If you study the New Testament, you would see that the authors didn’t talk about how much they loved Jesus. Instead they talked about how much Jesus loves us. John ‘got it’ when he called himself the disciple that Jesus loved.
God has given me a special love for women who are in jail. When I go to teach, I always feel lead to tell them that God is not mad at them. I tell them that God loves them more than they could ever imagine. I share Eph 3: 18,19 with them from the New Living Testament: “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Recently one of these precious women shared with me that ten minutes before I had arrived at the jail that day, they had all been arguing. I spent the rest of that hour sharing with them about God’s love. I knew these women ‘got it’ when, as I was leaving, I turned around and saw them all hugging each other.
If we can “get it”; if we can experience the love of Christ, then all the rest will fall into place. We will not have to worry about committing adultery or stealing or taking the Lord’s name in vain or honoring our parents or loving our neighbor. Once we truly understand how much Christ loves us, we will also say, “I am the disciple that Jesus loves.”
This also changes the way you walk and talk. The joy and peace that comes with knowing the love of Christ is unexplainable. I can truly say, no matter what my circumstances, that I am happy and blessed. Have I reached the point where I never worry? No, but when those thoughts come to me, I quickly give it to God and he restores my peace.
I challenge you to say it out loud, everyday, “I am the disciple that Jesus loves” and see how it changes you. Then you will understand I John 4:19: “We love him because he first loved us.”
About Cheryl A. Watts
Cheryl Watts is a 2006 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, OK. She currently resides in Lebanon, TN, just east of Nashville. She has three children and five grandchildren. She attends Jesus Is The Answer Church in Watertown, TN. God has given her a heart for the jail/prison ministry.