“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us”
(1 John 4:16)
To know the love of God is to know life. The more we understand the love of God; the more we realise that we are the objects of His love. Our love for Him is not birthed out of ourselves. We love Him because He first loved us. The love of God is so vast and deep that it will find us in every circumstance of life. In actual fact, God’s love is greater than life itself.
The Message Bible makes it so clear in Romans 8:31-39:
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us – who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
The Father makes this awesome proclamation about Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 4:16-17). When God makes this statement about Jesus, His Son; Jesus, up till that point, has done absolutely no miracle, no work, no sign, no wonder, NOTHING! Yet the Father hollers from the throne, ‘THIS IS MY BELOVED SON’.
This could only mean that God validated Jesus based on Himself and not on Jesus’ works. In truth, I think this is the place where most of us get it wrong. Everything we have been taught tells us that we cannot receive if we don’t give. We are entirely reward-oriented. We have been conditioned to think that if we’re not the best, then we’re average. And if we don’t give of our best, then life at best will only ever be mundane.
Most of us live lives that are based on the approval of man, and we search for love and acceptance wherever we go. But Praise God, that He loves us despite our limitations. He loves us based on His goodness. His grace over our lives declares: YOU ARE MY BELOVED! The Father calls Jesus the “Beloved”, and we are IN the “Beloved” – Jesus; so that makes us God’s Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
Soon after God, the Father made this declaration over Jesus; Satan appears on the scene. Satan tries to tempt Jesus by saying: “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread”; “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written”, etc. I have read this scripture thousand times over, then one day while listening to a sermon, I realised that Satan omits a specific word in his temptation of Christ. What word is that? The word is “BELOVED“.
Jesus had just received the validation of His Father: ‘YOU ARE MY BELOVED’ when Satan steps onto the scene, questioning the identity of Jesus. Satan does not want to remind Jesus that He is the Father’s Beloved, for by doing so, he would lose his momentum in testing Jesus. Satan knew that if Jesus understood that He was loved, temptation would have no grounds or hold on Him.
Satan tempted Christ by insisting that if He DID something, He would BECOME something:“IF YOU ARE…”. Satan wanted Jesus to define His identity based on His works or performance, and not based on the Father’s love. Had Jesus focused on His works, He would have lost focus of the LOVE OF THE FATHER. You see, if we don’t abide in God’s love for us, we will base our acceptance on our works. If we don’t see ourselves as loved, we will receive our identity through our own efforts. But God the Father does not see us based on our works – THAT IS NOT GRACE (favour). He sees us based on the Perfect man at His right side – JESUS. We have God the Father’s validation, acceptance and approval based on Jesus. By this love perfected in us, we have confidence in the Day of Judgment, “because as he is so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Questions to ask:
Do you feel loved?
Do you feel accepted?
Do you feel cherished?
If not, declare over yourself today: “I AM THE BELOVED OF GOD” and see this truth become a reality in your heart.
You are loved not based on your works but the finished works of the Lord Jesus Christ. His work for you was perfect, and you are accepted, loved and cherished because of Him. Dear Friend, it does not matter how you feel: YOU ARE LOVED!
Let’s pray together:
Father, thank You that I am deeply loved by You! I am Your beloved. I may not always feel like it. But the truth stands secure in You. I am loved, and I am Yours. Thank You for pouring your love into my heart through Holy Spirit. Help me to grasp how deep, how vast, and how never-ending Your love is for me! In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
This was an extract from my devotional book,
“Hand-Picked: 21 Days of Favour”
The full version is available in the Store on
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