The good news is that God not only played favorites with Israel, he holds you as the apple of his eye, too. How so? When you came to Christ trough faith, God took all the love he displayed for Israel, and for his Son, and he placed it on you. Now you are the one he loves.
Enduring Truth // Focus: Psalm 17:8
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Did you know that God has favorites? The Bible tells us that he held the nation of Israel as the apple of his eye. Really—you can read that in Deuteronomy 32:9-11 and Zechariah 2:7-9.
The good news is that God not only played favorites with Israel, he holds you as the apple of his eye, too. How so? Through Christ’s blood shed on the cross for you! You see, when you came to Christ through faith, God took all the love he displayed for Israel, and for his Son, and he placed it on you. Now you are the one he loves.
An inspiring writer by the name of Brennan Manning tells the story of an Irish priest who was on a walking tour of his rural parish one day. And there by the roadside he found an old man, a peasant, kneeling in prayer. The priest was quite impressed, so he walked over and interrupted the man: “You must be very close to God.”
The peasant looked up from his prayers, thought for a moment, smiled and said, “Yes, he’s very fond of me.”
This simple man had a simple faith that revealed a profound self-awareness of his true identity—he knew he was loved by God, and that was all that mattered! Manning developed his own personal declaration from that touching story. He would say of himself, “I am the one Jesus loves.”
It sounds a little arrogant, but he’s actually quoting Scripture. Jesus’ closest friend, John, identified himself in his Gospel as, “the one Jesus loved.” If you were to ask John, “What is your primary identity in life?” he wouldn’t reply, ‘I’m one of Jesus’ disciples—actually one of the three in his inner circle!” He wouldn’t say, “I’m one of the twelve apostles.” Nor would he identify himself as “the author of the Gospel that bears my name. As a matter of fact, I wrote the original ‘Left Behind’ book—Revelation.” Rather, John would simply say, “I am the one Jesus loves.”
I hope that you, too, will take to saying that. More importantly, I pray that you will start believing it in your heart, because when you truly grasp how great the Father’s love for you really is, it will change your entire life! Peter Kreeft insightfully wrote, “Sin comes from not realizing God’s love. Sin comes from thinking ourselves only as sinners, while overcoming sin comes from thinking ourselves as overcomers. We act our perceived identities.”
Friend, your identity is the “one Jesus loves”. Now start perceiving it. You are the apple of God’s eye—that is who you are. In fact, your Father is watching over you at this very moment with great delight.
Now go act like that’s true, because it is!
Every day for the next thirty days, declare this truth when you awaken, when you take your lunch break, and before you fall to sleep at night: I am the one Jesus loves. Do it unwaveringly, because it is true!