To become the beloved

We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. We know this because God knew them in advance, and he decided in advance that they would be conformed to the image of his Son. That way his Son would be the first of many brothers and sisters. ~Rom 8:28-29 (CEB)

“Becoming the Beloved means letting the truth of our Belovedness become enfleshed in everything we think, say or do. It entails a long and painful process of appropriation of, better, incarnation. As long as ‘being the Beloved’ is little more than a beautiful thought or lofty idea that hangs above my life to keep me from becoming depressed, nothing really changes. What is required is to become the Beloved in commonplaces of my daily existence and, bit by bit, to close the gap that exists between what I know myself to be and the countless specific realities of everyday life. Becoming the Beloved is pulling the truth revealed to me from above down into the ordinariness of what I am, in fact, thinking of, talking about and doing from hour to hour.” ~From Life of the Beloved by Henri J M Nouwen.

The process of being reshaped according to God’s intended pattern takes time. It is the work of the Holy Spirit and is called sanctification in Christian theology. After turning my heart back to God and receiving the justification that comes through faith in Christ, then begins the work of bringing my whole character in line with that of Christ. I begin to mature in knowledge, wisdom, and love. My growth in the Spirit is marked by movements up and down, forward and backward, and sometimes even in circles!

For human beings, the spiritual life is no straight line of unimpeded progress. It is however, by God’s unwavering goodness, always undergirded by grace. This is what gives me the hope and courage to persevere.

Merry Christmas!

Mold me Lord so that I can be more like Jesus. Help me to not be discouraged when I find myself running is circles for even my circles can be progress in Your hands. I thank You for the strength You give me through Your unwavering grace as I begin to mature in knowledge, wisdom and love. I carry with me into this day the assurance that I am Your Beloved. Amen.

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