Read Psalm 17
Featured Verse: Psalm 17:8
“Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.”
For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance. In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them aloft.
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! You see, when you came to Christ, 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.
A great 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 about his fundamental 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.” 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 if, and 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. Your Father is watching over you at this moment with great delight.
Now go act like that’s true, because it is!
“Not only do we only know God through Jesus Christ, but we only know ourselves through Jesus Christ; we only know life and death through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ we cannot know the meaning of our life or our death, of God or of ourselves.”