Jesus loves me

By: 
Arlin Sanford
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Courtesy photo
          
Pastor Arlin Sanford

Journeys in Faith

Over the past 40-plus years, our ministry has been filled with blessings and challenges. The challenges are often associated with a family tragedy, many times where death is involved. One such situation was when Lana and I, while living in a coastal town in Northern California, heard the news that one of our expecting couples was at the hospital awaiting the birth of their third child.

We arrived just in time to be informed of a report one never wants to hear.

“The baby is dead,” was the father’s statement.

This was voiced through grieving tears of, not only, a hurting heart but perplexity and anger. In his justified frustration, his inclination was to run; to avoid dealing with the anguish accompanying the situation. We knew he would later regret such a decision, so we strongly urged him to sit down and talk. By the grace of God, this deep-sea fisherman was calmed in his spirit to the point where he was willing to respond to our counsel.

As difficult as it was to give this counsel, we encouraged him to bond with his baby. To name him, hold him and talk to him. Tears came as we watched this dad walk the hospital halls carrying this little baby Jimmy in his arms talking to him through tears of suffering. As I viewed this predicament, I was stricken by the thought of facing the task of eulogizing this precious little life that God had chosen to reclaim for His own.

In His faithfulness, He brought to mind one of the most fundamentally sound songs we sing. “Jesus loves me.” A message of comfort, encouragement, and proclamation.

This was the simple message.

“JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW”

Love! Poets and songwriters have tried to capture its essence for ages but God speaks of it the best.

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of Go...The love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so we might live through Him. In Him is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for or sins.”

These verses from I John 3, 4 display that His divine unconditional love is about sacrificial giving, even to those who do not love Him back.

“FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO”

“All Scripture is inspired (God breathed) by God and profitable for teaching and reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”- II Timothy 3:16. We are confident the Bible is without err and contradiction and is to be the ‘sole authority’ for our lives. When He states He loves us, we can be assured it is absolutely true.

“LITTLE ONES TO HIM BELONG”

Jesus was in a setting where He was being pressed upon on by children. While the disciples were discouraging the children from converging on Him, Jesus said, “...do not hinder the children from coming to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:13,14.

King David found himself in a similar situation, as mentioned above, in II Samuel 12:1-23. Because of David’s sin with Bathsheba, their child died. But David stated his assurance that he would see the child again (verse 23).

“THEY ARE WEAK BUT HE IS STRONG”

Every day we are given is a blessing from the Lord. There are so many ways these human shells can suffer physically and emotionally. Sickness and death plagues each one of us; we never know when the next affliction might hit. Hebrew 9:27. “...it is appointed for all to die...then comes the judgement.”

We are also weak spiritually without the fullness of God in our life. It is only through the strength of God’s saving grace, the Son’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, and the indwelling of God’s Spirit that we can become strong in faith and can face God’s judgement.

“Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes, Jesus loves me; The Bible tells me so.”

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