He drew me with the cords of love, and thus He bound me to Him;
And round my heart still closely twine those ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and He is mine, forever and forever.
(Hosea 11:4) ‘I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.’ This was the message of God to his unfaithful people, it was a message which said I love you even when you had no time for me.
There has been many a climber/explorer, who at one time or another have been only too glad to be tied to their companion when the road has been rough and the way uncertain. This is perhaps the main part of the message I want to bring this morning. You and I have in Jesus Christ, more than a friend, but one who is beloved and is mine and we are His!
How much He loves us!
(Ephesians 1:5-7 AV) ‘Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;’
Jesus, the beloved of God, came so that we who were hopelessly lost in sin, would be brought back into a loving relationship with the Father. - Phrases such as ‘adopted as children’ - ‘no longer aliens’ are precious statements. Jesus the beloved of God came for us! (Philippians 2:8) ‘And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!’
The Life Application Commentary on Ephesians 1:6 ‘...now that we belong to his dearly loved Son. God’s favour to us is realized by our union with Christ. We could say that God’s love for his only Son motivated him to have many more sons.’ The bond of love which exists between us and God is not reliant on us and the love we can produce it is love from God which brought us back to the place we should be, in Christ Jesus! (2 Thessalonians 2:13 NLT) ‘As for us, we always thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved [AV beloved of the Lord] by the Lord. We are thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation, a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and by your belief in the truth.’
So here in Paul’s writings is the fact that — the beloved of God came to our world to claim back, transform, bring the sinner who God had always loved, to the place where we know and understand once again that we are God’s beloved. I read a story in a paper this week of Mark Baylis who through quite amazing circumstances was reunited with his birth mother. Adopted at birth and brought up by wonderful parents, yet there was still the longing to know what had happened, was he really loved. The came the moment of reunion, suddenly the knowledge which changed his life. Despite being far away, separated, he was always the beloved. That story breaks down as an illustration in the context of what we are looking at, it served to highlight the fact that despite separation through sin, we are and always have been God’s beloved.