Jesus Loves Me

I wonder if you can imagine it.  You go out to dinner one night with your best friend.  It is a time to share stories and enjoy being away from the kids for just a few hours.  When you leave the restaurant, it is already dark outside.  As you walk together to the car in the dark, she says something totally hilarious, and you grab her arm and tilt your head back in a loud burst of laughter.  Then, out of the darkness appears a man with a gun.  He asks for your money and your rings.  He is screaming at both of you and waving his gun around erratically.  You plead with the gunman to take whatever you have but to please not take your wedding rings.  This just makes him even angrier and his behavior becomes more erratic.  As you both tearfully try to get your wedding rings off of your fingers, the gunman yells one final time, and you hear the discharge of the gun.  As if in slow motion, you see your friend step in between the gunman and you.  She falls to the ground as the gunman runs away.  He makes a clean getaway, but your friend does not make it.
Looking back on that night, you might have lots of doubts and questions.  You might question where you chose to park or where you went to eat.  You might question why you said anything about those rings.  Your wedding ring is special to you, but it was not worth your friend’s life.  You might question lots of things, but you would never, ever question your friend’s love for you.  She loved you enough to give her life so that you could live.
John 15:13 (ESV) says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  If someone laid down their life for you, wouldn’t you know without a doubt that they really, truly loved you?
This is what Jesus has done for us.  He laid down His life out of His love for us.  Romans 5:8 (ESV) says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  I wonder if you know that today.  I wonder if you believe that today.
 

 
I almost wish we would sing the children’s song Jesus Loves Me once a month in our corporate church worship service.  It is such a simple song, and it is so cut and dry.  Jesus loves me.  Do you really know that today?  Do you really believe that today?
I think a lot of people, including myself at times, wonder about the extent of God’s love for them.  How can God love me when I have committed this horrible sin?  If people at church knew what I did behind closed doors, they not like me anymore.  So how could a righteous God love me if my friends at church wouldn’t even accept me?  He is so holy, and I am so not.
There are a million reasons why God could not love us and why he should not love us.  We are but a vapor (James 4:14).  We are unholy.  We are sinners, and He is not.  We are greedy, lazy, selfish, and want what we can’t have.
Despite all of the facts and all of the ways in which we come up short, Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.  I would like to take it a step further.  Jesus loves me this I know for the cross tells me so.  No greater love than this has ever occurred than Christ laying His life down for us.  
 
Jesus endured the cross, because He loves us. He endured the shame.  He endured the pain and the mocking, but He didn’t back down.  Can I please encourage you today?  No matter what is happening in your life today, God wants to have a relationship with you.  He wants to talk to you.  The reason is because He loves you.  He loved you so much He laid down His life for you.  There is no greater love than this.

Jesus loves me! This I know, 
For the Bible tell me so; 
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
Refrain: 
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Life and love to all who live.
Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for thee.
Anna B Warner

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