How to be Beloved
Daniel was “a man greatly beloved” — or as other translation have it, a man “highly esteemed,” “highly regarded,” “treasured,” “respected,” a “man of quality.”
These words were spoken to Daniel by a messenger he saw in a vision. Who was this messenger? Was it Christ? An angel? Some say it was Christ, but though similar to John’s description of Christ (Rev. 1:12-16) there are also many differences. Also, the statement that for 21 days this personage was resisted in coming to Daniel, and that the assistance of the powerful angel Michael was required to defeat this foe, makes Christ seems less likely to be the man’s identity. Daniel had been previously visited by the angel Gabriel (9:21), so, had this visitor been Gabriel one would think Daniel would have recognized him.
But whomever this being was, he was clearly bringing Daniel a message from God, and part of that message was this statement of God’s favour.
Yesterday I listed ten references to God’s great love and acceptance of those who have placed their hope in Christ. Yet, Scripture speaks of various strong or weak entries into His kingdom: Peter speaks of receiving an “abundant entrance,” or “rich welcome” into the eternal kingdom (2 Pet. 1:11), while Jude writes of saving some “with fear,” of “snatching” them from the fires of hell (Jude 23). And Jesus tells the parable of the faithful servant who receives the commendation “Well done,” from his master (Matt. 25:21, 23). Clearly, our goal ought be to mature as Jesus is described, “…in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52).
“Be perfect,” Christ urges, “as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48). “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37). These imperatives are important. We have only this lifetime to overcome and demonstrate victorious virtues. In eternity there will be no such opportunity.
Get rid of all secondary “loves,” embrace godliness, press into heaven with all your heart.
Do you want to be a man, a woman, “greatly beloved?” If so, love God greatly!
To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.