See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:1-2 ESV
One of my favorite words in the Bible is the word beloved. It doesn’t appear in every version, but I think it’s a correct word for a key principle God is trying to teach us about His kind of love.
Often one of the hardest things for a person to do is to accept unconditional love. Perhaps it’s because the world is so void of that kind of love. The world often displays a love that is contingent on the recipient’s behavior or form of repayment of the love. It is a give and take kind of love…a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of trade-off for love. Sadly, many marriages share this kind of conditional love, where spouses agree to love each other as long as they are given equal or greater love in exchange.
That is not at all, however, the love of God the Bible teaches. The word beloved in the previous verse literally means “ beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love”. It’s a word indicating an action on the part of the one doing the loving. The God of the universe, the same God who paints a sunset, shapes a mountain and plans the waves at the beach, has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our role in this is to BE-LOVED.
Are you struggling to accept that kind of unconditional love? Have the circumstances of life caused you to question God’s love? Will you do me a favor? Take some time today to read Job chapters 38-42. Job was experiencing more heartache than any person should ever experience and he was questioning his situation and ultimately God’s love for him at the time. In these chapters, God answers his dilemma. It’s a challenging and encouraging read.
You and I may never fully comprehend the love of God, but for today we can be encouraged that we have been called “beloved” and we can anticipate learning about and receiving more of His kind of love.