“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ” ~Ephesians 5:1-2
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” ~Colossians 3:12
What does it mean to be a dearly loved child of God? In the Greek it’s translated like this: esteemed, worthy of love, an intimate relationship of love, friendship, and trust. I believe that’s exactly what our hearts long for–love, affection, intimacy, value. The great news is that in Christ, we have it already! We don’t have to seek, search, or strive to get what we long for. We already have it! Stop, recognize, and rest in the identity God has given–His dearly loved child.
God’s Word IS alive and active! I was reading 1 Peter 2:9 this morning, and God began to make some new connections in my mind. It is a familiar verse that I have read many times. Isn’t it amazing how God’s Word never grows old! I just love these Ah Ha! moments. Here is the thought progression and the connections that God made today:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” ~1 Peter 2:9
I am a chosen race...I am chosen...I am accepted!
I am a royal priesthood...royalty...I am significant!
I am a holy nation...I am holy...I am acceptable!
I am God's own possession...I belong to God...belong...I am secure!
My purpose is to proclaim His excellencies...I have a purpose...I am significant!
If you are a believer, then you, too, are ACCEPTED, SIGNIFICANT, and SECURE!!
I was washing dishes the other day and God began speaking to my heart. I was getting stressed as I thought about the things I needed to do that evening. One of them was to return something I borrowed. This was the dialogue in my mind:
“ME: I have to return this tonight. I have to return this tonight to show him I am responsible and dependable. GOD (as I heard him in first person): I don’t have to show him anything. I don’t have to prove myself to him. If there’s anything I want to show him it’s Christ. How can I show him Christ if I’m striving to show him I am responsible and dependable?”
Many times in my life I have thought about doing good in order to show people Christ, to be an example to others. I thought, “If I’m going to show people Christ then I must act like Christ”, so I strived to be like Christ. In this scenario, people weren’t really seeing Christ at all. They were seeing my flesh(my efforts) trying to acheive my own righteousness. I had it all backwards. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to strive to be responsible or dependable. I just abide in Christ and let Him live through me. That’s how Christ is seen!
I have always believed that one’s career should provide a portion of significance in life. Because of this belief, I have experienced quite a bit of inner conflict. I love my current job, but it doesn’t make me feel very significant. I get caught up in thoughts like, “What if I had majored in something different in college? What if I had gone into the corporate world and had a more prestigious job making a significant salary? I’m not meeting the standard./I’m not good enough. Did I make the wrong choice? I should be ‘making more of myself’.” It’s thoughts like these that tie me up in knots. Praise the Lord! He has set me free from this! A couple of weeks ago, He revealed a very important truth to me–God didn’t design my career to be a source of significance. He, Himself, makes me significant. He is the creator. He is the only one with the authority and power to assign value to His creation. He says I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. He says I am “holy and dearly loved”. I am now very content in this job that I love because I now know that it’s not supposed to give me significance. That’s God’s job! What a sense of peace and freedom believing the TRUTH brings!
Do you ever feel lonely? Wonder if anyone cares? If anyone really loves you? Long for someone to understand you? Wish someone were there? I believe everyone experiences this at sometime or another. The good news is that right now:
Somebody is thinking of you
Somebody is caring for you
Somebody is caring about you
Somebody longs for you
Somebody wants to talk to you
Somebody wants to be with you
Somebody wants to listen to you
Somebody watns to hold your hand
Somebody is protecting you
Somebody is working for your good
Somebody is celebrating your successes
Somebody wants to give you a gift
Somebody thinks you are a gift
Somebody wants to hold you in His arms
Somebody is on your side and is pulling for you today
Somebody loves you
Somebody wants to laugh with you
Somebody wants to cry with you
Somebody wants to tell you how much He cares
Somebody wants to share His life with you
Somebody wants to be your friend
Somebody died to make that friendship possible
Somebody loves you for who you are
Somebody wants you to know that He is there for you
Somebody is always thinking about you
Somebody believes in you
Somebody wants you to trust Him…today
What a great description of our Heavenly Father! I read this last night in Neil T. Anderson & Rich Miller’s book, Freedom from Fear. I hope it encourages you as much as it encouraged me!