but, how can we really laugh at the future?

This past week was one of those weeks where it was just a little harder to feel God’s love.

You know, where it’s just a little harder to believe in the depths of my heart how He does love me.

How He doesn’t love what I do or accomplish or what I don’t do or fail at, but how He loves…me.

So when I came across this verse, I jumped on it.

My heart was hungry for it.

And so I had to share.

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” Ephesians 5:1-2.

Dearly Loved Child jumped out at me. That’s my name.

Dearly Loved Child.

That’s our name, friends. Dearly Loved Children.

Loved, of course, by our parents if we’re lucky…

but also, who doesn’t want to be named Dearly Loved? Especially by Someone who created such beautiful things as laughter and stars and spring and a million different snowflakes and He’s perfect all together and He still loves us dearly.

I like the word dearly, so I looked up its definition.

Then I loved it.

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Dearly means, “very much; with affection; fondly; with much loss or suffering, at great cost; heartily; earnestly.”

Being loved dearly is beautiful. But it’s not a fluffy kind of love. It’s a hearty and earnest and affectionate and fond love and it comes at a price.

Oh…it’s Jesus! The Price! It makes sense! We are literally dearly loved by God because He fulfilled every angle of the word.

It’s almost like the writer of the dictionary knew something I only just found out.

Being dearly loved isn’t a light thing. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s our lifeblood. It’s who we are as Jesus followers.

If we never accomplish anything else, we are still Dearly Loved Children.

Nothing can take that away from us. No slow-moving Monday, no mistake made, no accomplish so great, no weeks flying by, no getting older, no getting fired, no getting hired, no getting married, no staying single, no having a baby, no loss, can change our name & place in Christ’s family.

Dearly Loved Children.

Dearly Loved Child.

Jesus followers are members of God’s very own family.

With that in mind, how so very compelling is it then, to love other people without fear of rejection? To step out without fear of looking foolish? To laugh without fear of the future (prov 31:25)?

It really is true. His Perfect Love does cast out fear (1 John).

Because…we’re secure. When we walk through the day with our banners held high proclaiming our real names, Dearly Loved Child of God, any false name the world tries to throw our way will simply pale and disappear into the all-encompassing folds of our Perfect Love banners.

I’m literally daring myself to enjoy who I am today. Not what I do. Because I don’t do things right all the time. Heck, a whole lot of the time. But I’m daring myself…or maybe it’s the Father daring me, inviting me, to enjoy Who I am in Christ.

We think about our weaknesses, our sin, a lot. And we need to. It’s sanctification and I’m so glad I don’t do the things today I did 10 years ago.

But let’s take a minute, a long minute, a lifetime, to claim His perfect love that covers our sin and to relish in our true names.

Dearly Loved Children of the King.

Praise Him and blessings to you,