My husband loves me. How do I know? He sacrifices time to meet my needs, cooks what I enjoy eating, and works so I might do ministry as the Lord has equipped me. He surrenders his comfort to make sure I am protected and cared for. He has prayed for me in my journey of healing from sexual abuse, trying his very best to create an atmosphere of safety in intimacy. He speaks truth when I need to hear it. He is faithful to our marriage vows in more than mere words.
What does that have to do with being the Beloved of God? Much. Knowing and believing God is love and who He is because He loves is one side to a two-sided story.
My husband loves me and shows it to me. These are the facts of who he is in our marriage relationship.
God loves me and shows me in His faithfulness to keep His promises. They are the facts of who He is in my relationship with Him. His love speaks to His character. It tells me what He does and who He is, but it does not tell me what I am in Him.
As the receiver of His love, what does it mean to be called His beloved? Who am I because He does?
I am chosen. According to His will and His way. It has nothing to do with me being good enough. His choosing is according to His character of love set upon me before the foundation of the world, to pour Himself into me and through me, that the world may see His glory in me. His choosing gives me great worth and opportunity to share in His glory.
“13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)
I am forgiven. Not because the Lord set aside the rules for me, but because of Christ’s sacrifice applied to my sin, that the Lord was satisfied with. Thus Jesus’ words from the cross, “It is finished!” followed by His rising from death three days later.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7-8a)
“10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
I am adopted. Belonging to a family because I am chosen. I am a child of the living God. I am reborn into a new family – an eternal family – with God as my Father and Jesus as my co-heir.
“15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)
“In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— “ (Ephesians 1:4c-5)
“7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
I am given His Spirit. The Spirit of the living God, which proves I am His. He poured Him out into me to make me a true child of God, marked with the seal of ownership of Almighty God.
“Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)
“13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
I live for Him. Chosen, Adopted, Forgiven, and given the Spirit – all so I might be changed, live for Him, share His glory of salvation with a lost world. I live like Him because these transactions on my behalf, motivated by His love, have changed me and will continue to change me.
“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
“4For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4-10)
He demonstrated His love in becoming our sacrifice for sin on our behalf, that He might make a people for His very own possession, to the praise of His glory. We are cherished, called, forgiven, equipped with His Spirit and changed by His presence within us – all because He so loved us.
God the Father loved Christ, His Son –
“And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”
We are loved in Christ. Our identification with Christ warrants us all the riches of heaven given to the Son. Read Ephesians 1 and see how all we have from the Father we have because He loved His Son and accepted His sacrifice for sin on our behalf -BEFORE the foundation of the world. Nothing held back. We are inheritors of everything Jesus inherits – the only beloved Son of the Father. Through Him we become sons of the living God, co-heirs with Christ. This is an amazing love!
That is what it means to be the Beloved of God. It is not a trite phrase or empty promise. It is full and overflowing with the possibilities to live forward with confidence in the One who died for us and for the Father who loves us – without fear!
His love for me in Christ has changed the very fabric of who I am. It gives me a confidence and hope for the change my soul needs. Being truly loved, given everything I need in Christ, empowered by the Spirit living in me, makes every minute or every day a chance to trust again, surrender anew, letting Him heal all my brokenness and the wounds received from others.
You are loved by an unchangeable, holy, infinitely-loving God who gave Himself to redeem you. Let that sink in deeply. Be still and know it.
LET YOURSELF KNOW THAT LOVE!
It will change you…
- How do you currently see yourself on a daily basis?
- How would your level of trust and peace be affected by embracing who you are in Him because He loves you?
- What would an ideal day look like – thinking, speech, actions if you were to live in light of God’s love for you in Christ?
- What would need to change in those areas to make that more of a daily reality?
- How can I be praying for you in this area?