He Calls You: Beloved

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

I love this opening line from a C.S. Lewis book. It always makes me smile.

It makes me think of the name my university students far too graciously gave me when we first arrived in China many years ago:

“Sweet Smile” ( ).

But, then, if I had book written about my first year in Asia, my opening line would read, “There once was a girl named Sweet Smile, and she didn’t really deserve it.”

My students saw something in me that I couldn’t always see. I was struggling with adjusting to life in Asia: learning how to navigate outdoor meat markets, chasing rats in our apartment, and wrestling each meal to get food to my mouth with two thin little sticks. Inside I was homesick and lonely. But, they saw a sweet smile. I don’t think I was faking it with them. I think they saw the potential of who I could be.

Whose voice holds power in your life to tell you who you are? What names do you hear?

Do you hear: “You are not good enough for this work. Who let you get into this ministry anyway? You are ‘Not Enough.’’’

Or, do you wonder if your name is “Most Spiritual One,” as people in your passport country say, “We could never do what you do, Most Spiritual One.’”

Do you wonder if your name is “Discontent,” as you struggle to find satisfaction and peace in the place where you serve and the Enemy whispers, “You never will find it…because you are Discontent.”

Is your name “Perfection,” as you joyfully homeschool, bake homemade pies, keep a spotless home, and grow your own vegetables?

Or, maybe you are called “Successful” because you have seen much fruit in your ministry, you regularly run marathons, or you see your name on the title of a book.

Perhaps you think your name is “Precarious” because one day you’ve got it all together, but the next day you don’t, and you surely don’t want anyone to see who you really are.

Who determines your name?

The Enemy loves to give us names that keep our eyes locked on ourselves — either pridefully elevating ourselves…or reducing us to the rubble of our broken, sinful hearts.

Jesus invites you to receive a different name. He invites you to receive a name that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Him. He invites you to take your eyes off yourself, and find your true name.

He calls you: “Beloved.”

The world and other people and the enemy will try to tell you many things about who you are. They will try to give you names that demand that you have more, do more.

Or, maybe they will tell you that you are totally amazing and that, wow, God is sure lucky to have you on his team. Or, maybe they will tell you that you are only the sum of your selfish heart, and you are really not worth much at all.

The world will say that WHO you are is determined by WHAT you do.

Jesus invites you to hear your rightful name: Beloved.

Jesus says, “You are mine. And I love you more than you even begin to know.”
The world says, “You are just kind of Average. You are not really that interesting.”

Jesus says, “Please come and sit with me and tell me everything on your heart. I always want to be with you.”

The world says, “You better be deserving of love. Don’t let anyone see who you really are.”

Jesus says, “I loved you when you put the crown of thorns on my head and killed me. There is nothing that can separate you from my unending love.”

Oh, how we need to soak in our true name! You are so dearly, dearly loved. Live into that name! You are His Beloved. And it has nothing to do with how fruitful your work is, how much support you raise, how well-behaved your kids are, or how well you speak the language. It also has nothing to do with how much you serve, or how kind you are, or how generous you are with your resources.

He delights in YOU.

He sees you as you are, but also as you will be. And He cannot wait to be with you every minute of every day.

Do you know how much He treasures you? Do you know that his name for you — Beloved — reflects not only who you are right now at this moment, but who you will be forever?

Do you also know that Jesus is preparing a new name for you?

One of the coolest verses to me is Revelation 2:17. Someday you will see face to face the One who most deeply loves you. And He is preparing a new name for you — a name that will be a secret name just between you and Him. Jesus says: “I will give him [or her] a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’”

And that name won’t be Discontent. Or Not Enough. Or, Eustace Scrubb.

You are most dearly loved. Rest in that name today. Accept His invitation to who you really are.

~~~

How are you doing with believing your value is tied to who you are, not what you do?

What does your name mean? How does it inform who you really are?

23 Comments

  1. Kris June 20, 2017

    Thank you. i so needed this today!

    1. Renee June 20, 2017

      You are so welcome! I know I often need this reminder for myself of who I really am — and how much we are really, truly loved. Blessings, sister!

  2. Julia June 20, 2017

    Thank you for this today. I really needed this. I am struggling with the names “discontent” and “forever single” recently. I finally am living in the country that I have felt called to for several years, and yet I don’t care for my job, and although finding a partner did not seem possible while I was preparing to leave, now it seems even more impossible with Christian men being nonexistent, limited language, and my plain inexperience in the whole ordeal. But I am God’s. I am beloved.

    1. Renee June 20, 2017

      You are HIS, Julia.. Soak into that truth. He absolutely delights in you. Isn’t that an unreal thought? How I need that reminder myself again and again! May you feel His tender invitation to you to sit with Him and let HIM tell you who you really are. Thanks, Julia!

  3. Ruth Felt June 20, 2017

    Wow, thank you for this. I can’t tell you how many times i have heard people talk about something along the lines of being the beloved, and I’m not sure why it is, but honestly it usually feels cheesy. But your word conveyed this truth in a way that made me cry (and I’m really not a crier). I have heard and believed so many voices about who I am – my name is Weak – or Bitter – or Insufficient…so many things based on what i do or don’t do. I love this: “He invites you to receive a name that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Him.” That really gets to the root of it.

    1. Renee June 21, 2017

      Thanks so much, Ruth. And yes! I agree with you about the root of it all — it is all Him and nothing to do with us. What a wonderful, freeing thought. Hope you guys are doing well! Blessings, sister!

  4. Camila June 21, 2017

    Thank you for your timely words. I often struggle with believing lies about who I am. We are on our way back to our passport country via a retreat, and my fear is the names I will be given by my parents and extended family, friends and supporters. But your post has reminded me that it’s not about what I have done in this last term (or not done) but who I am to Him who loves me. Thank you!

    1. Renee June 21, 2017

      Thank you, Camila. Prayers for you as you re-engage with all that comes with a visit to your passport country. May He continue to whisper the truth to you that You are HIS, and He delights in you because you are His. AND — may you be able to throw those lies into the garbage can where they belong!

  5. Joanna Chee June 21, 2017

    This is brilliant Renee. Thank you so much for putting it so wonderfully into words.

    1. Renee June 21, 2017

      Thanks for your encouragement, Joanna. May you find your heart resting in His love for you this week! Thanks, again.

  6. Tanya June 21, 2017

    Thank you for these words of truth and life!

    1. Renee June 21, 2017

      Thanks so much, Tanya! Blessings, sister.

  7. Addie June 21, 2017

    Thank you – I so needed this reminder today! It makes me tear up to realize again and again, how much I am loved even when I can’t feel it.

    1. Renee June 22, 2017

      Amen, sister! I love what you said — “how much I am loved even when I can’t feel it.” That is so true — His love is a bedrock of unchanging certainty, even through our worst storms. Thank you! Blessings, sister!

  8. Michelle S June 21, 2017

    I love this, Renee! The names I’ve been most prone to hear are “Failure” and “Not enough.” I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Song of Solomon recently, soaking in His name for me, “My love,” and the fact that He delights in me as I am–as HE created me. He doesn’t wish I were someone else, or stand frowning because I didn’t do enough today. In fact, when I constantly feel like I should be different, I’m basically saying that He didn’t do a good job of making me. Oops! THAT’s obviously bad theology. So I come back to the refreshing, freeing truth, and it’s beginning to soak in and change the whole way I think and live: what truly delights Him is me, being who He made me to be, resting myself in Him, resting from all my striving and efforts and free to delight in who He is.

    1. Renee June 22, 2017

      Yes! I love this! I love that you are being invited into deeper and deeper into this truth — wow. Thanks so much for sharing, Michelle!

  9. Chris Fabiszewski June 21, 2017

    Thank you for pointing us back to Him, reminding us to rest in our identity as Beloved. How we need this to get through each day! “Jesus, Lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly…hide me, O my Savior, hide ‘ til the storm of life is past. Safe into the haven guide. Oh receive my soul at last.” May we face the world each day with our souls safely protected by His love. God bless you as you bless others.

    1. Renee June 22, 2017

      Thank you, sister! I love that hymn. What solid truth. Thanks so much for posting, Chris. That is really encouraging!

  10. Kate June 21, 2017

    Thank you for this!! I loved every word of this!! I definitely needed to read this right now and so glad I fought the urge to scroll instagram and read a blog instead… Blessings

    1. Renee June 22, 2017

      Thanks so much for responding, Kate. You encouraged me this morning! Blessings on your week — may we both continue to soak in the truth of our real name.

  11. Lucy June 21, 2017

    So so good!!!!! Thank you for sharing this! My dad used to tell me that there is nothing I can do to make God love me more or less. My name actually means “rose”. Most of the time I only see the thorns poking out of my life. But by faith I grasp the reality that He really does see beauty in me.

    1. Renee June 22, 2017

      That is beautiful, Lucy! You are such a beauty to Him — truly His beloved, His rose. Thanks for sharing that. May you rest in that truth this week!

  12. Maggie Van Slooten June 22, 2017

    My name, Margaret, means ‘the pearl’. It reminds me. Of the pearl of great price, and I feel so treasured and sought after by Jesus that He bled a d died for. Me. Now that’s beloved!

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