"Beloved, now are we the sons of God." I John 3:2 I've pondered this statement from First John countless times. Yet several months ago as I listened to it being read at a church service, it was as though I heard it for the first time: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God" was how it impressed me on that occasion.
Suddenly I understood the spiritual import of St. John's words as I never had before. Here was a glorious promise that right now everyone, including me, is dearly loved, the heir of God and the recipient of all good. And I realized that John was not only addressing the first-century Christians as "Beloved." He was writing to me! He was writing to everyone—to everyone in every church congregation, and to everyone who reads the New Testament; to everyone who has never even attended church, and to all who have yet to become acquainted with the Scriptures.
John was telling us what he had learned from his mentor, Christ Jesus. He was telling us that we are "adored," "treasured," "held dear," "cherished" by our Father-Mother God. These are synonyms for beloved. Keeping this fact in thought, we can learn much about what it means to be loved by God. Such learning enables one to feel more consistently a wonderful spiritual joy, regardless of the challenges that the world, or even we ourselves, may face. Recognizing that one is beloved is certainly cause for rejoicing. It also gives us a greater sense of well-being. And it impels us to be more loving and to express a greater, more encompassing love.