Did you spend Valentine’s Day alone?
I mean, I was with family. But no “significant other”. No flowers from a boyfriend. No special date planned. No special someone who was MY valentine, and I theirs.
And that alone-ness can get to me.
And so can all those feelings of not being good enough, of not being beautiful, of not belonging.
The heart pounds with the question, Am I loved? Am I really, truly, undeniably loved?
Those feeling come up all too often. They prey not just on the single girl’s heart on Valentine’s Day. We all feel them. Whispers to the heart saying we are too flawed, faulty, and failing to be freely, fondly and forever loved.
You may have not spent Valentine’s Day alone. You may have had a boyfriend, a husband, friends, parents, children to celebrate and share love with. Yet those whispers can still echo in the heart. Those feelings can still get to you.
Because if Satan can convince us we are not loved, He completely distorts who God is to us. Because “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and the very core of the Gospel is God’s love: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish by have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Without this love, everything comes into question. Who we are. What our purpose is. If we are saved and even have relationship with Jesus. If we truly have all His promises, including eternity with Him.
That we are not loved is big lie with big consequences if believed.
So we must let the truth sink into our hearts and silence those whispers. The truth that God does really, truly, undeniably love each one of. He loves me. He loves you.
God. Loves. You.
Yes, let that sink in. Let our hearts soak up each word, drinking deep this truth.
Out of His love, because of His love, God calls us beautiful. He calls us destined for good. He calls us wanted and belonging. He calls us beloved.
No, nothing I do could ever earn such love. On my own my heart is marred with ugly wrong and my actions and attitudes fall so, so, so short. But because of God’s love, I am made beautiful, the heart of chipped and cracked and dirtied stone replaced with one of flesh, a new creation. Because of God’s love, I can live in the destiny He has for me, doing the good I was created to do. Because of God’s love, He desires me and I have a place in His Kingdom. Because of God’s love for me, I am loved.
Yes, we are loved by the Lover of our souls. We are loved by the One who poured out love as He poured out His life. We are love by the One whose heart beats will love and veins flow with love, and this love flowed as His blood was shed.
So, if we are so loved, and if that love makes beautiful and destined for good and wanted and belonging, if we are God’s beloved, is that changing our lives? Are we really, truly, undeniably living in the reality that we are really, truly, undeniably loved?
Life is a journey of stepping into that reality. All God’s promises, all the grace He gives, all the times He grows us are to help us take that step, take that leap into His embrace and live as we truly are, His beloved. He removed the divider, the barrier, the separation of sin by His sacrifice once for all, so a love relationship with Him is possible.
To live in the reality of God’s love for us is to love Him back and to share love with others. As 1 John 4:9-12 says, “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
And Jesus says in John 15:9-13, “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
To be Jesus beloved is to remain in Jesus and His love, living in the reality that we are His beloved, falling more and more in love with Him who first loved us. And through this divine, dynamic, living love, our unique personalities and characteristics more and more reflect and reveal the character of Love. And those around us have the opportunity to experience this love flowing through us.
Jesus reminds us that obeying His commands is not about cumbersome duty, but about love. Love that fills and overflows so we may love others. And this brings complete, abiding joy.
As we step into the reality of being loved by the Creator of all and the Savior of our hearts, as we live in the truth that we are God’s beloved, choosing to return His love, life becomes a love song, singing the glory of God, not the pride of self, dancing to His rhythm and timing, not to that of fear or worry, tuning our hearts to the beat of His heart.