…brothers beloved by the Lord…. (ESV)
When speakers address an audience, they call them by the name that identifies them, whether that be members of Congress; friends, Romans, and countrymen; or fellow sausage makers. Paul addressed the Thessalonians as those beloved by the Lord.
When you look in the mirror, is that how you see yourself? As you drive to work in the dark of the morning, who are you? What is the identity that drives you when you are not consciously thinking about your identity? For many of us, it is the identity expressed in our resumes and lived out in the activities that provide our paychecks.
What if your fundamental identity were not teacher, business owner, or factory worker? What if it were not even father or mother, husband or wife? How would your life be different if your primary identity were truly the beloved of the Lord?
If it is true that You love me, Lord, then any other identity is an insult to You. Why do I exchange my new nature as Your beloved child for one of my own making, or worse yet, for a lie? In Your great love, help me to embrace that love and live fully from it. In the name of Jesus, the source and picture of that love, I pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2014 by Steven R. Perkins