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Beloved

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.” 1 John 3:1 
 
My husband always used to call me “Beloved” when he spoke to me or left a voicemail. It is an incredible memory I cherish. What a gift to have someone think of you that way. I know he didn’t arrive at that understanding of love on his own. His faith was a key part in how he met the world with love. Whenever I encounter this letter from John, I am reminded how deeply we all long to be loved and what a blessing it is to know we are the beloved children of God. 
 
Experts often talk about how human beings need love and most of us believe that our happiness is tied to whether we feel loved and cared for. But it’s not just our own need for love that matters, we also have a deep need to love and care for others too. In fact, an experiment took place where various small amounts of money were given to participants, anywhere from $5 to $20. They could choose to spend it on themselves or spend it on others. When surveyed about their choices and the level of satisfaction they felt once they’d spent the money, those who had spent their money on others expressed greater happiness. As I reflect on being beloved by God, I see more clearly there is beautiful daily opportunity to pay that gift of love forward. This divine love we are given in Christ is meant to fill our lives and overflow into the lives of others. 
 
Love divine, all loves excelling 
Joy of Heaven to Earth come down 
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling 
All Thy faithful mercies crown 
Jesus, Thou art all compassion 
Pure, unbounded love Thou art 
Visit us with Thy salvation 
Enter every trembling heart 
 
Breathe, O breathe, Thy loving spirit 
Into every troubled breast 
Let us all in Thee inherit 
Let us find that second rest 
Take away the love of sinning 
Alpha and Omega be 
End of faith, as its beginning 
Sets our hearts at liberty 
 
Come almighty to deliver 
Let us all Thy life receive 
Suddenly return and never 
Never more Thy temples leave 
Thee we would be always blessing 
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above 
Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing 
Glory in Thy perfect love 

Martha  Aenchbacher

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