Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chosen and Marked by Love

"You are My Son, chosen and marked by My love; pride of My life." (Mark 1:11, The Message).

It is one of the more familiar scenes from the life of Jesus. Standing in the Jordan River as cousin John prepared to perform of His baptism -- the time honored ritual that symbolized death, burial and resurrection. How interesting that Christ’s introduction to the public scene would began in just such a manner. And how appropriate.

Indeed, for everything about Him – his teachings, his miracles, his interaction with the leaders of His day – everything was aimed with unswerving accuracy at one thing -- the Cross.
And how empowering it must have been for Him to hear at that very moment these tender words from His Father -- "You are My Son, chosen and marked by My love; pride of My life."

I firmly believe that everything Jesus said and did from this moment forward flowed out of this one thing – He was secure in His Father’s love for Him. He had no need to perform in order to be accepted and loved. No, He was already accepted and love – and that freed Him to fully carry out His mission.

Now here is the point of what I’m saying. We have no difficulty in hearing that God said such wonderful words to Jesus. Nor should we. Our difficulty comes when someone suggests that God may be saying the same words to us!

As hard as it may be for you to grasp this, or to believe this -- it is true. God loves you…..loves you just as He loves Jesus. He says to you, "You are my son, my daughter -- chosen and marked by my love -- pride of my life!"

Can you not see the evidence of this truth in your life? God has surely chosen you, that's why you feel and think the way you do. That's why you hunger for truth and long for something other than what this world can offer. You are chosen by God!

But there is more! You have also been marked by His love. There is something about you that causes others to take note when you are around. A look in your eye, a grace in your words, a power in your presence. But, none of this is originating from you, as though you possessed these things on your own. No, these are but the evidence of being "marked by God's love."

And, as surely as any father beams with joy and pride at the birth of a child, so the Lord does over you! It was a happy day of earth when you were born, but it was a happier day in heaven when you were born again!

It's true! God loves you as a Father loves his child. He has chosen and marked you by His love. You are the pride of His life.

I dare you to believe this for just one day.

I double dare you.

I double-dog dare you!

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