We are continuing a series of messages on God Our Father, studying the ways in which our Heavenly Father has made us blessed, blameless and beloved through the saving work of Jesus the Son. We are seeking to possess the privileges and promises granted to us by the Father’s great grace, as well as to pursue the privileged responsibilities we have as sons and daughters of God.

Last week, we looked at what it means for God our Father to make us His beloved children, living in community with a dearly beloved family, who are loved by God and who dearly love one another. We rejoiced in the reality that, through Jesus, the Beloved Son, we have been accepted in the Beloved, approved in the Beloved and adopted in the Beloved. We clearly saw that, through the One God loves, we have become divinely loved ones.

This week we are looking at what it means for us to become beloved followers of the Father and the Son, beloved friends of the Father and the Son and beloved family of and through the Father and the Son. When God’s love is revealed and released, it requires a response. The only righteous response is to receive it by faith and respond to it in loving and loyal obedience.

Beloved Followers Those who have been accepted, approved and adopted in the Beloved Son abide in His love and follow Him in His mission, message and ministry (John 15:9-17). The Son remained in a consistent and constant loving relationship with the Father, which enabled Him to lovingly follow the Father and fulfill His will—every moment of every day. The Beloved Son calls His followers to do the same: remain completely and lovingly submitted, completely and lovingly surrendered and completely and lovingly sold out to the will of the Father and the Son.

Beloved Friends Jesus taught His followers that true friends sacrifice anything and everything for each other. Jesus’ sign of loving and loyal faithfulness and friendship was that He sacrificed His life for them. Jesus called them to respond in kind—love for love, loyalty for loyalty, sacrifice for sacrifice, faithfulness and friendship for faithfulness and friendship. What could possibly be better than to be considered beloved friends of God the Father and Jesus the Son because of our love and loyalty to the Persons, purposes and power of the triune God?

Beloved Family We are beloved by the Father through the Beloved Son, which makes us members of the beloved family of God. As such, we are called to love one another as we have been loved by the Father through the person and work of the Son. This is a commandment to be obeyed, not a suggestion to be considered. The divine love we have received must become the divine love we release to those who need us to devotedly and dynamically cherish and strengthen them each and every day. Divine love received—divine love released: that is the prescription for a fully-functional spiritual family in God our Father through Jesus the Son.

Remember: As the beloved of God in Christ Jesus, the Beloved Son, we are called to be beloved followers, beloved friends and beloved family who release the love we have received to one another and the world.