Living Loved

Sharon JaynesConfidence in Christ, Enough, God's love, Identity in Christ, Living Free, Living Fully 142 Comments

I’m writing over at Proverbs 31 Ministries today and thought you might enjoy the post as well.

You might be very surprised at what I’m getting ready to tell you, but here goes. For most of my life I felt like I was in second place, an alternate, an also ran, not quite as good as everybody else.

I was a cheerleader my junior year in high school, but I was what they called an alternate. That meant I was on the squad and did everything that 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 for a specific program, I was put on a wait list. I got in because someone else dropped out at the last minute. Barely made it. Last one chosen.

Even when I had to serve on 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. Last one chosen. Barely made it (and in this case I wish I hadn’t).

Even my mom said to me one day about a friend of mine, “Why didn’t you get famous like _____ did?” (Note to self: Don’t say that to your kid.)

I’m not throwing a pity party. I am just being really raw and very vulnerable with you today. I wonder if you’ve ever felt that you were an “also ran.” An “after thought.” A “barely made it.” “Last one chosen.” If so, you’re not alone.

One thing I love about the disciple, John, is that he knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was not second place to anyone when it came to Jesus. He referred to himself as “the one Jesus loved.” That reminds me of my grandma who called every grandchild “her favorite.”  But 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.He was saying that of all the things someone could say about him, all the adjectives someone could use to describe him, all the names someone could call him, “the one Jesus loved” was the only description that mattered. John didn’t mean the identifier of “the one Jesus loved” to take away from how Jesus felt about anyone else, but to emphasize how Jesus felt about him.

Check out these verses and note how John described himself in his gospel account:

  • One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him (John 13:23 NIV)
  • So she [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 20:20 NIV)
  • 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 NIV)

Do those verses make you smile? I just get a bit tickled at John’s confidence. Yep. John knew he was loved by Jesus and that all that mattered.

Supposed 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, a barely made it or the last one in. You were chosen because you are Jesus’ favorite, and so am I! Jesus said this about you: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you (John 15:9). That’s some serious love right there.

There are a lot of words someone could use to describe me—some good, some not so good. But the only one that matters is this. I am the one Jesus loves.

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

If you believe that today, click on comment and say, “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 that 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 His Name, Amen.

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©2023 by Sharon Jaynes.  All rights reserved.

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Comments 142

  1. I can truly relate to this ! I was always the alternate or even worse-not picked at all! Thank you so much for reminding us that we are loved by the only One that really matters.

    Thank you for your ministry Sharon

  2. Sharon,
    Thank you, thank you, for the gift of helping me to not feeling like an alternate. I have been there as the one not chosen, or barely getting in. Im there too.
    God chose us, even before we were born, HE wanted us as his children, and sought us out. He knew what our personality and character was like and knew that we would make alot of mistakes AND HE loves us anyhow.

  3. Jesus is real and lived on this earth. Then was tortured and killed by those He loved. By His Power of His Holy Spirit arose from the grave and lives to give us new life. We are #1 in His book! Thank You Lord for this reminder. Please give me courage, strength, with humility and that same love for others that we need to live this life on earth in the Spirit. God bless your ministry to women Sharon.

  4. I am Valorie, the one that JESUS loves, I had said to single “self” this morning “Self, you will not be sad today, Go buy yourself some flowers and Chocolate” This devotion is just perfect!!

    1. Happy Valentine’s Day dear Valorie! I don’t know you but I know you are beautiful because your name is beautiful. I pray God blesses you with a lovely day today with Jesus !

  5. I am the one Jesus loves. Thanks for reminding me of that. What a wonderful way to start my day. Especially today being Valentines Day knowing that the creator of the universe loves me.

  6. I didn’t know this would resonate with me so much. But saying that little phrase has me in tears.
    Good tears.
    Yes, I am Lois, the one Jesus loves.

  7. I am the third child and the second daughter. First daughter is beautiful and talented. I felt invisible and inadequate. One day I heard God say, “you’re my favorite!” I hugged that close and it helped me feel so loved! A lot later I heard the rest of His message to me…”you’re all my favorite!”

  8. I 💜 this! Learning to just be-loved is a struggle for me! The second born & middle sister of 3 has made me feel like a spare at times… I am a work in progress! I am the one that Jesus loves!

  9. I am the one Jesus loves! Praise God!! Hallelujah!!! Thank you, Sharon for this devotion. Will definitely share this one on FB!!!

  10. I am the one that Jesus loves.
    I’ve never felt that I fit in or that this was my home. Even at church,I don’t feel like I belong. I try but I just don’t fit.
    I am either too young/old , or over educated/undereducated, I was smart/not smart enough. I was pretty/ugly, fat/thin,too loud/too quiet, approachable/not, friendly/appeared unfriendly or angry(which I never was).
    I am so wonderfully made for Gods purpose and have no idea what it is. I’m naturally compassionate,”a hugger “ lol (sadly no longer appropriate) and empathetic. I try to do good and fill a need where I can. I realize all of this starts with “I” but I’m not sure how else to express it. I pray throughout the day, ask for guidance-open my eyes to see, ears to hear and mind to understand. I hear nothing, my mind spins and I just feel lost all the time. The further I dive into the Bible and Catechism the more lost I become. I realize this isn’t the question you were asking but your writing speaks to me. You do amazing work am I’m certain you help many. Continue your good works. We/I love them. Sudden glory is a fantastic book (as are your others,I just happen to be reading that right now).
    I don’t know why I decided to write to you, but thank you for all you do.

    1. Katherine, you are the one that Jesus loves. And I, Theresa, am the one that Jesus loves. It hurts my heart to hear that you don’t sense that love at church. I have experienced that before, too, but am now a member of an amazing Bible-based church (which offers online services BTW) where the love of Jesus is shared. Please don’t give up on searching for a true church family, and especially don’t give up on reading the Bible. And thank you to Sharon for all you do. Many times your weekly devotional ties in perfectly with our sermons and I have begun to share them with the ladies in my Bible study group. May God continue to bless you.

  11. This was so needed by me today. And it was confirmation of a conversation I had yesterday with my fiancé about how I have always felt second best. Thank you so much for this encouragement and confirmation. God bless you and your ministry.

  12. I can totally relate to this devotional! I am 61 years young now. About 4 years ago, I discovered who I am in Jesus, where my identity is. The Love of Jesus and what he did for me on the cross, keeps me going. I don’t want to ever throw that precious gift back in his face. Colleen The One Jesus Loves………….Along With All Mankind! All we have to do is learn how to accept his free gift. Allow him to change us from the inside out!

  13. When ever I see a beautiful pink flower arrangement I mentally except them from the One Who Loves me (God Himself). I thank Him with a smile, but I do not take them. When I saw the pink bouquet on your email, knowing it was sent out to many others too, I still thanked God for them, but this time I wondered why He had put white foliage around them? So I peaked through the blinds and saw my car covered with snow and looked at the school website and found out school is two hours late on Valentine’s Day. I quietly thanked God again and made a cup of coffee and sat down to read this email from Sharon Jaynes. Thank you God from the one Jesus loves.

  14. I am the one Jesus loves! It’s my 24th anniversary today but struggling with not feeling my husband’s love. So praise God that Jesus is enough!

  15. Thank you. Yes I am the one Jesus loves. I am currently reading and studying Take Hold of the Faith. You are an amazing gifted writer. I plan to use this book in a bible study for the ladies in our little Bible believing church. I love that you use so much scripture. I hope it is as much of a blessing to these dear ladies as it has been for me.
    Love in Christ,

  16. I am Dawn, the one who Jesus loves. So is my daughter Autum. We are in good company! It does my heart good to know that Jesus loves each one of us and all of us… and that He loves us as much as God loves Him.

  17. I am loved by Jesus Himself!! I remember you from RMSH and I always thought you were so beautiful and radiated His love. I went to NNSH so for me to remember “my rival” that way, you definitely were first-rate! Thanks for sharing from your heart.

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      1. Yes, went away to college but came back for my first job- Guidance Counselor in School System.
        My husband, WC, (Wilson) grew in York Street.

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  18. I am the one Jesus loves. I’m not a child. I am a 73 year old woman and still don’t feel like I’m good enough. This one sentence takes the pain away. I am the one Jesus loves.

    thank you, Sharon

  19. I am the one Jesus loves! I do believe that, but need to remind myself a lot. I feel like a “struggler” most of the time! I grew up with a mother who had such high standards, and was very critical — even when I played principle or leading roles in musicals or plays. I felt like I just couldn’t ever reach quite high enough. Encouragement is so important, especially when growing up! Thank you for sharing your heart in such depth ~

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