My beloved is mine and I am His.. Song of Songs 2:16a NIV
I don’t want to disappoint you, but this isn’t an exotic story about lovers. On the other hand, it is.
Are you intrigued?
I started reading a new devotional by the writers of The Chosen series called, “The Chosen. 40 Days with Jesus”. Day one is called “Before” and begins with this verse…
“Fear not, for I have Redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 ESV
Can you hear God saying this to you?
Fear not; I have redeemed YOU and I have called YOU by name. YOU are mine.
Girls, let this sink into your hearts. The God of the Universe, the Lord of Lords, the Great I AM has called YOU by name and IS still calling you by name. And HE was calling you before you ever knew HIM. He is the God who SEES (Genesis 16:13) and knows exactly who you are, and He loves you. He knows all about your “before” and still loves you. He knows what your future holds and He even has a specific plan for you.
This verse from Isaiah has just blown me away. It first stuck out to me as I was watching The Chosen series. Jesus approaches Mary Magdalene as she is running away from Him. He calls her by name. Oh my! I still get chills thinking about that scene.
It hit me for the first time.
This is what God says to each one of us.
The word of God is a continual Love Story. He is constantly calling to you and me in our before’s and our after’s.
Side Note: I love how in The Chosen they show Mary physically running from Jesus. Isn’t this so true of us today? We run in the other direction when He is calling us. Yet, Jesus never stops pursuing us.
Our Before; He is saying, “Come away with me my beloved. Come away. I have so much more for you than what you have right now. My plan is to Love you always and never leave you. My plan is to keep you by my side and never forsake you, to comfort you in times of sorrow. I see every tear. I cry with you and feel your pain. My Love for you will NEVER fail.”
Our After; God is saying, “You are forgiven for your before. I want a relationship with you. Come close, let me tell you the plans I have for you. What I said in your Before is forever. I will love you forever. I will never leave you. My love for you will always remain the same.”
You see, God is a loving God and He has a promise for you and me…
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. And I will bring you back from (Before) captivity.” Jeremiah 29:11-14a NIV
(Note: “before” in the above verse is my addition)
BEFORE we were in captivity, before we had Jesus. AMEN?!
Beloved. We are God’s beloved ones. We are called to the Love Story He has for us. His love is unfathomable. It is too much to comprehend, but that’s OK. He just wants us to get to know Him. He doesn’t care about your before’s, He wants you to come to His story for you, His ultimate Love Story, His plan for you and me.
The Bible is full, I mean FULL, of stories about real people’s “before’s” and how God pursued them. Look at Moses, David, Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, Paul, Matthew, etc. All throughout the Bible, all who were called had a Before. All had an unlovable side, but God looked at their hearts and saw something else. He saw a plan, A Love Story.
Ladies, I want you to insert your name into this verse. Would you do that with me?
“Fear not, for I have redeemed _______; I have called _______ by name, _______ is mine.”
Fear not, you’re not who you’re going to be.
Fear not, God can redeem your choices and use them for good.
Fear not, God can heal your heart, your body, your relationships.
Fear not, you were made for more than what you’ve experienced so far.
Fear not, this is only the beginning.
from The Chosen Devotional, Dallas & Amanda Jenkins, Kristen Hendricks
This is His Love Story.
Your Love Story.
God is saying, “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11: 28-29 NIV
In other words, “Come let me love you, care for you, put my arms around you, teach you. You are mine. I will never leave you. Rest in Me.
“Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b NIV
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for loving us where we are in our Before and seeing the best in us and for us After. Your Love Story never ends. Help us to see this in our lives.
In Jesus name, Amen
Deb is passionate about Jesus and women’s ministry. She currently leads a women’s small group through her church, LCBC Waynesboro.
Deb has been married for 42 years to the love of her life, Rodney. They have awesome sons whom have beautiful wives. And they are blessed with eight amazing grandchildren.