The nerve of the Apostle John referring to himself as the one that Jesus loved. I remember thinking that when I first became a believer and that that was a pretty egotistical thing to think and say. Over the years, however, I’ve come to see that it’s actually a very natural thing for a child of God to think and say. Let me explain.
In the parable of the prodigal son we see the younger son writing off his father and his father’s lifestyle and heading east for more exciting and enjoyable times only to crash and burn when his inheritance ran out. What the son failed to see and comprehend was how much the father loved him. And if he had, he would have stayed put. Love is feelings with action motivated by heart felt concern and compassion for someone else.
Since the death of my son, I’ve come to understand that those that love the most, grieve the hardest. And, that those that love the most, give the most.
We have no greater example of this than God Himself. God’s unconditional love for mankind cost God the Father His temporary separation from His Son; the Son leaving paradise and being born a peasant only to be rejected and sacrificed by the very people He came to earth for; and the Holy Spirit having to dwell in the hearts of sinners like me. It cost the Father the unspeakable pain of placing the sins of the world on His beloved Son’s back so that His Son could, in a most horrible, painful, God forsaken way, pay the ultimate price for the sins of the world. In a word, God’s love cost Him His very best.
So if Our Trinitarian God was willing to give His best for us, surely giving over control of our lives to Him should be the only natural response. And by giving God our lives, we come to understand and experience that we are God’s beloved. And the more we accept our beloved standing before God, the better life works for us, and the closer we get to that peace that passes all understanding.