Being the beloved

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21 July, 2019Simon DentBeing Church

God is love but this is not abstract. It is personal. He has set His heart upon you. His kingdom and power, His care for creation, his rule over the world, His intervention in the affairs of human history, His authority over evil and His conviction of our sin… is all an action of His love. You are the beloved. Let this penetrate your heart. It affects everything we do.

1 ‘At that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.’

This is what the Lord says:

‘The people who survive the sword

    will find favour in the wilderness;

    I will come to give rest to Israel.’

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

‘I have loved you with an everlasting love;

    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

4  I will build you up again,

    and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.

Again you will take up your tambourines

    and go out to dance with the joyful.

Again you will plant vineyards

    on the hills of Samaria;

the farmers will plant them

    and enjoy their fruit.

There will be a day when watchmen cry out

    on the hills of Ephraim,

“Come, let us go up to Zion,

    to the Lord our God.”’

This is what the Lord says:

‘Sing with joy for Jacob;

    shout for the foremost of the nations.

Make your praises heard, and say,

    “Lord, save your people,

    the remnant of Israel.”

See, I will bring them from the land of the north

    and gather them from the ends of the earth.

Among them will be the blind and the lame,

    expectant mothers and women in labour;

    a great throng will return.

They will come with weeping;

    they will pray as I bring them back.

I will lead them beside streams of water

    on a level path where they will not stumble,

because I am Israel’s father,

    and Ephraim is my firstborn son.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

‘For your sake we face death all day long;

    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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