Encouragement for Today 13 December 2021 | Be Loved, Beloved

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Encouragement for Today 13 December 2021
Encouragement for Today 13 December 2021 | Message by Aubrey Sampson (Proverbs 31 Ministries)

Topic: Be Loved, Beloved

Scripture: “God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good! It was evening, it was morning—Day Six.” Genesis 1:31 (MSG) 

Encouragement for Today 13 December 2021 Message

My forehead was pressed against an airplane window, the pressure of which was relieving my nausea and mercifully preventing me from vomiting.

Getting sick in one of those small, white barf bags was an unacceptable option, especially because I was sitting next to a guy who, just a few seconds before, had dumped me.

We’d been dating for almost a year. And just before this weekend getaway with our little group of friends, he had told me that he loved me … wait for it … for my potential.

“I love you for your potential.” Literally. He said this.

He explained he meant that if I improved my taste in music and art and started seeing the world through different lenses (his lenses, I guessed) then I would be worthy of his love. He mentioned I should consider a bit more exercise as well.

“One day, I could totally see myself falling in love with you … when you are ready for me.”

I realized I had placed myself on another person’s scale, and not only his scale but, in many other ways, on many other occasions, on countless others’ scales — frantic to achieve some tenuous measure of worth. And I mean, if your entire life’s value relies on the inconsistent whims of a particular person or any group of people … well, that is not a great place to be.

Even before this boy ever came into the picture, I had named myself falsely like so many of us do. I had picked up and held on tightly to certain destructive names, names like Rejected, Unworthy, Unlovable, Not Enough.

But for those false names to be healed, I needed to believe the first name God ever gave me: Beloved.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” (Ephesians 1:4, NLT)

The power who brought into existence the swirling stars, the dazzling snow, the summer sunrises and the entire cosmos — the power who put on flesh, bore a cross, and conquered death and evil — breathed a name from the breadth of His unending love for you. It is your first name and your truest name: Beloved.

This name has existed for a long time. Long before the fall of humankind, long before God gave Adam and Eve a tour of their little garden paradise, long before God commissioned them to cultivate the land or govern anything — before they did anything meaningful or noteworthy — God spoke a blessing of goodness over them simply because they existed. “You are very good!” God cried out as both a proclamation and a heartfelt response. (Genesis 1:31)

Over Adam and Eve (and over you, as well), God declares with divine delight, affection and approval, “You are very good!” And it’s not a stretch to assume that “beloved” is contained in that phrase. In fact, in some Bible translations, the terms very good and beloved are similarly defined as “precious.”

Which makes sense. These are, after all, statements about the innate value and pleasure that God has for you and feels for you.

It’s as if, at the emergence of the created order, God made an announcement about you, a broadcast for the entire solar system to hear. God named you with enough force to reach through time and space: You are very good, my Beloved! My Beloved, you are very good!

Thankfully, after that plane ride, I never had to talk to that guy again. But whenever that same sense of unworthiness or rejection creeps in, whenever I begin hustling or striving for approval, I have to remember to stop and speak this truth over myself:

“Breathe, little soul. Slow down, little heart. What are you striving for? What are you after? You already have God’s approval and love in Christ. You are already known and accepted. Be loved, Beloved.”

May you live from your approval in Christ, not for the approval of anyone else. May you live as the Beloved you already are.

Jesus, thank You that You are the Beloved of God, and because of Your love for us on the cross and at Your resurrection, You made the way for us to lived loved. May we walk with humility, but also with our heads held high, as Your Beloved — for Your glory and Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

Would you like to discover God’s heart, plan and name for you? Known: How Believing Who God Says You Are Changes Everything by Aubrey Sampson is a great resource for small groups, book groups and Bible studies — or a Christmas gift for someone you love.

You can get FREE access to the Known audiobook! Buy Known and email navpressbooks@tyndale.com with your receipt for a free streaming code. Limited availability through 12/31/2021.

ENGAGE

You can visit Aubrey on her website and on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Known by Aubrey Sampson. To celebrate this book, Aubrey’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, December 20, 2021.}

FOR DEEPER STUDY

As you meditate on Genesis 1:31 and Ephesians 1:4, reflect on these questions:

1) Where do I hustle and strive out of desperation for earning approval?

2) How can I internalize and live from my identity as God’s beloved? How can I lead those around me to do the same?

© 2021 by Aubrey Sampson. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106
www.Proverbs31.org

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