Do you see yourself as “the one Jesus loves”? That may sound self-absorbed, but I believe it shows faith. The Apostle John repeatedly referred to himself as “the one Jesus loved.” See John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 20. Any of the disciples could have used this description. Jesus loved them all (Jn. 13:1). But John personalized Jesus’ love. Jesus loved John!
Too often, I hear Christians emphasizing where we fall short. After hearing a message, many leave feeling beat up instead of built up. Focusing on our sin instead of on God’s gift of righteousness undermines the message of grace and the role of faith. This works-centered focus promotes a self-centered life instead of Christ-centered one.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (italics added; Rom. 1:17 NIV).
It’s illogical to tell unbelievers we are “saved by grace through faith” and then tell ourselves we are accepted on the basis of our performance. That lie keeps us self-absorbed and comparing ourselves with others or some invisible standard instead of focusing on and abiding in Christ. This results in pride or discouragement.It’s illogical to tell unbelievers we are “saved by grace through faith” and then tell ourselves we are accepted on the basis of our performance. #JesusLovesMe Click To Tweet
I’m sure you’ve been around children who, for whatever reason, suffer a shortage of the nurturing attention they need to thrive. They clamor and compete for attention. They misbehave, because any consideration is better than being ignored. In contrast, children who feel secure are usually content and peaceful. They don’t constantly demand the spotlight.
When we believe Jesus loves us, it changes everything. It changes how we view problems and disappointments. We have help. It transforms how we treat others. We aren’t needy children grasping for love and attention. We can give out because we’ve received what we need from our heavenly Father.
To Sum Up:
- Every relationship with God begins by faith: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (emphasis added; Jn 1:12 NIV).
- Every relationship with God grows by faith: “I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?… So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?” (emphasis added; 3:2-6 NIV).
John wasn’t a perfect man. His hot head earned him the distinction of being one of the “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17). But believing Jesus loved him transformed him into the “Apostle of Love.”
His unswerving belief in Jesus’ love drew him to stay as close to Jesus as he could. When we believe we’re the one Jesus loves, we too pursue closeness with Him and trust Him to make us into the people He wants us to be.
Christmas reminds us that Jesus left heaven for 33 years so that we could be with him for eternity. When you read Scriptures that talk about His love, try personalizing them.Christmas reminds us that Jesus left heaven for 33 years so that we could be with him for eternity. #Christmas, #Devotional Click To Tweet
For God so loved (put your name) that he gave his one and only Son, that (I who believe) in him shall not perish but have eternal life (See Jn. 3:16).