agape

This One Name Unlocks Your Entire Identity

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One of the great glories of the New Testament is the revelation that we have been given a new name. The Bible says we’ve been given a brand new identity. 

You see, before Christ, we were known as sinners, the lost, rebels. But the glory of the New Testament reveals our new and wonderful multifaceted identities. 

I believe the name we’re all most familiar with is “saints.” But we're also called ambassadors, we’re called the living letters of God, the children of God, and the sons of God. We're called soldiers and farmers, and the list could go on and on. And while those are all wonderful names by which to identify ourselves, in my heart of hearts, I think there's one name that is above all the other names. 

There is one identity, that I believe, is greater than all the others. 

In Scripture, John calls us “beloved” which is “agapétos” in the Greek and it literally means “those loved by God.” I think it’s so insightful that this name, this great identity, was written about mostly by the Apostle John, because John was known as “the disciple that Jesus loved.” A name given to John, not because Jesus loved him especially, but because John marveled, was stunned by, and never let go of the fact that he was loved by God.  

Being called His “beloved” is the supreme identity that God has given to us.

I call it our supreme identity because all the other identities, or names He calls us by, are birthed firstly out of His love. 

It's because He loved us that He made us saints, it's because He loved us that He made us His ambassadors. It's because He loved us that He adopted us into His family as His own children. 

We are the beloved of God. 

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”  1 John 3:16a (NIV) My friend, He stretched out His arms and He said, I love YOU this much. 

Hold your head high in this dark world, you are the beloved of God!

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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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How to Praise God in the Wilderness

Do you long to see the power and glory of God in your wilderness? Do you wonder if it’s even possible to praise Him when you are facing such pain? Don’t miss Frank’s hope-filled video today, as he teaches us what God’s lovingkindness is all about, and shares how it is possible to praise God, even in the wilderness.

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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

How to Praise God in the Wilderness

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David says his hope is to see the glory and power of God in the wilderness, just as surely as he sees it in the temple in Jerusalem. He's saying that he doesn't need a building to find God, he doesn't need priests to find God, he doesn’t need sacrifices to find God, and here it comes - he doesn’t need a pastor to find God! You see friends, God wants to have a relationship with you, with no mediator other than God Himself named Jesus. Isn't that cool?!

Look what David says in verse 4, “Your lovingkindness is better than life.” You might want to circle the word lovingkindness; it's the Hebrew word “hesed.” It is the word for unconditional love in the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant word for “agape.”

We need to stop right there friends and really think about what he’s saying here, “Your lovingkindness is better than life.” Let’s talk about life; aren’t our lives our most precious possessions, the thing we hang on to at all costs? If a robber came up and pointed a gun at you, what would you do? You'd give him your wallet! Why? Because your life is more important than your money. If you get the dreaded word, “cancer,” what are you going to do? You're going to go through drastic surgery, you’ll take hideous chemicals into your body, why? To save your life! We fight for life with all we have. The Old Testament book of Job says exactly that in chapter 2, verse 4, “All that a man has, he will give for his life.” And it’s true.

What David says is radical, “Your love is even better than the choicest thing in my life called life itself. How can he say that? Well, let's think about it, what good is life without the love of God?

One of the things that brought me to Christ almost forty years ago now, was a little gospel tract that I received from a church I visited. It was called, “Is this all there is to life?” I opened it up after I had visited, I wasn't a Christian yet, but this is what it said on the first page, “A man is born, goes to school, gets married, gets a job, has kids, retires, and then dies; is that all there is to life?” That got me thinking, what is man really? Is he really just a bunch of protoplasm waiting to become manure? Or is there more to this thing? And that sent me on my search to find God.

What David finds, and his son Solomon wrote these words, “All of life is a vanity unless God is a part of it.” And so David, who knows the love of God, says, “My Lips are going to praise you.” And don't forget where he is when he says this, he's in the wilderness! His circumstances have not changed, all that has changed is his mindset - he's gone vertical.


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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.