Carter Callahan and his God. Will Mara make the return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?
An ex-military operative struggles with the return to civilian life while coping with his rebellious teen-aged daughter. During a house-search, Carter meets Mara, a headstrong Realtor who wants nothing to do with his God. But when Mara’s little girl is diagnosed with leukemia, the clock begins ticking for him to convince Mara to return to a life of faith. Just as he seems to be making headway, circumstances beyond his control throw his efforts into a tailspin. Can Carter learn to rest in the sovereignty of God?