Advent Devotionals: Day 20

John 3:16-21

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

We have heard it. We know it. It's the most well-known Scripture of all time. Just ask the guy in the outfield holding the John 3:16 sign. It's the one Scripture that we can all recite—and we usually recite it without even thinking about it really means.

On the nights I put my son to bed, he and I sing Jesus Loves Me together. I love it because we sing it really loud. This song is another one of those things that we all know. It's one of the first things we teach children, just like John 3:16. And just like John 3:16 we go through it without really thinking about what it says. The other night we were singing it, loudly, and it just hit me. Jesus loves ME! Not the me I want to be or the me that I should be, but the real me. He loves the selfish me, the prideful me, the me that gets angry at the guy tailgating me for going too fast and the guy I'm tailgating for going too slow, even the me that doesn't want to get exposed. Jesus loves me right where I am, and I don't have to do anything to get that love. I don't have to read my Bible more or pray better prayers to get that love. I don't have to tithe more or help the poor to get it either. He loves me right where I am and that is the most comforting and freeing thing about this passage. He died for me. He loved me before I even knew Him. Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so...

During Advent, dwell in the fact that you are loved right where you are.

Prayer: Lord, thank You so much for loving me just as I am. I want to dwell in Your love today. Help me to see the freedom that comes with Your love. Help me to feel the peace that comes from understanding that love and help me to share that love with all those I come in contact with today. Amen.
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