Beloved

Yesterday I wrote about King David. I spoke of his confidence as he faced the giant Goliath. The entire army of Israel feared this giant, but David faced him without an ounce of fear. What was it about David that made him so fearless? The name David means ‘beloved’. David was not only named ‘beloved’, but he knew he was loved – loved by God.

He was a man who understood the covenant he had with God. He understood that covenant was based on Hesed, God’s unfailing, passionate love for His people. David himself was possessed by this love in his covenant with Jonathan. And this love made him fearless.

First John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (KJV). David said in Psalm 23:6, “Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life…” (Amplified). The word ‘mercy’ is the Hebrew word ‘hesed’ – passionate, unfailing love. He knew of the Father’s love for him.

Let’s take a look at another man who knew the love of God. “And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight” (Matthew 3:17). Could you imagine hearing those words? Oh, how they must have blessed Jesus. (Blessed = empowered to prosper). The Bible says that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. After hearing these words Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and fasted for forty days. He lived off those words. I am His Son. He loves Me. He delights in Me.

I heard a pastor make an important point about the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. He pointed out that each time the devil addressed Jesus, he said, “If You are the Son of God…” He was tempting Jesus to doubt that He was God’s Son, but he didn’t dare mention the word ‘beloved’. God had called Jesus, “my beloved Son” (KJV). But the devil knew that he couldn’t defeat Him if He knew He was loved. The enemy operates by fear and there is no fear in love.

He does the same with us. How many times has the enemy brought up thoughts that caused you to lose confidence in the Father’s love for you? His love is unfailing. He always has and always will love you. He may not love the things you do, because He wants the best for you, but He never stops loving you.

In the book of John, believed to be written by the disciple John, he refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (KJV). Nowhere else in the Bible does anyone else refer to John as the disciple whom Jesus loved. But in his own account John is the disciple whom Jesus loved. 🙂 And that’s what mattered most, that he knew he was loved. When the other disciples deserted Jesus, presumably due to fear, John was right there at the foot of the cross.

In 3 John 2 we hear the heart of the Father through the inspired words of the writer, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (KJV). God sending Jesus to take our sins and our sicknesses, weaknesses and distresses through His death is all the proof we need that He loves us (see Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 2:24; Psalm 103:3).

In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:9-10, Amplified)

Beloved… you are His beloved. Take some time to think about that today. Take some time to thank Your Father for His love.

He First Loved Us

As the Body of Christ we have a command from our heavenly Father.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40, KJV)

Today I have been studying the topic of covenant for a class I am teaching. One important aspect of covenant that I have studied is that in covenant one partner cannot ask another partner to do something that he himself is not also willing to do.

Remember Abraham and his son Isaac in Genesis chapter 22? God says to Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest… and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (KJV). As they travel Isaac asks his father, “where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham’s response,”God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”

Just as Abraham is about to sacrifice his son Isaac the angel of the Lord stops him. He says, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (KJV). Abraham then looks up and sees a ram caught in a thicket. He offered this ram, as the Bible says, “instead of his son” (Amplified).

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son…” (John 3:16, Amplified). “He did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?” (Romans 8:32, Amplified).

God’s sacrifice of His beloved and only begotten Son demonstrates a very important point. The Bible says that we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). The sacrifice of His Son in our place demonstrates to us that He first loved us with all His heart, with all His soul, with all His mind.

We love Him because He first loved us. His love is the cause of our love. “Love begets love” (Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World ). We cannot love until we know we are loved. We can only love Him and our neighbor because He first loved us. Spend time today thinking about how deeply He must love you that He freely gave His Son to die in your place. “Contemplate the love of Christ, and you will love” (Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World ).