I checked the outside temperature, poured my morning coffee, and walked to my screened porch. After high temperatures and humidity, I was thrilled with the notion I could have my morning devotions outside. It was a bit chilly (for me) at 6 am so I grabbed a blanket to cover my legs.

With an eye on refreshment, I sipped my hot coffee and prepared to open my Bible. Refreshed? How do you need to be refreshed after sleeping seven hours? Shouldn’t a good night’s sleep refresh? Yes, I woke up naturally, so I had adequate sleep. I was looking for something else.

Refresh carries with it being fortified or reinvigorated. In the world of technology, refreshing a computer screen calls for updating. That’s what I needed–updating.

I needed reminders and Psalm 143:8 (NIV) provided it.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

Unfailing love, the steadfast love the Psalmist repeats in Psalm 107 runs throughout scripture. 

God tells Daniel three times in chapters 9 and 10, “You are greatly loved.” That Daniel, the one who was thrown in a lions’ den. God loved him-greatly. Other translations use the words esteemed or precious. When we love someone, they are esteemed, valued, and precious. Yes, even in the lions’ den, Daniel was greatly loved by God.

Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; it never stops or runs out.

It’s the love that we read about in 1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

I started with a need for refreshment and updating what I already knew: God loves me. You might feel as if you are in your own lions’ den; or discouraged by a relationship or circumstances. We live in and with change. The one thing that changes is change. The one that never changes is God’s love for us.

Today perhaps you need a reminder that God’s love is lavished on you. You are precious and valued. Click here and listen. Can you take time today to reflect on His great and lavish love for you? I did, and when I did, I wept.

Well into the first semester, here are 15 Timely Thoughts to Encourage College Freshmen

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