From a mom who keeps believing that Jesus loves her
I recently taught an elementary Sunday school class one of Jesus’s hard teachings. It’s the story in John 6 where Jesus tells the crowd that he is the Bread of Life. The bread that he gives for the life of the world is his flesh. Jesus told the people unless they ate his flesh and drank his blood, they would not live forever. I tried to take this nonliteral language and translate it into words first graders could understand. I’m not sure I succeeded.
I’ve struggled myself with one of Jesus’ teachings —Jesus loving me. It’s not a difficult teaching to hear, but it sure is a hard one to believe. Maybe it’s because I never heard “I love you” from my parents. And the times we did go to church, I don’t remember any pastor or Sunday school teacher saying, “Jesus loves you, Sally.”
But when this girl studied the Bible in her thirties, she fell in love with Jesus and believed he loved her and died for her. Still, when you’ve heard and lived the lies for so long, it’s a daily challenge to stop the faulty thinking.
I’d go for weeks thinking Jesus loved me and lived like it. Then I’d yell at my kids. Compare myself to other moms. Allow my emotions to rule.
I had to rehearse my “Jesus loves me” mantra daily. JESUS loves me. Jesus LOVES me. Jesus loves ME. I wrote scriptures on cards to remind myself what God says about me.
Each day I’d recite the verses, inserting my name. You can do the same:
Satisfy me in the morning with your unfailing love, that I may sing for joy and be glad all my days. From Psalm 90:14
I love because He first loved me. From 1 John 4:19
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet the LORD’s unfailing love for me will not be shaken nor His covenant of peace be removed. From Isaiah 54:10
Father, I pray that I will be rooted and established in love, and will have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. From Ephesians 3:17-19
How great is the love the Father has lavished on me, that I should be called a child of God! And that is what I am! From 1 John 3:1
Still today, when I scroll through social media, I sometimes catch myself reverting to the old beliefs, or in a casual conversation, a lie will spring up. Unhindered. Unnoticed. I default to the old thinking again: You’re not beautiful. You’re not loved. You’re not good enough.
But now I catch the lies sooner. I hold up the shield of faith and fend off the fiery arrows.
I stand vigilant in my shoes of peace and don’t budge until I flip those negative thoughts to truth.
I clasp the belt of truth and wield the sword, reciting God’s Word. I pull out the cards and remind myself (again) who God says I am. It’s a battle, but it’s one God has fought for me over the years. Slowly and steadily, the lies have wilted, and the truth has blossomed.
As this truth took root in me, I wanted my kids (and others) to grasp this truth too. Have we not prayed in our Moms in Prayer groups to sanctify our kids in the truth (John 17:17)?
Each week as I prayed, I longed for my kids and the other children at the school to grasp the height, width, depth and length of Christ’s love.
Now when I hear about those kids loving others, I know God has answered prayers:
- Who gives their stimulus check away to a needy person unless they first know God loves them?
- Who invites a recovering addict to Thanksgiving dinner unless one thinks this man needs to hear and experience the truth too.
- Who are these loving people?
These are Moms in Prayer kids who’ve had truth prayed over them for years.
Jesus loves me. Jesus loves you.
Lord, sanctify us, our children, and their children, and their children’s children with your truth.
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Sally Cressman has served in the Moms in Prayer ministry as an area coordinator, group leader, and now group member for over twenty years. Her publishing credits include LifeWay Kids Ministry publishing, Focus on the Family, and Guideposts. She and her husband enjoy the easy rhythm of the empty-nest life near Nashville, Tennessee. Her heart overflows with joy these days with the blessing of her oldest daughter’s engagement. She spends her free time blogging at www.sallycressman.com, vegetable gardening, and taking long walks with her husband or friends.