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Loved and Cherished: 100 Devotions for Girls
by Lynn Cowell
Learn More | Meet Lynn Cowell | Meet Michelle Nietert
LOVED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING
So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women.
GENESIS 1:27 CEV
I wish you and I could go get ice cream together and hang out. (That is if you love ice cream as much as I do!) I’d ask about when and where you were born so I could learn about the very beginning of you.
Have you ever thought about why you were created? Well, from the very first verse of the very first book of the Bible, we get a glimpse into why God created you and me. Let’s read a few verses from Genesis to find out more!
Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning, God created . . .” Later in Genesis 1:26 (NLT) it says “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us . . .’ ” The us in this verse is God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the whole God family was there. This is the family we have been born into. Yes, from the very beginning, we have been invited to belong to God’s family. When we were created, God opened the doors of His family wide to us all; for this perfect God loves everybody. That is why we were created. We were created because this loving God had so much love to share He wanted to share it with you and me. That is how John 3:16 starts out, “For God so loved the world . . .”
From the very beginning—the beginning of the world and the beginning of your life—you have been loved. Treasured. Adored. Cherished. Wanted. Prized.
I know that is not the message you get day in and day out in this sometimes lonely and often very hard world. In fact, lots of days it feels just the opposite! Maybe you feel disliked, abandoned, ignored, invisible, forgotten, or unwanted. Those feelings, while they are very real and valid, are not the truth. But, boy, they sure can be believable when your teacher comes down on you, your friend fights with you, or your parent is disappointed in you.
I’m so glad that we can look to God’s Word to know what He says because in the end, what our Creator says about what He has created is most important!
Circle the words that best describe how you are feeling today: Treasured. Disliked. Adored. Abandoned. Cherished. Ignored. Wanted. Invisible. Prized. Don’t see the word that describes how you are feeling? Write your own list in the lines below. Now, talk to God about how you feel and what you are learning about what He says. The prayer prompt in the next section will help you get started.
TALKING WITH GOD
God, thank You for Your love for me. Thank You that I can talk to You about how I feel. Today, I feel __________________. No matter how I feel today—good or bad, happy or sad—You still love me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
WHO ARE YOU?
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
JOHN 17:23 NIV
What words would you use to describe yourself?
Some days you might answer with a list of all kinds of good words. Funny, kind, generous, joyful, helpful, patient. But other days . . . not so much. The way we feel about ourselves can go up and down faster than that roller coaster you bravely hopped on last summer!
I don’t know about you, but for me, that whole up-and-down thing is exhausting. Feeling great about myself one day and crummy the next isn’t fun at all. But what is a girl to do when her feelings shove her around like that? Feelings are so powerful, and very convincing too!
While we can’t pretend feelings don’t exist, I don’t want them to control my life. When I’m feeling sad, mad, happy, angry, or fearful, I want to know that underneath all my feelings, there is also truth that I can hang onto. Truth I can tell my heart so that I am not stuck in my feelings.
That truth is: No matter what happens to me today and no matter what comes my way, I am loved. Period. I am crazy, madly, overwhelmingly loved by God. And His love for me is bigger than any feelings that try to control me.
In John 17:23 (NIV), Jesus is talking to Father God and He says, “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” God loves you as much as He loves Jesus. Isn’t that simply amazing?
It might take us a while to grasp just how deep, unconditional, and perfect this love of God is. I mean, we’ve never seen anything like it before. So let’s keep reading His word so our hearts and minds can take in this truth and believe it!
Say out loud: “God loves me just like He loves Jesus. And His love for me is bigger than the feelings that try to control me.” Now write down some ways you can remind yourself that you are so loved!
TALKING WITH GOD
God, Your love really is amazing. Thank You for loving me on my good days and bad days, and for helping me overcome my negative feelings. In Jesus’ name, amen.
GOD THOUGHT OF YOU BEFORE THE BEGINNING
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
EPHESIANS 1:4 NLT
How big is your imagination? Let’s find out!
Close your eyes and think about what the universe might have looked like before there was . . . anything. What a huge concept!
In this space, before the beginning, even before the world was made, Ephesians 1:4 tells us God loved and chose you! Even then, His love motivated Him as He made His plans to create you and then send His son Jesus, to come for you.
One thing I absolutely love is getting a gift that shows someone thought about me way ahead of time. To me, their planning ahead says, “I love you so much, I thought of you early!” It says that they did the work before my birthday to dream up something they thought I would like; a gift or time together that would show me how much I am loved.
God did that and more for you. God planned ahead! He picked you; He chose you. He chose you even though He knew you would sin or mess up. But you know what? He doesn’t want to leave you the way you are!
Jesus’ death on the cross for us, erasing our sins, means that we can be without fault in His eyes. Blameless, faultless, perfect; that is what God sees when He looks at us. Not because we don’t fail, but because Jesus never fails. When God looks at us, He sees what Jesus has done for us by dying to take away all our sins. His perfection makes us right in God’s eyes.
Are you ready to ask Jesus to take away your sin forever? Ask an adult you trust to help you with this decision! Write about how this decision makes your heart feel. Refer to page 219 in the back of the book.
TALKING WITH GOD
God, thank You for planning for me way ahead. Thank You that even before the beginning, You already loved me and chose me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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