Soul Food

Love List

At the risk of sounding morbid—I hope I’m buried with this Love List someday. I was 20 years old when I compiled this collection of God’s promises, and I’ve returned to it time and again in the two decades since. Its truths have held me through life’s best and worst.

The world says, “Love yourself.” But by nature we’re shabby lovers—even of ourselves. Do what makes you happy, you deserve it, and take care of you first can’t fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts. When you compare that kind of self-love with the Love described below, it ends up looking like a comatose patient on life-support.

But the Love we find bleeding through the pages of Scripture claims to be better than life itself. 

It’s perfect. It’s infinite. It always knows what’s best for us (even when the best is painful). And it doesn’t originate with or depend upon me. It is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, freely poured out into my heart in such a way that it overflows to everyone around me.

No need to drum up sweet-nothings for myself. I’ve seen every single one of these Bible promises fleshed out in real life these past 42 years. And after a year of battling cancer, I can say it again with fierce conviction: God’s love is the real deal. God is who he says he is, and he does what he says he’ll do. Every single time.

~ ~ ~

He has engraved me on the palm of His hand.
Isaiah 49:16

He carries me close to His heart.
Isaiah 40:11

He holds my hand.
Psalm 73:23

He will do abundantly more than all I can ask or imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

He daily bears my burdens.
Psalm 68:19

He thinks of me constantly: His thoughts of me outnumber the grains of sand on the sea.
Psalm 139:17–18

He gives me life, beauty, and dignity.
Ezekiel 16:1-14

He is intimately interested in my life. He even knows how many hairs are on my head.
Matthew 10:30

He has planned out my days.
Psalm 139:16; 118:24

He prays for me.
Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:26

He freely forgives me.
1 John 1:9; Psalm 103:12

He rejoices over me like a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.
Isaiah 62:5

He protects and rescues me.
Psalm 91

He understands my disappointments, sorrows and weaknesses.
Hebrews 2:17–18

He gives me the power to live like Him.
Romans 8:9–11; Philippians 4:13

He delights in me and rejoices over me with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

He teaches me what is best for me.
Isaiah 48:17

He helps me.
Isaiah 41:10, 14; Psalm 118:13; Deuteronomy 33:26

He created me for a special purpose and designed me to be His wonderful creation.
Psalm 139:13–14; Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 2:10

He will fulfill His purpose for me.
Psalm 138:8; Philippians 1:6

His love for me is as high as the heavens are above the earth.
Psalm 103:11

He makes my path level and smooth.
Isaiah 26:7

He is always with me.
Psalm 73:23

He guides me with His counsel.
Psalm 73:24

He gives me wisdom.
James 1:5

He keeps record of all my tears.
Psalm 56:8

He satisfies my hunger and quenches my thirst.
John 6:35

He holds me in His hand.
John 10:27

He gives me life to the fullest.
John 10:10

He laid down His life for me.
John 10:11

He gives me good and perfect gifts.
James 1:17

He listens to me; He hears my cry.
Psalm 145:19

He fulfills my desires.
Psalm 145:19; 37:4

He has compassion on me.
Psalm 145:9

He cures me of backsliding.
Jeremiah 4:22

He makes me pure.
Ezekiel 36:25–26

He makes me happy.
Psalm 16:11; 36:8

He has made me His child.
Romans 8:14; Galatians 4:5; 3:26

He has given me fullness in Christ, and I am complete.
Colossians 2:9-10

He has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints.
Colossians 1:12

He has given me a home in heaven.
Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 2:6

He has lavished on me all the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 1:8

He longs to give me His very best.
Isaiah 1:19

He is distressed in my distress.
Isaiah 63:9

He lifts me up and carries me.
Isaiah 63:14

He leads me through the depths and the darkness.
Isaiah 50:10

He directs my steps.
Proverbs 20:24

He chooses to forget my sins; He buries them in the deep sea.
Isaiah 43:25, Micah 7:19

He has given me an inheritance far beyond my imagination.
Psalm 47:4; Ephesians 1:18, Colossians 1:12

He gives me the strength to serve Him.
1 Peter 4:11