You are my Beloved…

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Matthew 3:16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

God clearly declared Jesus’ identity at his baptism calling him “Son” and “Beloved”. Then notice what the “tempter” says in Matthew 4:3 above “If you are the Son of God…” Right away the enemy tries to call into question Jesus’ identity with that one word “If”. The implication is, “Maybe you are, but maybe you’re not”. It’s an attempt to sow a seed of doubt in Jesus’ heart and mind – perhaps hoping Jesus will follow his own counsel rather than that of God the Father.

If you are a baptized Christian you too have been recognized as a child of God and “Beloved” by God – in the waters of baptism. It’s true. Your heavenly Father has claimed you, in the name of Jesus, and wants to be a part of every aspect of your life. That said, many of us who are baptized don’t live as children of God, but more like orphans. We choose our own ways, ignoring the counsel of the Father. This truth challenges me today.

Lord bring my heart more into alignment with the identity you’ve given me in baptism. Draw me nearer to you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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