You Are Beloved - Encouragement for Today - July 31, 2018

Bobby Schuller

July 31, 2018
You Are Beloved
BOBBY SCHULLER

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a (NIV)

You are not what you do.
You are not what you have.
You are not what people say about you.
You are God’s beloved daughter. 
This is your only true identity.

Though we are many things — parents, ministry leaders, entrepreneurs, sinners and saints, God only sees us as one thing: His beloved.

We might believe we are the beloved of God consciously; maybe we hear it all the time. But many of us struggle to truly believe it unconsciously. Deep down there’s a self-talk we don’t always see driving many of our decisions and emotions; there are voices telling us we’re not enough, we need to be more, do more and be better. “Only then” will we be worthy of belonging.

I remember the first time I realized these unconscious voices were swirling around in my heart.

I was telling my wife a story how as a kid I did something clumsy. Consciously, the story was funny to me. It made a family relative freak out and call me a name. I’m laughing as I’m telling her the story and I say, “He got so mad he called me a …” Then something bizarre happened. My face, throat and chest locked up. I couldn’t even get the mean word out and started weeping.

I’m not one to cry often, but this night I cried like crazy, all the way home, and I could barely drive. Though painful, the experience was also cathartic and enlightening.

I realized something amazing. I’d been carrying those words in my heart for so long and had never noticed them. Deep down inside there was this kid, me, who wondered if in the end he was just the worthless name he’d been called.

We all do this. It might have been said by someone we love or someone we hated. Maybe it wasn’t blatantly said but expressed through an unloving action. We might say we are God’s beloved, but there’s often a deeper, self-rejecting voice. It’s this harmful voice we need to bring to the surface, think about, feel and give to the Lord. We can do that through training and replacing that voice with what Henri Nouwen called “the voice of the beloved.”

I once heard him give a speech about how we are not what we do, what we have or what people say about us. We who follow Jesus are God’s beloved daughters and sons. I decided I needed to believe this, deep down. I needed to train this into my heart. So I wrote it as a creed to practice. I said it slowly, as a meditation, every time I would pray. Over time as I spoke this creed over my life, I watched how more than any other discipline, it powerfully transformed my life into Christ-likeness. I’d like to share it with you:

“I’m not what I do.
I’m not what I have.
I’m not what people say about me.
I am the beloved of God.
It’s who I am.
No one can take it from me.
I don’t have to worry.
I don’t have to hurry.
I can trust my friend Jesus and share His love with the world.”

Friend, you are so loved. You do enough. You are enough. God’s Word reminds us to “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1a)

It’s easy to compare our lives to others and think, I’m not like her or him, but that’s not a fair perspective. Anyone you think is perfect certainly is not. (You just need to know them better to see this truth.) In the end, we do our best but then can give it to the Lord. We can relax and walk in the easy rhythms of grace. We can trust we are loved by God. We can let go of our fears of worthlessness and live every moment with joy in friendship with Jesus.

Father, I belong to You. I am the apple of Your eye, Your beloved child. Thank You that You know all my fears, worries and imperfections, yet You call me Your beloved. It’s not what I do, but what Christ did for me. There is no greater love than that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9 (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Are you ever concerned you don’t deserve to love and be loved because you continually have to prove yourself? In You Are Beloved: Living in the Freedom of God’s Grace, Mercy, and Love, Bobby Schuller shows how to let go of these fears and put your trust in the One who sees you for who you really are. You Are Beloved is available now, here.

CONNECT:
Connect with Bobby on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @BobbySchuller.

Would you like to WIN a copy of You Are Beloved by Bobby Schuller? In celebration of this book, Bobby’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and notify them in the Comments section by Monday, August 6, 2018.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s an experience from your childhood that’s negatively framing the way you view your worth?

Which part of your life do you hide most from others? What would it feel like to share this part of your life with a loving friend?

© 2018 by Bobby Schuller. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Thomas Nelson Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Originally published July 31, 2018.