But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. – Colossians 3:8-12 ESV
Beloved, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of this world have different operating systems, different focuses, and different outcomes. In the world, we are loved for what we do. Performance based LOVE is synonymous with the word love. Once we stop doing, what got us loved, we are no longer LOVED. However, God loves us because of WHO HE IS, not because of WHO WE ARE. God loves us Unconditionally, with a love called AGAPE, which is a Godly love. We are loved by God because what HE, JESUS, did on the cross, not because of what we do, or DO NOT do. God does ask us to do many things. In the verses above we are told to NOT LIE, put off the ways of the world, the ways of the flesh. You know the ways of the world, look at the news, look at the protests in the streets, we are called to be different, and we say, “How?”. He tells us, put away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. If we are HIS BELOVED, then we are to ACT LIKE IT! We are supposed to be about our FATHERS business, like Jesus, not about the worlds so called, “social justice”. Justice comes on the other side of eternity.
Leader, As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’” (Romans 9:25) God calls us BELOVED. Many New Testament writers used the word beloved to address the recipients of their letters (see Philippians 4:1; 1 Peter 2:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1). Usually the Greek word translated “beloved” is agapētoi, related to the word AGAPE. Beloved means “friends dearly loved by God.” In the New Testament, the use of the word beloved implies more than human affection. It suggests an esteem for others that comes from recognizing their worth as children of God. Those addressed were more than friends; they were brothers and sisters in Christ and therefore highly valued. God esteems HIS CHILDREN, not because of RACE, CREED, or INCOME- there is no socio-economic reason that God loves us! He loves us because we are BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST. In other words, because we BELIEVE, we are BELOVED. While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)
Conduit, we are BELOVED by the father because we are BELOVED of CHRIST! The word beloved is used throughout the New Testament. God says this about our LORD, JESUS: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). Then the “Holy Spirit descended like a dove and rested on Him” (Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). God again calls Jesus “beloved” at the Mount of Transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17:5). We learn about the loving relationship shared by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by God’s use of the word beloved. Jesus echoes that truth in John 10:17 when He says, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.” We are brothers and sisters not because of RACE, not because we are a voting-bloc, not because we bow on bended knee and confess that we are racists- but because of our love for God and our willingness to accept HIS SON and HIS FORGIVENESS- HIS MERCY AND GRACE. If we are to BE LOVED, then we Need to BE LOVE, to demonstrate the LOVE OF JESUS, by ACTING LIKE JESUS. Jesus’ #1 trait is forgiveness that demonstrates HIS MERCY and GRACE- HIS LOVE. Blessed are those who have MERCY and GRACE and DO NOT keep a record of wrong, a pound of flesh- for they are BELOVED, and they help others BE LOVED! To BE or NOT TO BE, that is the decision- choose well!