Beloved (Part Five)
Today, let’s begin with a look at how the word beloved appears in the New Testament! We see that beloved is an affectionate term used to describe those with a new life in Christ. The chosen of God are described as "holy & beloved". In Romans 1:7, Paul writes to these new Christians as “to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints”. The word beloved is also used for individuals such as when Paul calls Timothy “a beloved child” (2 Timothy 1:2), and refers to Philemon as a beloved fellow worker (Philemon 1:1). In Ephesians 1:6, Jesus Christ is called the Beloved “to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved”. Repeatedly, beloved is used to express God the Father's affection for Jesus as His "beloved Son".
He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matthew 17: 5
Beloved. It’s a word used throughout the entirety of the Scriptures in both the Old and the New Testaments. It is a strong word that expresses deep affection. You don’t just call someone beloved unless there is a precious, abiding, covenant love for them.
“You are the called of Jesus Christ; you are my loved ones. I have chosen you for my own; I have called you; I have justified you; I will keep you; I will work in you what is pleasing in my sight (Hebrews 13:21); nothing will separate you from me; because I love you with an everlasting love. You are my beloved.” John Piper in The Called of Christ & the Loved of God
As I sit here writing today, I cannot help but reflect on the most common start to wedding vows, “dearly beloved.” A wedding is ceremony of covenant love, where the chosen ones commit to live in a relationship bound in love to one another. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, YOU are His dearly beloved, bound in a covenant with Him that will not be broken, will not be shaken, will not be forgotten. You will not be rejected by Him and His love for you will never end. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). Beloved, He loves you. If you have not yet trusted Jesus with your heart, he stands waiting to receive you and to love you with an everlasting love.
The question that remains is will you let yourself be loved?
not be good, but be loved.
not be perfect, but be loved.
not have it all together, but be loved.
Will you receive the grace from God in Christ Jesus and be set free into God's love?
When the lies come marching into your head that you are not loveable, not worthy of love or not capable of being a loving person, talk back to yourself with truth from the Scriptures. Know what the Lord says about His beloved and know that He is speaking to you.
Christ's love makes me a new person.
His promises of love are true.
He gives me the power to love others in ways I never could on my own.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. . 1 John 4:7ESV
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7 ESV
Love is the command and being loved is the power!
The love from God in you overflows to those around you. As we accept the love so freely and abundantly given from the Lord, love overflows from us to others and especially to our children. We all want our kids to know that they are loved and to know that they are accepted and loved completely. The love given from God can overflow from our hearts to theirs, but it has to start from within our own hearts. We cannot give them or teach them something that we don’t have ourselves.
One of the women that attended the Overflow conference last June, sent us such a lovely email afterwards and I wanted to share a little snippet, “During the Overflow conference, Lisa Harper said to be like a child wanting to be picked up.... Reach your arms up to him and he will pick you up and hold you. I remind myself of that daily. That it's all in his hands and because of his grace my past transgressions aren't held against me. I'm completely forgiven and loved the exact same.”
You were made to love God.
Love your god with all you heart and all your mind and all your soul.
He wants you to love Him because He loves you.
Be loved, Beloved.