“The LORD your God is with you,

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Have you ever felt like you were excluded from the “in” crowd? Maybe it happened in school when teams were chosen or perhaps there was a family gathering and nobody told you about it.

I know the feeling of isolation well. I was a refugee kid in Europe, not as good as the children born in the country. In my young teens, I became an immigrant in Canada. I couldn’t speak English, hit a baseball, shoot a basket, comprehend the jokes. I didn’t belong. Even at home, I was the odd one out. I felt like a misfit.

The feeling of not belonging trailed me for many years.

When I heard that God loves me, I figured, of course, he has to because God loves the whole world. But, as I continued to read the Bible, I began to comprehend that Jesus loves Me, personally. I was not an accident for God created me according to a beautiful blue print. He watched me as I was being formed…woven together in the womb (Psalm 139:14-16). What’s more, Jesus valued me enough to die for me. “But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Now if I would receive Jesus as my Savior and Lord, He would adopt me into his family. And it had nothing to do with being deserving; it was God’s free gift. What good news!

One day I did invite Jesus to come into my heart, cleanse me of all sin, and make me a child of God. That was the beginning of a brand new identity: a beloved child of God in whom God delights—even with singing!

This good news is for each of you too.

Think of it: the Creator of the universe loves us! It’s not love at a distance, but He’s actually involved in our lives. He’s walking with us. “The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand” (Psalm 37:23, 24 NLT). He created us for fellowship with Himself and with each other.

Father, I feel so blessed that you have adopted me into your family. I want to see everyone I meet today, as you see them and make them feel special and included.

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