I heard something interesting today about Eugene Peterson, the author and theologian who passed away a few months back. Basically, you can summarize every single one of his sermons into one tidy little sermon:
God loves you.
He’s on your side.
He’s coming after you.
God does love you. Not in a generic kind of “I love everybody, and you are a part of everybody, so I must love you” way, but in a real personal “I love you for you exactly as you are where you are” kind of love.
He’s on your side. Truly, God isn’t wanting anyone to perish apart from His love but to come to salvation. God doesn’t delight in anyone going to hell but in people coming to the truth as revealed in Jesus.
He’s coming after you, not like a cosmic policeman waiting to catch you in a lie or a fault but in the way the father runs after his prodigal son, pursuing his wayward child before the child even knows he’s being pursued.
He’s relentless. God never gives up on the ones He loves. He never stops seeking after His lost sheep to bring them back into the fold. And we need a Good Shepherd like that, prone as we are to wander and to get lost.