Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Does the Lord Love Us Individually, or Collectively?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Does the Lord love us individually, personally, singularly? There are billions of us; how can He?
Or does He love us only collectively as the human race, period?

Jesus told us to pray the "Lord's Prayer," which is in the first person plural--"OurFather, which art in heaven." Is that as close as He wants me to come to Him? Or, can I pray the Lord's Prayer as "My Father which art in heaven"?

When Jesus taught us the Lord's Prayer He was addressing a crowd. But He frequently spoke good news to individuals, such as the father of the demon-tormented boy in Mark 9, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (vs. 23). The "whosoever" in John 3:16 is singular; the invitations in Revelation 22 are singular--"let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, lethim take the water of life freely" (vs. 17).

The answer is clear and firm: the Lord loves us as individuals, personally, singularly. Romans 8 assures you that if your heart cries out "Abba, Father," that is the evidence that you have received "the spirit of adoption" (vs. 15). Even if you know that you are a sinner; the invitation is "Come." You don't come as crowds; you come individually, because you know He loves you individually. You have the solemn conviction that He watched your formation in the womb of your mother! You can pray to the Lord with such intimacy as if the world, even the universe, holds but you and God (Psalm 139:15, 16, 2, 3, etc.). Of course, once you believe this glorious truth, thereafter your love will overflow toward all with whom you come in contact (2 Cor. 5:14, 15).
Our beloved 23rd Psalm does not say, "The Lord is our Shepherd," but "the Lord is my Shepherd." Of course, He is the Shepherd of the human race, but He inspired David to write those words for your personal, individual encouragement.

Now, as an individual sinner (as we all are), you are to come to Him on these terms of faith, believing that He loves you personally, individually: "He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6).

How can He when He has these billions and billions to care for? He is infinite.And still personal! Your job is to stop asking "how" and believe His truth.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 7, 2006.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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