In one of our God Focus times at SIL Australia, one of our members, Ros, invited us to reflect on the theme of being beloved by God. And so we wanted to take this opportunity to remind all of you of how deeply and dearly loved you are.
John’s gospel mentions six times ‘the disciple who Jesus loved’. We were challenged to think about this. Of all the ways the disciple could identify himself – apostle, pastor, missionary, son, worker, or even his name – John primarily saw himself as one who was beloved by Jesus.
We see this identity also come through in John’s epistles. John pours out his heart as he reflects on God’s love – “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).
Our identity as God’s beloved overrides all other claims on our identity. As Brennan Manning writes, “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion” (from Abba’s Child).
As the demands of life loom over us, let us hold this phrase ‘beloved’ close to our hearts and minds. Work, study, ministry, family can overwhelm and weary us, and wear away at our identity. But it is often when we are at our tiredest that we most need to rest in our identity as the beloved ones of God.
Whatever season of life you are in at the moment, we pray that you can reflect on your identity as the beloved of the great Saviour who gave up His life for His sheep, and that you are able to find rest and joy in Him.
Graham and Ellie
© Graham and Ellie Scott