The Call of the Beloved
I love post-it notes. I’ll admit it, I use them virtually every day. They serve as reminders to my overloaded brain. Here’s my ‘note to self’ for today:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV)
Can you see the many spiritual blessings listed in these verses? We’ve covered being chosen, walking in holiness and without blame, that our destiny is adoption into His family, and all because we are in the Beloved.
That phrase of endearment, in the Beloved, sent me on a marvelous journey into the scriptures. The word translated ‘beloved’ is used about 65 times in the New Testament. You may remember at Jesus’ baptism, the heavens were torn open and His Father spoke: “You are my beloved Son; with You I am pleased,” (Mark 1:9-11). That experience showed the interconnectedness of heaven and earth; Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. It’s important because Jesus is God’s Son and we have established that we are sons and daughters in like manner. Jesus is the Beloved and we are the beloved. As God was pleased with His Son, in the same way, He is pleased with us.
This declaration of love is intimate and sincere. We personally experience divine love from heaven. It’s a love that demonstrates value and is treasured; it’s a blessing that is His will and comes through grace. God loves Israel (Jer. 31:3) the promised Messiah (Is. 42:1-4) in that way, and it’s woven throughout the Song of Songs in a deeply intimate way.
Paul picks up the theme of this kind of love and carries it into his writings. He tells us in Rom. 1:7 that we are loved by God and called to be saints and in Rom. 12:19 he warns us, for that reason, to not take our own vengeance but to overcome evil with good. That’s how the beloved of God would act. Paul sends encouragement throughout his letters as a father would speak to his son and continues the call of the beloved. John, the apostle that Jesus loved, uniquely understood this relationship and used the title ‘beloved’ consistently throughout his letters. We are the ones that God loves, Jesus loves, Paul loves, Peter loves, John loves; I think you get the picture.
Beloved readers, whatever this next week holds for you, remember this: your spiritual blessings are available because you remain intimately connected to the Beloved Jesus Christ. Walk worthy of His love.