God Loves the World, but Does He Love Me as an Individual?
I know God loves the world, but does he love me?
Practically the entire world is familiar with John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life," (NIV). We all know that verse and we know that God loves the world; he loves the people of the world collectively, but how do we know that he loves us individually?
I love coffee, and in fact, a lot of people I know think I am obsessed with coffee. I drink a minimum of three cups daily, and most days I drink many, many more. If someone offers me coffee I almost never turn it down. I love the way coffee smells, I love the taste, I love the caffeine, I love everything about it. Coffee as a whole is about the greatest thing on earth, but I have found many, many individual cups of coffee that not only did I not love but I hated and outright despised. Some cups of coffee were so bad that I felt they did coffee an injustice by being called coffee; in short they were a disgrace and an utter disappointment. If I love coffee but don't necessarily love all cups of coffee is it possible that God loves people collectively but that he doesn't love me as an individual?
My mother is a great person and loves children and is absolutely wonderful to and with children, and children love and adore her. Collectively, my mother loves children, and most of them she loves as individuals, but there is an occasional child that is just a bad seed and my mother can't stand him or her. Some kids are misbehaved, rotten, rude, annoying and they somehow rub my mother the wrong way. My mother would never mistreat a child, regardless of how horrible that child was, but that also does not mean that she particularly loves that child as an individual and will sometimes go out of her way to not be around that child. If my mother, a woman who loves and adores children, finds some individual children repulsive and annoying is it possible that while God loves the world he does not love or even like me as an individual, and how would I even know?
If I am completely honest, I am not a kid person and most children annoy me, but I would give my life without hesitation to save any child, not because I like that particular child but because as a whole I think children deserve a chance at life and what life I have left, though I am not quite middle aged, pales in comparison to how much life and potential a child has. Is it at all possible that God views me the same way I view the average random child? Is it possible that Jesus was willing to die for me but still doesn't like me and is annoyed by my presence?
I have a cousin who is obsessed with firearms and he spends copious amounts of time and money on his obsession, much to the annoyance of his loving and patient but disapproving wife. My cousin collectively loves firearms, he love riffles, shotguns, revolvers, pistols, machine guns, turrets, big guns and little guns. However, despite my cousin's overwhelming love for all that is guns, he does not think all guns are created equal and thinks some guns are not even good enough to be used as a paperweight. My cousin absolutely adores the Browning 1911, as does most gun enthusiasts, but he loathes the taurus and the Hi-Point and said if he had one he would sell it for scrap metal. If my gun loving cousin can have an obsession with guns but still despise some makes and models than is it possible for God to love the world collectively but despise some individuals, perhaps even me? Am I one of the makes or models that God does not like or love?
At this point it should be obvious where I am going with this. There have been times in my life where I have had no doubt that God loves the world, and loves it enough to sacrifice the life of his son, but I had serious doubts that he loved me as an individual. I wasn't even sure God liked me, and sometimes I was sure that he didn't. I am certain that I am far from being alone in thinking that, while God loves the world, he may not love me, and probably doesn't like me.
I think almost everyone, especially those of us who would have Googled "does God love me?" "Does God like me?" or anything similar to that have been to some party or social event where it was painfully obvious that we were only invited out of pity or obligation and that we were not wanted there and we were certainly not accepted or liked by any of the people at the party or event. When anyone is in a situation like that it would have probably been more comfortable to have stayed at home and sulked about not being invited; it is never fun to be where we are not wanted, and I know this for a sad fact. For those of us who wonder whether or not God actually loves us, the idea of spending eternity in heaven with a God that only tolerates us instead of loving us seams like just another form of hell.
I have been in a lot of failed relationships, and by far the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me was when I confessed to my long time girlfriend that I loved her and she had to break the news that she did not love me and had been trying to find a way to break up with me without hurting me. She told me that she often made excuses to not spend time with me because the thought of spending time with me made her unhappy, and she told me she had been seeing other men for quite some time. I slipped into a deep depression and wondered why she let me think she loved me for so long before letting me know that she didn't even like me and was barely able to tolerate my presence. I was hurt and felt used and cheap, like a puppy that was given as a gift but wasn't wanted and was discarded like a piece of common trash.
Not being loved by a girlfriend or boyfriend in which we have devoted out time, our money and our love for months, or even years, is devastating, but the thought that the eternal God does not love us is so much worse, especially if we have devoted our life to pleasing him. The thought that God might not love me was often more than I could bear.
I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that most, if not all, of you who can relate to me with not knowing for sure if God loves you personally can also relate to me in having at least one parent who you tried desperately to please but was never able to earn his or her love respect or affection. No matter what you did or what you said it was never enough for that parent and they just could not love you. If an earthly parent doesn't love you than it seams to make sense that a perfect God who has higher standards than your imperfect parent or parents would find it difficult, if not impossible to accept you with your failures and shortcomings.
The way I looked at it, if I could not please my parents with my crayon drawings than I should not expect an art gallery or fine art Museum to be excited about them, and that is the way I viewed the standards of God compared to the standards of my father. People often make improper correlations between God and the flawed people he created, and it is neither fair nor accurate to assume God would view us the way in which people view us.
I said earlier that the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me was when my long time girlfriend said that she didn't love me, but that wasn't true, not even close. The most devastating thing that has ever happened to me was when my father told me, a few days after my sixth birthday, that he did not love me, never did and never would, and that I was a big disappointment. I could not stop crying and cried for days, not because of my father's cruelty for saying those hurtful things to me, but because I knew what he said was true, every word of it.
Still, in the years to come, I tried all the more to please my father and make him love me, but I never could. My father died when I was in my twenties, and the last thing he ever said to me was that I was his biggest enemy, a huge disappointment, and that he wished that he had either used a rubber or had been able to convince my mother to have an abortion.
I not only looked to my father for love protection and support, though misplaced as it was, I also looked to my father for my spiritual welfare. My father was an ordained Baptist minister and I trusted that what he told me was from God, and what he told me was often not favorable. So, what I said before that the most devastating thing that ever happened to me was when my father said he didn't love me wasn't true either. My father was really into music so I tried to learn how to play music to please him, and around my seventh birthday I wrote a song about how much God loved me and was excited to play it for my father, just knowing that he would be proud of me.
I had this little battery powered keyboard that I used to learn to play and I excitedly approached my father and announced that I had something important to show him, and with that, I played him my piece. My song was not good and I know it, but I was an ordinary child who did not have the talent of the young Beethoven, so my song was typical of what a typical child could produce. Looking back, I am not sure why I was surprised that my father didn't like it, but I was surprised, I was greatly surprised.
My father told me that not only was my song horrible but that God was ashamed of me for having written it, and in addition to my red hair, it gave God yet another reason to not love me. My father told me that God did not and could not love me and that if I was to be saved it would only be because God felt sorry for me and took pity on me on account of how pathetic I was.
I did not cry in front of my father and tried my best to not act upset because I didn't want to give him another reason to be disappointed in me, but when I was out of his presence I let the dam break. I took the paper that I wrote the lyrics on, crumpled it, and set it on fire on the kitchen floor. I then took a six pound sledge hammer and beat the living tar out of that poor little keyboard. Pieces of the instrument flew everywhere and I did no small amount of damage to the floor. My older sister came and tried to stop me, saying that I would get into trouble, but I kept on with it and told her that I didn't give a (insert profanity here) because I didn't have anything to live for anymore.
In case you are wondering, I did get beat for my actions, but at that point I didn't even care. My father didn't love me and God didn't love me. My mother loved me of course, but I wasn't convinced that it wasn't just because mothers had to love all of their children, even the ones who proved to be utter disappointments.
The thought that God didn't love me haunted me for years, and I think that was a large part of what caused me to loose my faith and identify as an atheist for three years. I was angry with God because I didn't think he loved me, and I eventually decided to stop believing in God because it was easier to believe he did not exist than it was to believe that he loved everyone except for me.
Even before I lost my faith, even when I had unshaken faith in God, I had serious doubts that he loved me as an individual, even after my father's death. I knew by the time my father died that almost everything he ever said was a lie, but I still had trouble believing that God loved me, after all, I wasn't anything special and I was constantly making mistakes.
I felt I made so many mistakes that even my salvation was in danger, and that is probably a lot of the reason why I was able to be persuaded to join the LDS Church, also known as the Mormons. The LDS Church is a church of works and teaches that a person can earn his or her salvation by following rules. I might not be a good person and I might not be easy to love, but I have always been good at following rules so I thought that if rules could save me than I had a good shot. Once I joined the church I devoted my entire life to it, and while I still felt that God likely didn't love or even like me, I felt that if I worked hard enough I could earn his respect and his love in the way that I was never able to do with my earthly father.
Of course, I had a lot of issues with the LDS Church and thought that if I studied more about it my faith would grow, but instead I came to a sure knowledge that the LDS Church was not true nor could be. Again, I was devastated and in the process of distancing myself from the false teachings of the LDS Church I threw the baby out with the bathwater and gave up on God because, as I said earlier, believing there was no God was much easier than thinking I wasn't worthy of his love and that he hated me.
I learned slowly, even before I regained my faith, that God does indeed love me, and I will share some of what led me to that knowledge, but I will also show from the Bible that God does love everyone individually, he loves you and he loves me. It doesn't matter what kind of life you have lived, how often you fail, how many terrible things you have done, or even what kind of perverse thoughts have filled the stage of your mind, God loves you individually more that you could possibly know or fathom, more than you have ever or could ever love anything.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his son, but even if he knew that you were the only person who would ever accept the sacrifice of his son he would have still done it, just for you. Jesus said, "there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents," Luke 15:10). Every soul is precious to the God who created them.
When I was a child my family had dinner with the pastor of a Pentecostal church at his house with him and his family, and in the course of the evening, my father told the pastor's wife that God did not love her. My father insulted people every chance he got, especially women. I never understood why my father was so cruel to people, especially since he said he was a man of God.
After my father told the pastor's wife that God didn't love her I listened with eagerness to hear how she would respond, and I was simultaneously impressed and indigent with her response. The pastor's wife, or Mrs. Bobby pin as my mother called her, said that not only did God love her, he loved her so much that he would be willing to get on his hands and knees to help her look for her missing bobby pin. I was impressed that this woman was so sure that God loved her, but confuses as to how she could be so confident that God loved her. I wanted to ask "Mrs. Bobby Pin" how she could be so certain that God loved her, but never got the chance.
For most of my life I have wrongly looked down on that devout woman for saying that Jesus would willingly get on his hands and knees and look for the bobby pin she so carelessly lost on the carpet, but that was because I utterly failed to understand or comprehend the depth and breadth of God's love. I though that woman was thinking too highly of herself, but I now know that she just saw the truth of how God viewed her. I looked at it all wrong for all of those long years; if God would be willing to give his life for this woman than why wouldn't he be willing to help her with a simple mundane task? There are a lot of people whom I would willingly help to find a missing item on the floor but would not be willing to die for them, much less suffer untold agony on their behalf before dying for them without any guarantee that they would even appreciate it.
Of course, loving someone enough to die for them doesn't necessarily mean that you like them or want to spend a lot of time with them, as in the example I gave earlier with the children. As I said, though I don't particularly like children, I would willingly die for any child or children, even the despicable ones.
I know people whom I love dearly but that I don't like to spend a lot of time with because they annoy me. It goes back to what I sometimes thought about my mother when I was a child, mostly as a result of my father, that my mother loved me because she had to but perhaps didn't always like me. Over the years it became obvious that my mother not only loves me, but she likes me and would continue to love me even if there were no societal or moral obligation to do so. In other words, my mother loves me because she loves me and not because she has to.
It took me many years to realize it, but God not only loves each and every one of us but is interested in our lives and longs to spend time with us and will spend as much time with us as we will allow. We may foolishly grow tired of God, but he never grows tired of us. God will not force himself in where he is not wanted and if we don't want God around he will oblige our wishes.
God does not love and accept us out of any obligation or out of pity. God does take pity on us, but that is not why he loves us; God does not love us out of pity, he takes pity on us because he loves us.
God knew exactly how he would make each and every one of us long before we were ever born, and he likes what he made. God does not make mistakes and is not sorry that he made you, does not regret it and does not wish you were someone else. God made you and he likes you, however, just because God likes and love you that does not mean that he approves of all of your actions or choices.
It may be difficult for you to believe right now that God loves you and wants to spend time with you, but the more time you spend with God and in pursuit of him the more you will come to know that he has always loved you and always will.
Through the course of my life I have had many instances that proved to me that God loves me, but at the time I overlooked most of them. It is difficult to notice the positive when you are overly cynical and focus the negative. It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I started to notice and appreciate how much God loves me, and though I will never be able to completely understand why he loves me so, I know that he does. I pray that each and every one of you will come to know and trust that God loves you and likes you.
Many people, myself included, often view God's love of them through the paradigm of their situation and the things that happen to them in life. Many people think that if God truly loved them than the bad things that happened to them would not have happened. I used to think that all of the bad things that happened to me happened for a reason, and that reason was that God was displeased with me and was punishing me for something. One day I say a marquee sign in a gas station parking lot in Montana that said, "Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make poor decisions." I then realized I was not being punished, God was just allowing me to suffer the natural results of my own poor decisions, of which there were not a few.
God loves us, but that does not mean that he will take away the consequences of our actions. If God were to remove the consequences of our actions that would not be love and that would eliminate the possibility of us learning from our actions and from our mistakes. If God did not love you he would allow you to enjoy your life of sin and would not pursue you, but he does love each and every one of us and he wants us to choose him.
I have some friends who kept telling their son to lock his bike when he rode it to the mall or anyplace else where he was to leave it unattended, but he didn't listen. One time my friends went shopping and saw their son's bike leaning against the wall at the entrance of the mall and decided it was time for some tough love and took the bike home and hid it. When the son came out of the mall and discovered that his bike had been stolen he was upset but did not want to admit to his parents that they were right and he was wrong, so he didn't say anything about the missing bike and walked or took the bus while he saved to replace the bike, all the while hoping that his parents would not find out.
The boy saved for a new bike for almost a year, and when he had enough money for a bike, but before he had a chance to buy one, his parents told him they had taken his bike and returned it to him. At first the kid was mad at his parents, but then he realized they were right and apologized. The kid did learn his lesson and purchased a bike lock, and even decided to save the money he had raised for the bike and continue to add to it to save for a car so he could have his own car when he reached driving age in a few years. Loving parents don't just stand by and watch their children do dangerous or inappropriate things and then remove all consequences of their actions, and since he loves us, God does not just stand by and watch us sin and then allow us to escape all consequences.
Among the many parables Jesus told, he had several to show how much God loves us, and one of them is the well known story about the prodigal son.
Jesus [said]: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found,’” (Luke 15:11-32 NIV).
There are so many lessons to be learned from that story, but I want to focus on two, how much the father loved the son and the fact that if the consequences for the wayward son's actions would have been removed he likely would not have changed his ways and returned home. Removing the consequences for sin would be proof that God does not love us as it would be allowing us to happily send ourselves down to hell. I like to say that God loves you and accepts you just as you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay the way he found you. I sometimes think God views us the way a car enthusiast views a classic car, and the more you love it the more you try to improve it. A person who buys and loves a classic car doesn't just let it rust away, they restore it and make it better than it was when they purchased it, and never forget that God purchased you with the precious blood of Jesus.
Please don't mistake what I am saying about the consequences of sin. When I say that sin has consequence I am not saying that everything bad that happens to us is because of sin or poor choices, far from it, just that God allows us to suffer the consequences of our sins because he loves us and wants us to learn to make better choices and does not want us to be comfortable in sin. For some of our suffering we may well never know the reason in this life.
There were occasions where Jesus specifically told people that the illness or affliction a person was suffering with was not the result of sin but was allowed so that God could be glorified, as in the instance where the blind man was given his sight and the apostles asked who sinned so that he was made blind. Jesus told his apostles that the blindness was not a result of sin but the man was born blind so that God could be glorified, (John 9).
In the parable of the woman who had 100 coins and lost one, and in the parable of the 100 sheep where one was lost, the 100 represented all people and the lost sheep and the lost coin represented the individual that was lost. The parables were designed to illustrate how important the individual is to God.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents,” (Luke 15:1-10 NIV).
While God wants us to get our lives together and to serve him, he doesn't love us less when we are failing and he does not love us more when we succeed. While we were still sinners Jesus died for us, not after we got our act together.
The examples are plentiful throughout the life of Jesus where he chose to spend his time not with those who had it all together but with those who were the outcast among society, the tax collectors, the sinners, the prostitutes, the sick, the cripple, the lame and the lepers. I am convinced that many of the people Jesus interacted with probably never felt loved before they met Jesus.
In Jeremiah 1:5 God says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you," so God had a plan for each of us before we were even conceived, before our parents even met. I spend a lot of my free time making things out of wood and metal, and for each of those projects I have a definite idea of what I want it to be before I start the project and the finished project is exactly what I had in mind before I started. I don't finish a project and decide that I don't like it because I knew from the start what it would be, how much money it would cost, how much time it would take and what purpose it would serve. You could say that I loved the project and was proud of it before I even started the process of making it.
I do a lot of thinking while I am working on making things, and it was partially through my efforts to create that I came to realize God loves me individually. I realized that if I love a piece of art or furniture that I am making before I even start on it, and continue to love it once I make it, than it would make sense for God to love what he made. God is all knowing so nothing you will ever do will surprise God, yet he created you out of love knowing you would do those things.
Not only does God know you and love you individually, he keeps track of even the most minute details of your life, not so he has reason to judge you, but because he loves you and is concerned about you. Jesus said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows," (Luke 12:6-7 NIV).
If God keeps track of the count of your hairs than you better believe he cares about your job, your relationships, and anything that is important to you. If you care about it than God cares about it, because he cares about you.
God loves every person as an individual and wants everyone to come to live with him, but he wants us to choose to live with him because we love him and not just because we don't want to go to hell. God's love is infinitely larger than mine so I only have an inkling of how much it hurts God when we don't love him, because despite how deeply I hurt when I have been told that I was not loved by someone, I can't fathom the depth of God's grief because I can't fathom the depth of his love. God grieves because people don't love him, but he also grieves because he is saddened at what they have chosen, which is an eternity without him and an eternity of suffering. God takes no pleasure in seeing his children suffer, but he will allow us to choose him or not.
I think a lot of the reason we don't feel God's love is because we don't view ourselves as worthy of love, I know because I wallowed in self-pity for many years, and we reject the love of God because we don't feel as if we deserve it. God is the absolute authority on everything, so if he says that you are worthy of his love than you are worthy of his love. Would it make sense for a photo that I framed to decide it wasn't worthy to hang in a place of prominence on my wall? Of course not. My art does not have the ability to decide its worthiness, and neither do we have the ability to decide our own worthiness, only God has that privilege. When God tells us he loves us we should bask in his love instead of wasting time trying to convince him that he doesn't love us.
Another way that I refused the love of God was also another way I came to a realization of the love of God. As a somewhat natural result of being hurt and let down by people so many times, whenever a person was nice to me and showed genuine love I jumped to the assumption that they wanted something from me and thus their love was not genuine. Because I grew up with a deeply religious person lying and hurting people every chance he got, and because many of the Mormon people only showed me love so long they thought I agreed with them about their church, I was especially leery of religious people who tried to show me love.
I hate to admit it, but for a few years I was extremely cynical of everything and everyone, especially of religion. As a bus driver I spent a large amount of time around religious people as they were the most likely group after sports teams to hire a tour bus for transportation. On more occasions than I can count, religious people showed me love and respect, not because I was their driver and they thought they owed it to me, but because they viewed me as a someone the eternal God loves and cares about.
At first I assumed that these people were being nice to me and including me in their activities because they wanted to save me, but then it occurred to me that I had said nothing to them about my faith, or lack thereof, and they had no reason to think that I needed saving, but they also weren't nice to me because they thought I was one of them as I didn't say anything to make them think I was saved either.
OK, so I knew that at least some of God's people liked and loved me without any ulterior motivation, but how could I know that God himself didn't just love me but also liked me and delighted in me and enjoyed my company? I have read the Bible, literally, hundreds of times and somehow I always find something new every time I read it. I wasn't looking for verses to prove to me that God loved me, liked me and delighted in me, I was reading the Bible to better understand God and to build a relationship with him, but I found multitudes of verses that told me God did like me and was happy to have me spend time with him because he enjoyed my company. I will share a few of those verses.
Psalm 35:27: “Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
Jeremiah 32:41: “I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.”
Zephaniah 3:17: “He [God] will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Proverbs 11:20: “Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight.”
Psalm 147:10–11: “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” All you have to do is hope in God and tremble at his displeasure, and you’re a delight to him. That isn't too much to ask, not is it difficult to accomplish.
Proverbs 3:11: “The Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” Even when we’re being reproved, he calls us “the son in whom he delights.”
Psalm 149:4: “The Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.”
Ephesians 1:5-6: “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Because of Jesus we are gladly invited to the party and our presence is not just tolerated but enjoyed. We are accepted because of Jesus and everyone will be happy to have us there, especially Jesus.
God created you and loved you when you were just a thought in his mind, and he has not stopped loving you. Not only does God love you and want to save you but, if you love him, he delights in you and enjoys your company. God is much more fond of you than you can imagine and wants you to know that he loves you.