“Why Do You Think You Are?” Week 2: Our Identity as Beloved of God.
Dear brothers and sisters,
We are in the second week of our September series, which is about our identity in God. We said last week that our identity, or at least who we think we are, forms the foundation of our choices and decisions, fuels our confidence and sense of purpose, and determines nearly every aspect of our lives. Over the course of this series, we are exploring our sense of identity and the more solid foundation we can find, beyond money, cars, schools, sports and kids, in a life lived according to what God’s Word says about who we are. Last week we talked about God calling us “chosen.”
This week we are talking about God calling us “beloved.” This might be hard for us to comprehend, perhaps because our human relationships are so “conditional.” We place all sorts of limits on our human relationships, and as we get older, we might just feel that even our closest relationships have certain limits on love. This is not how God loves us – if we really knew that God loves us unconditionally, right now as we are, this would transform our lives. We all know this Scripture verse: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life (John 3:16). God doesn’t just casually love the world – he intensely and desperately loves us, so much so that he gives us his Son. This truth is amazing and mindboggling!
Perhaps right now we are not where we want to be; or perhaps we have everything we need but still feel negative; or perhaps we feel trapped in our current life situation. God loves us, and our job is to accept and participate in this reality, in faith. God doesn’t force his love on us. When we participate in this truth of God’s love, and understand it fully in our inner being, it affects everything. Here’s a starting point: we probably already love others, and this is in fact a gift from God: We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Over the course of our lives, especially in hard times like now, it is our duty on the path of discipleship to unpack and unleash the intense and personal reality of God’s unconditional love for us. Questions for Small Groups:
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “unconditional love”?
When God looks at you, what thoughts you think come to his mind?
Read aloud John 3:16. What does it say our role is in accepting God’s love? How do we live it out practically?
Is it easy to believe that you are beloved by God and that he delights in you?
What are some of the roadblocks you put in the way to keep from experiencing God’s love from you?
What can you do this week to solidify your identity as “beloved” by God?