Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had the dream of being a wife and mom when I grew up. A family of my own to love and care for and make a home with. Now, I am grown up, and that dream of love is still in my heart.
The fairy tale ending we might not believe is in, but we still wish for.
Love at first sight. True love. Everlasting love that makes for a happily ever after ending.
Even if your dream isn’t the two cars, three kids, white picket fence, our dreams for when we’re all grown up usually include love. A place of belonging. A place to call home. A family where the real us fits right in and we are accepted for who we are.
Each of us long for love. Each of us, at times, feel unloved. Each of us, at times, feel unloveable.
We wonder if maybe real, true, unconditional, pure love is really just the stuff of fairy tales. Because this love and its happily ever after ending couldn’t be for a girl like me, could it?
Actually, yes, it could.
There is love for me. And for you. No matter our past, no matter how we look, no matter what mess we’re in right now. And this love invites us into a grand adventure, a story that was written in the Scriptures, and is still being written in our hearts. One with the happiest of happily ever afters.
We see this love for us and this invitation to us Colossians 3:
In this identity in Christ series, we’ve learned that in Jesus, we are free, we are secure, and we are new. From this verse, we also see that in Christ, we are loved. We are dearly loved.
Let that sink in. Deep into your heart where it can take root and produce fruit and overflow in your life.
You. Are. Loved.
Maybe that’s a little (or a lot) hard to believe? I’m with you. There are definitely times when I’m just not feeling it. When I feel unloved and unloveable.
But remember Satan’s big lie? That it is what we do, what we experience, and what we feel that defines us.
So… if I don’t feel loved, how could I be loved?
If I don’t feel like I am worthy of love, how could someone love me?
1 John 4 gives us a description of God:
In the beginning, there was God; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. Three-in-one. The Trinity living in perfect, harmonious, love relationship with each other.
And God said, “Let Us make human beings in Our image.” So He did. (Genesis 1:26)
We long for love, because we were created for love relationship with God. But before we ever longed for love, there was Love, and that Love gave us life so we could live in love with Him.
God is the one who defines love. His very character is the meaning of love. If we want to know, experience, see true, real, unconditional, pure love, we need only look to Him.
God’s love for us is not based on who we are, but on who His is. And He is love. He created us to be loved by Him, so matter what we look like, act like, talk like, feel like, He is going to relentlessly, passionately love us with an eternal love.
You. Are. Loved.
You are loved by Love Himself.
Ephesians 5:1 calls us “dearly loved children”, and 1 John 3:1 says, “See what great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
When we trust in Jesus as our Savior and choose to live in relationship with Him, we are brought into the family of God. We become daughters of the King. Destined for heaven and eternity in the presence of God. Princesses promised that happily ever after.
Sometimes, we just need to believe this, even when we’re not feeling it. It is especially in the moments when we’re feeling unloved that we need to hold onto the truth that we are loved by Jesus, and that we are secure in His love; nothing can separate us from it. (Romans 8:38-39) It is especially when Satan is whispering those lies that we need to set our hearts and minds on the realities of heaven; the truth that God is love, and that He unconditionally and eternally loves us. (Jeremiah 31:3) It’s those times when we’re feeling unworthy of love that we need to cling to the truth that Christ has made us new and is renewing us; we’re not defined by our mistakes or sins, but by Christ in us.
Colossians 3:12 also tells us that we are also chosen and holy.
God chooses us. No hoping we’re not the last one picked for the team. No wondering if we’ll be asked to the dance. In love, we are chosen. We are desired. We are wanted. We are accepted. We have a family, a place of belonging, where the real us, the true us, the us God created in His image, fits right in and has a purpose.
Holy is a beautiful, rich word. In this verse, it comes from the greek word hagios. Hagios means sacred, pure, or blameless. In this verse hagios conveys the idea of being separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God. It speaks of godly character.
1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’” We have a sacred purpose in bringing glory to God by obeying Him and reflecting His character in our actions and attitudes.
Since we are chosen by God, made holy by Him, and loved by Him, we are called to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We are called to forgive as the Lord forgives. We are called to put on and extend love. These are not just qualities we are to live out at certain times or with certain people. These characteristics are to be our very character. They are to be who we are as children of God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
When we are compassionate, when we act kindly, when our attitude is humble, when we speak gently, when we are patient, when we extend forgiveness, when we give love, we are living as dearly loved children, and we are reflecting that perfect love of our Father to those around us.
This is the last post in the Identity in Christ series, but in the coming weeks, I plan to write more on those qualities of a child of God from Colossians 3, and how we can live them out in our day to day lives.