Last night at Recovery at Dayton something amazing happened.  Our host for the evening introduced himself the way we do, saying, “Hi, my name is ________, a believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with….”    Jeremy was hosting for his first time so he forgot that he introduced himself not once but twice.  We had fun with it, responding back with the obligatory, “Hi Jeremy!” both times.

That wasn’t the amazing thing though.   At the end of the message, Jeremy got back up to lead the closing Serenity Prayer, but before he did he said,

HI, my name is…Beloved.

beloved

In that moment you knew Jesus was everywhere in that room.   The hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Beloved went on to say that if anyone here tonight doesn’t yet know that as their name, then keep coming back.  Because that is the truth that will change everything in your life.  To know how much you are God’s Beloved.

I’m reading a book on ministry right now and just finished a section where the author, Stephen Seamands, said that what I do as a pastor will one day all be gone.  I can’t be a pastor or even a husband or father or blogger or worker or any of these things for ever.  But the one thing that will never change is that I will never cease being God’s beloved son.   I am His forever.  To know that I am Beloved is the greatest and most lasting truth about me that I need to know.   It’s the only thing that matters.

Things go sideways for me when I forget that astounding truth.

Paul said it this way:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love (Rom. 8:38).

I’m so very thankful as I write this that I am God’s son, and God is well pleased to be my Father.  He is this not because of what I do for Him, or what I fail to do for Him, but simply because He is Love. It’s who He is.

Hi, my name is Beloved.

My prayer is that you will know that as your name, too.

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