cokeMy friend texted me “Cheers!” and this picture of a Coke with my name on it.    It put a huge smile on my face.

I was one of those kids that could never find anything with my name on it. No license plate for my bike, or key chain, or pencil.  I thought it was because I had an old name.  My mom let me get an airbrushed t-shirt at the beach every year so along with the palm trees, the ocean, and the sunset my name was airbrushed across the front or the back.  We like to see our names, or hear it.

You know how it feels when someone remembers your name? Someone you’ve only met a couple of times or someone you’ve not seen in 20 or more years. You feel uncommon, distinct, worthy of being remembered.

God knows you. By name. He knows you by heart. He even knows the number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30).

God knows who you are and what you’re about. He knows what makes you laugh and cry. Your deepest pain and your greatest joy. He knows your darkest places and your most shiny ones. He knows your compassionate acts, the selfish ones, your meanest thoughts, and the softest places in your heart. Your secret desires and your dreams. He knows when you feel out of place or when you’re puffed up about being an insider. He knows when you care too much about how you look or too little about your neighbor. God knows you inside and out.

God knows you …..completely. And He loves you.

He loves you when you’re scared or courageous. He loves you when you’re thoughtful and when you’re careless. God loves you when you’re the bully or the bullied. He loves you when you want to cuss someone out and don’t because you know better. He loves you if you do it anyway.

He loves you if you don’t go to church and He loves you if you do.  He even loves you when you go to church for the wrong reasons. He loves you when you raise your hands in worship or when you stand there and think the people that raise their hands are weird. Your rebellion or “poor me” attitude doesn’t make Him love you less. Serving all day and night at church on Sunday doesn’t make Him love you more.

God knows your name. He knows you fully. And He loves you.

“Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.”

This is how much God loved the world:                                                        He gave his Son, his one and only Son.      John 3:16 (MSG)