Happy Tuesday! I’ve taken the week off, but I’m happy to say that you have a special treat in-store for you. Today’s guest blog by Charlene Miller will wrap around your soul like a warm hug. Show her some love by checking out her ministry at www.leanintojesus.com. Ladies, be sure to watch for details for Lean into Jesus Ministries’ women’s conference “More!” coming in August. It’s a one day event you don’t want to miss.
See you again next week. Much love, Donna
I love Jesus for many reasons, but one of them is for teaching us the importance of friendship. Jesus was a friend to everyone, but perhaps His three closest friends (Peter, James, and John) knew Him best of all.
Do you have a nickname? In my family, everyone has at least one, and most have several. Some of the pet names are teasers, and others are terms of endearment. The name people nearest us use to communicate with or refer to us reveals a great deal about our relationship.
I am blessed to have three brothers. God didn’t give me biological sisters, but He gave me a handful of brothers -and brother, sometimes they are a handful! Growing up with a house full of boys lends itself to constant competition, teasing, mischief, and jokes.
My siblings particularly enjoy teasing. Because my Mom reacts precisely as the stinkers expect, she is a frequent target. Their favorite tease is for each one to proclaim he is her “favorite” child. Mom invariably declares she does not have a favorite, and the bantering begins. Either one claims he is named favorite, or another opines that he is not the favorite. You can accurately deduce that Mom is not a fan, but the boys delight in razzing her.
The Gospel of John is a text I find myself returning to re-read often. It is the scripture I frequently recommend to others searching for either a clearer understanding of Christ or looking to meet Him for the first time. Interestingly, throughout his Gospel, John does not identify himself using pronouns such as “I” or “me.” Instead, he regularly refers to himself as “the one Jesus loved.” Some consider it a nickname of sorts. Bible scholars explain that in using the phrase “loved or beloved,” John was seeking to highlight God’s love and how Jesus had transformed his life. Others explain that an adequate translation of the term of endearment does not transfer to current culture. But one thing is for sure: John had a close relationship with Jesus.
John, an eyewitness as Jesus interacted with people from every background and sphere of society, literally lived life with Jesus. As part of the inner circle of disciples (Peter, James, and John), John’s life centered around his association with the Lord. John witnessed everything from Jesus’ day-to-day ministry to His transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Yes, he saw it all. More importantly, he saw beyond the physical activities and miracles to the very heart of Jesus’s being. As a result, John became keenly aware of the deep compassion Jesus felt for people. John’s writing beautifully shares both the deity and the heart of Christ.
Because of my Mom’s unconditional love for her children, we each know we are, individually and collectively, her favorite. It doesn’t matter if she calls us by our given name or a nickname; there is always beloved endearment when she speaks. Christians can celebrate that they are beloved by Christ; each is “the one that Jesus loves.” You are “the one Jesus loves!” Jesus so desired to have a personal relationship with you that He freely gave His life for you.
“In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4:9-10
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Jesus knows your name. Whatever your earthly name or nickname, your title is “beloved.” Yes, you are His favorite. Do not miss the personal and intimate nature of His love for you. Confidently identify yourself as “the one Jesus loves!”
Lean into Jesus Ministries