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L.O.V.E. (Let Our Voices Encourage) Devotions

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Living Loved

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”

For most of my life, I felt like I was in second place, not quite as good as everybody else. 

I was a cheerleader my junior year in high school, but I was an alternate. That meant I was on the squad and did everything the other girls did, but it was clear I wasn’t quite as good as the other cartwheeling, high-jumping pompom shakers. Barely made it. Last one chosen. 

When I applied to college, I was put on a waitlist. I got in because someone else dropped out at the last minute. Barely made it. Last one chosen. 

Even when I had to serve jury duty, I was the alternate! I had to stay and listen for an entire week just in case someone had to drop out, and I didn’t even get a vote. Barely made it. Last one chosen. 

I wonder if you’ve ever felt that you were an “also ran” … an afterthought … someone who barely made it … the last one chosen. If so, you’re not alone. 

One thing I love about Jesus’ disciple John is that he knew without a shadow of a doubt he was not second place to anyone when it came to Jesus. He referred to himself as “the one Jesus loved.” John knew he was Jesus’ favorite. And so was Peter, James, Andrew, Phillip and all the rest. And so am I. And so are you. 

Of course, John wasn’t really saying that of all the people in the world, Jesus loved him the most. But perhaps he was saying that of all the things people could say about him, all the adjectives they could use to describe him, all the names they could call him, “the one Jesus loved” was the only description that mattered. 

Check out these verses and note how John described himself:

"One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.” (John 13:23)

"So [Mary Magdalene] came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!'” (John 20:2)

"Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, 'Lord, who is going to betray you?')" (John 21:20)

Do those verses make you smile? I'm a bit amused by John’s confidence. But suppose you and I lived like that … My name is Sharon, the one Jesus loves. 

Go ahead and put your name in the blank: My name is ________________, the one Jesus loves. 

You were not chosen as an alternate, an “also ran,” someone who barely made it or was the last one in. You were chosen because you are Jesus’ favorite, and so am I! Jesus says this about you: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9a). That’s some serious love right there. 

So the next time you feel less-than, say to yourself exactly what John said: “I am the one Jesus loves.” 

Father, sometimes I can feel so mediocre, but I know that’s not how You want me to live. Your Word says I am chosen, holy, dearly loved, set apart — equipped by You, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and enveloped in Jesus Christ. I am the one Jesus loves. Help me live like I believe it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

brenda x
Jo Ann Steward


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