How do you know God loves you?

"I know God loves me because he gave us our family, sister, mom, dad and dog Sam," says Jeff, age 9. Jeff, I'm glad you mentioned Dad before your dog Sam.

"God made me so that I could run, jump and play," says Megan, 9. "He gave me a very lovable and obedient dog."

Megan, when you and your dog run, jump and play, do you ever cross paths with Sam? You'll probably find him right beside Jeff. Sometimes, I wonder if God created dogs to teach us about unconditional love and loyalty. Cats -- well, that's some other lesson.

Let's get down to basics. Preston, 11, says he experiences God's love "because I get up every day, and I am able to see and move all my body parts."

How many of us thank God for body parts? Furthermore, how often do we remember those who have suffered the loss of movement through an accident or disease?

Sikas, 9, drinks in God's love through her senses: "I think having all those senses can make you happy. I can see flowers, I can taste cake, I can hear birds, I can feel my cat, and I can smell the flowers! God gave us all five senses, but some people only have four or three."

You might want to read the story of Helen Keller. She couldn't see or hear, but she learned to communicate. She became a role model for millions of deaf and blind people.

"I know God loves me because he gave me a smart mind," says Chris, 9. "He gave my parents the brains to do their jobs that they are doing now so that I will be able to keep going to my school."

Have you ever thanked God for your parents' brains and their desire to provide for you? Furthermore, everyone should use their noodle to consider that God gave us brains, health and opportunities to use them.

What about knowing God's love through talents? Dave, 10, knows the source: "God gave me the ability to play baseball, the ability to play the piano, and the privilege to go to Briarcrest, the school where my mom works."

Wait a minute, Dave! I can see God's love in the ability to play ball, or perform a piano concerto, but are you really saying it's a privilege to go to school? You're way ahead of me. When I was 10, I was convinced school was a prison designed to prevent me from having fun. But now, I see it's a privilege to learn.

"I know God loves me because he helps me with my requests and answers all my prayers," says Alex, 11. You're right on target, Alex. Letting God help you know what to request is one key to having all your prayers answered.

A wise person once said: "Be careful what you request from God. He may give it to you."

So far, we have dogs, movable body parts, senses, brains, caring parents, talents, school and answered prayers as signs of God's love.

Jordan, 10, will tell us about God's greatest demonstration of love: "I think you know God loves you because He died for us. He died because He loves us. And my parents tell me that He loves us.

"And in the Bible, it says, 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life' (John 3:16). There is also a song, 'Jesus loves me.' God loves us, and he always will."

Point to ponder: God's love can change your eternal destiny and transform your motivation.

Scripture to remember: "But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Question to consider: What motivates you, God's love or your own fears?

Inspire your children by reading this column with them and visiting the Kids Talk About God website at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.

COPYRIGHT 2004 CAREY KINSOLVING