I have had this on my heart for a good while and I felt I had to share it with as many people as I possibly could. It’s not some new revelation you have never heard before, but I believe it could change your life. There are sometimes when I start reading my Bible with the intention of going through a large chunk in one sitting. That is until the Holy Spirit arrests me at a point and I just have to pause. I call this a Selah moment. Sometimes it is a whole sentence that stops me in my tracks. Other times it is a phrase and occasionally it is just one word.
And yes, you guessed right, I had one of those moments recently and I am about to share it with you! I am still reeling from the depth of that encounter. I was reading John 11 where we are told the story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. In verse 3 Mary and Martha send a very important message to their friend Jesus. The message was simple: “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Not the one that loves you, not the one who believes in you, not even the one who serves you so faithfully. No the one who You love is sick. They knew Jesus would know who they were referring to. And they knew He would come to their rescue.
When was the last time you came before Father God with just that one truth as a preface to everything you then said or did – Lord, I am the one that you love. Of all the disciples, it would seem John got this revelation more than anyone else. More than once, he referred to himself as the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’. Was he the only one the Lord loved? Most certainly not. But that was not his concern. He chose to focus on the truth that he was loved by the Master. That was his identity – the one loved by Jesus. His identity was not in what he did or his heritage as much as it was in this one truth. Nothing else mattered as much as this.
And the more he said it, the more he must have believed it – because that’s how declarations work. Who knows, it may have driven the other disciples nuts to hear John say those words more than once. That didn’t stop him though. John was determined to walk in the revelation of Jesus’ love for him no matter what. When everything is stripped away, knowing that you and I are loved by the Father is the one truth that will keep us singing when others have lost hope. His love for me is the only reason I can expect good from Him instead of the punishment I deserve. His love for me is what heals me, delivers me, protects me, provides for me and corrects me when I am out of line.
If I could wear a badge on my forehead that read ‘Loved by God’, I would do that. It would serve as a constant reminder to me every time I looked in the mirror of just how much I am loved. In spite of me. In spite of my failures and shortcomings. Past, present and future. I realise that I can wear those words as an invisible sign over my heart though. So that when I come before the Father in prayer, I come as the one who is loved by Him. Think how that would change my prayer life. Your prayer life. I want my identity so wrapped up in this truth that nothing can un-entangle me from it. I know it says in Romans 8:38 that nothing can separate us from His love. I don’t want to just know this in my head. I want it to be the basis of who I am and what I do.
I know that when that happens it will do away with every fear because ‘perfect love casts out all fear’. It will nail the need that I have to perform to the proverbial coffin; it will stop the worry about ‘missing it’ (making wrong decisions or not hearing His voice). It will serve as a shield against the lies of the enemy. And it will cause me to walk in freedom and wholeness rather than being bound by legalism and condemnation.
Mary and Martha got it. The disciple John got it. Mary Magdalene got it. Paul got it. And we need to get it too.
Loved by the Father.
For all eternity.
I love the words of this song by Chris Tomlin. It says it simply, plainly:
You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
This Christmas, make sure you take time to reflect on the greatest revelation humanity has ever had the privilege to know. Chew on it. Then share it with those who don’t know it yet.
Loved by the Father.