Christians are referred to as “beloved” in at least six different Books of the New Testament. It’s a term of endearment meant to remind us, even in tough times when we might start to feel alone in this world, that we truly are dear to the heart of God. Last week, the Lord orchestrated a scenario that reminded me that He sees me and loves me. And this week, several verses in the Bible that I had never really contemplated before came alive in my hands. Not only are born-again believers beloved, but the Bible says that we are a gift from God the Father to God the Son.
He Calls Us Beloved
The word “beloved” is Strong’s Concordance number G27. It means “divinely loved” or “personally experiencing God’s agape love.” It carries the connotation of one who is esteemed, dear, or even favorite.
It’s applied to Jesus the Messiah in Matthew 3:17, Matthew 12:18, Matthew 17:5, Mark 1:11, Mark 9:7, Mark 12:5, Luke 3:22, Luke 7:23, Luke 8:18, Luke 8:25, Luke 9:35, Luke 20:13, and 2 Peter 1:17.
It’s applied to believers in Christ in Romans 1:7, Romans 11:28, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, Ephesians 1:6, 1 John 4:1, 1 John 4:7, and 3 John 2.
Finally, in several verses throughout the New Testament, it’s applied when believers are speaking of other believers who are in a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. After all, as vessels of God, we carry God’s love with us and pour it out onto others whom God loves.
A Testimony of God’s Love
Last week was the final week before school started and the second week of teacher in-service. I had training at a different campus on Monday and Tuesday, so I was a little apprehensive. I fast those days, so usually I would just stay in my classroom. But since I was off campus, it was going to be awkward for me to find a quiet place to pray and read the Bible in the busy training facility.
That Sunday night, I had an idea. I would drive to a coffee shop nearby when the sessions ended for lunch. I looked up what I thought was the closest coffee shop and drove there on Monday. But the place was in a downtown-type area. By the time I figured out where it was in the clump of close buildings lining the street, I was already past it. I decided that instead of fighting traffic back to it, I would just look up the next closest place.
God Had a Different Plan
When I got to the new location, I was surprised to see a fellow Christian teacher entering the coffee shop right when I got there. He had come from another training at a different campus also nearby. I came in and ordered my coffee and headed over to talk to him for a minute while I waited. Then it hit me. Christian music was playing over the speakers. Not only that, but the song that was on that very minute was the song “Beloved” by Jordan Feliz. The words drifted over me, “You are beloved. I wanted you to know. You are beloved. Let it soak into your soul. Oh, forget the lies you heard, rise above the hurt, and listen to these words. You are beloved.” That day and the next, I had a lovely time praying and reading the Bible with Christian music all around me.
And both days I FELT beloved. The Lord knew I was feeling awkward about finding a place to pray away from my classroom. It was already hard for me because my teaching team was going to lunch together every day that I was staying in to fast. I was feeling a little left out, but I was doing my best to be a good soldier for Christ.
A special coffee would be a nice treat. But the Lord didn’t stop there. He found a coffee shop that played Christian music, sent a Christian friend as confirmation, and had me arrive right when a song played with a very specific message. “You are beloved.” (I know He sent me because this is the exact way He sent me to my church. I picked one from the internet, there was a problem with it, and I went to the next closest one.)
Not Just Beloved, But Given
God reached down from His throne room in Heaven into my little life. He encouraged me and let me know that He sees me and loves me. It’s so amazing that He takes time to do that for His children. Sometimes we can start to feel so small and insignificant. Like we are white-knuckled, holding on to the hem of the garment of our great God for dear life. But the Bible says we are beloved – not just as a GROUP of blood-bought Christians. But individually. We are important to God. He knows us, He loves us, and He chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). He is holding on to us.
In fact, our salvation wasn’t at all random. God didn’t decide to love us when we believed and received Jesus. 1 John 4:19 says we love Him because He first loved us. And John 6:44 says it is God, the Father, who does the initiating. He drew us, and by His grace through faith we received Him. But there is something else that I don’t think I really completely realized until just this week. There are at least ten verses in the Book of John that tell us that God specifically GAVE US to Jesus. And Jesus has, in turn, given us eternal life.
God Gave Us to Jesus
The bold type is mine.
“As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.”John 17:2
- John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
- John 6:39 “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”
- John 10:29 “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
- John 17:6 “I have manifested thy name unto the men which Thou gavest me out of the world. Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word.”
- John 17:9 “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine.”
- John 17:11 “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as We are.”
- John 17:12 “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”
- John 17:24 “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.”
- John 18:9 “That the saying might be fulfilled, which He spake, ‘Of them which Thou gavest Me have I lost none.’”
We are Beloved and a Gift from God
DA Carson is the cofounder of the Gospel Coalition. He once said,“Christians often think of Jesus as God’s gift to us. We rarely think of ourselves as God’s gift to Jesus.” Click To Tweet
But that is precisely what the Bible says. The Lord knows us, loves us, and is always with us. No matter what we go through or how things seem in the natural, our place in God’s heart is secure.
Interested in more articles about testimonies? Check out The Hand of God is on His Children or When You Aren’t Enough, Jehovah Jireh Is. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email. It’s at the top right or the bottom of your phone. Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.