The enemy of your soul will do all he can to say you are not loved like you should be and there is no purpose for you being here. Most probably the highlights of your life have been the moments when you recognised what God thought of you and remained focused on the person he created you to be.
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)
After his opening he now addresses the people he is writing to. It is of course the Christians in Rome. It could be that in using the Greek greeting (grace) and the Jewish greeting (peace) he is giving away his intent on speaking to them about how the Gentiles and the Jews sit in the plans and purposes of God.
What is clear even though he hasn’t planted these churches he knows enough to know that they are loved by God and called holy/saints (not to be). This is their identity and it is ours too in 2022.
Today is Valentine’s Day and that means different things to different people and it can also mean absolutely nothing to some. But there is not a single day of our lives that our identity is not described as being loved by God. One of my favourite worship songs has these words:
To woo us back from death and woe; A valentine to a faithless world
Every wayward heart You pursue us all; And in kindness call us home
This world is Yours; My God this world is Yours
All You made to be Yours; I know You love us all
Despite our faithlessness and waywardness He still loves us. It is actually a fixed position, loved: the other is who we are not what we must do. Our identity is that we are not of this world and that can mean many things depending on the culture you are living in, but we are different. We are called holy or saints. We understand why ‘to be’ is inserted but it isn’t there, rather, ‘called as saints’.
Loved and Different. Loved and Set Apart. Loved and Holy.
Now that should make us all feel special today!