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BELOVED, One of the Best Words in the Bible

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:1-2 ESV

One of my favorite words in the Bible is the word beloved. It doesn’t appear in every version, but I think it’s a correct word for a key principle God is trying to teach us about His kind of love.

Often one of the hardest things for a person to do is to accept unconditional love. Perhaps it’s because the world is so void of that kind of love. The world often displays a love that is contingent on the recipient’s behavior or form of repayment of the love. It is a give and take kind of love…a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of trade-off for love. Sadly, many marriages share this kind of conditional love, where spouses agree to love each other as long as they are given equal or greater love in exchange.

That is not at all, however, the love of God the Bible teaches. The word beloved in the previous verse literally means “ beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love”. It’s a word indicating an action on the part of the one doing the loving. The God of the universe, the same God who paints a sunset, shapes a mountain and plans the waves at the beach, has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our role in this is to BE-LOVED.

Are you struggling to accept that kind of unconditional love? Have the circumstances of life caused you to question God’s love? Will you do me a favor? Take some time today to read Job chapters 38-42. Job was experiencing more heartache than any person should ever experience and he was questioning his situation and ultimately God’s love for him at the time. In these chapters, God answers his dilemma. It’s a challenging and encouraging read.

You and I may never fully comprehend the love of God, but for today we can be encouraged that we have been called “belovedand we can anticipate learning about and receiving more of His kind of love.

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • KLMN says:

    Love the thought that my role in this life is to “be-loved”! If only we could grasp that thought, it would calm so many anxious thoughts. He often lets his beloved suffer and we can’t see why. We can just know He knows the why and it is all allowed to happen because He loves us.

  • Amber says:

    It is my very favorite thing to encounter in the word when God, or His apostles, call my name as “Beloved.” It makes me so certain that grace alone has bought me, because there is no way I can be beloved by my own merit, yet I am chosen and known as Beloved of God.

  • Daishu says:

    I’m doing poetry based on the principle of love. As I read through the word and attended different conferences, the word “beloved” keep appearing before me. This article really helped me get another level of pure understanding …. quote: “The God of the universe, the same God who paints a sunset, shapes a mountain and plans the waves at the beach, has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our role in this is to BE-LOVED.” That’s beautiful and poetic !!! Thanks for the post.

  • Anne Carmela Acierto says:

    thank you so much for sharing this thought! I just received a new name after we had an Encounter from the Lord. I am confused at first on what does being BELOVED means but then, glory to God another revelation was shown by the Lord. To God all the praises and glory. God bless you more!

  • kago moiloa says:

    i get so filled with love ,joy and happiness when i come across this word in the bible…i think is a very powerful word god ever used to discribe his love for us….

  • Mark

    Per your suggestion I reread Job 38-40. I'm overwhelmed by Job 40 verses 1 through and culminating with verse 14. "Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you." The awesome truth of that verse slays me. We are powerless. God is God and I am not!

    • ronedmondson says:

      Mark, that is one of the most powerful passages in Scripture, in my opinion, and I think you captured exactly what God was teaching Job (and us). When we are tempted to question the hand of God, we have to remember that He is God and we are not. His ways are not ours. That is quite possibly also some of the best news of Scripture.

  • thelmabowlen says:

    We fallen humans think God loves like we do — imperfectly, conditionally, finitely — and struggle with wrapping our minds around the fact that He loves us unlovable people regardless. Thanks for the reminder!