Beloved

It’s been a while since my last post because of my subconscious procrastination. I don’t really want to talk about this characteristic because I feel as though I’m unqualified. It’s easy for me to encourage others that they are loved by God, but I struggle so often to accept this truth. You and I are God’s Beloved. I’m not used to having love expressed to me in the way that I receive love, and even when love or affection is expressed in a way that I recognize, often times I still struggle to receive it. For example, the phrase “I love you” does nothing for me, unless you back it up with consistent actions. Then I might start to believe you.

I came at the Bible and God this same way. I would sit in church (against my will) and hear things about this “loving God”, but for many years I just heard words that I thought were empty. Then I became curious about the gospel and discovered that God’s passion and love for each individual person drove him to action. He wasn’t content with merely saying “I love you” and watching us all perish, he was willing to sacrifice and step into our mess and show his love. Throughout the epistles Paul and other writers called their audience “beloved” over and over again. This includes you! You are beloved by God. You are cherished, worthy of His unconditional love, and dear to His heart. He doesn’t love you in a trite or superficial way, but in an authentic and honest way that we can’t fully fathom. As humans, we say that we love pizza or we have beloved T.V. show characters, which I think cheapens the concept of love. But when God calls you His beloved he means it in the most accurate sense of the word. There is no way to cheapen or diminish the way he thinks and feels about you or me.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 is usually thought of in the context of human to human interaction, but what if we applied these truths to how God relates to us? On the flip side, can these verses be used to describe how you relate back to God? “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”

Take some time to just meditate on those verses. What does being loved by God look like to you? Do you allow yourself to be loved by God? If so, how? If not, why not? You are His Beloved, do you believe it?

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