You Are Beloved

by Kent Heaton

To be a child of God is to enjoy the immeasurable blessings of a heavenly Father who grants gifts of mercy and grace to His children daily. Because of the sacrifice of the "only begotten Son," (John 3:16) Christians embrace the warm relationship of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul declares the wondrous majesty of God's people when he calls them the "elect of God, holy and beloved" (Colossians 3:12). The Lord looks upon His people as said of Israel in Zechariah 2:8 - "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.'"

The elect of God are His own special people. "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy" (I Peter 2:9-10). Christians are the chosen people of God and the priesthood established under Christ. As a nation of holy people we are to be that special gathering of mankind that enjoys the eternal blessings of the heavenly Father. Transformed from the power of darkness we are translated to the kingdom of light to show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness (Colossians 1:12-13).

The feelings of the Father toward His children are described as "beloved." The Greek word "beloved" is the word 'agapao' or "love." This word is used as a nobler form of love beyond the simple affectionate love 'phileo.' To be the "beloved" shows a deeper and constant love of the Father to His children. Ezekiel expressed in the description of God toward His people the loving care of God - "When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine, says the Lord GOD" (Ezekiel 16:8).

How can man compare the blessing of being the "beloved" of God with anything in this world? Not even the binding relationship of loving parents can instill the depth of love and the measure of peace given to the "beloved" by the Father. There is no measure. There is no confidence in the flesh. There is no thought that can transcend the essence of being under the wing of God and to know that a covenant exists where God says, "you are Mine." With this kind of love we can dismiss the cares of the world and live with the peace of God every day. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

The elect of God enjoy the blessing of being the beloved of God. Our lives should reflect daily the respect for His name, the honor of His covenant, the privilege of being called the children of God. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (I John 3:1).

"How precious is Your loving-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light" (Psalms 36:7-9).