By LAURA LEE LEATHERS
Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.
(Words by Anna B. Warner, 1820-1915;
music by William B. Bradbury,
1816-1868. Public domain.)
Sometimes I wonder how many times I have done something without thinking about it. For example, how many times have I sung “Jesus Loves Me”? Let me try to calculate: almost every night before my four children went to bed, singing in the vehicle while we traveled country roads, Vacation Bible School, Bible camps, mission trips, and now for my grandchildren.
There is no way I can compute the total. But I know it is several thousand times, and I’m still singing the song.
Hymns of love
I also enjoy singing hymns about God’s love for me. Open a hymn book, go to the topical index, and look for the word “love.” You will find more than a hundred. Great hymn writers have written beautiful theologically sound prose, based upon scripture, about the amazing love of God.
Here are a couple of examples (public domain):
• “What Wondrous Love is This”by Rev. George Matheson
• “I am His, and He is Mine” by George Wade Robinson
• “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” by Rev. George Matheson
And then there are hymns about our love for God. For example, “More Love to Thee, O Christ” by Elizabeth Prentiss. This hymn is known as a prayer song. “More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee! Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee; This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee.” Should this not be our daily prayer? I’m putting it on my hymn-to-memorize list this year. What about you?
Focus on His love
Last year one of my goals was to read a different devotional book each month, such as “31 Days Toward Passionate Faith” by Joni Eareckson Tada, “31 Proverbs to Light Your Path” by Liz Curtis Higgs, and several by Ruth Myers.
This year, for February I’ve pulled “31 Days of Drawing Near to God: Resting Securely in His Delight,” by Ruth Myers, to reread. (Consider purchasing a copy.) I don’t think I’ve ever read a complete book, based on scripture, about the love of God.
As Ms. Myers unfolds her story, she shares how “God began to deepen my appreciation for His love through ‘The Love of God,’ a song made famous by George Beverly Shea. This song describes God’s love as ‘greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell.’ If the skies were a scroll and the oceans filled with ink, the song says, and if every stalk on earth were a writing quill, we still could never write in full this love God has for us. The skies could not contain it. The oceans of ink would run dry.”
As I made my way through the devotional, I gained a new comprehension of how much God loves me. Scriptures describing His amazing love overwhelmed my heart. Gratitude flooded my soul. He knows. He understands. He cares. He is compassionate. No person on this earth loves me more than God. And the same is true for you.
No greater love
If I want to know about Jesus’ love for me, I must first go to the Word. The New Testament references three types of love:
• Eros – intimate love (1 Corinthians 7:5; Hebrews 13:4).
• Philio – brotherly love, friendship, a warm affection (John 11:3, 36; John 20:2).
• Agape – the sacrificial, unconditional love of God.
One familiar verse that speaks of “agape” is John 3:16 –
For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life. (NKJV)
He stretched out His arms on the cross, paying the penalty of sin so everyone might have eternal life. There is no greater love!
No matter our age, season of life or circumstances, we must remember, “Jesus loves me.” Not because of anything you or I have done, but because of God’s redemptive love plan. And because of His great love for you and me, He gives us a choice to have His love written on our hearts.
Can you sing with me, “Jesus loves me, this I know”?
Laura Lee Leathers loves to touch lives and encourage others through words and biblical hospitali-tea. She is an award-winning freelance writer, encouragement coach and speaker, and a contributing writer for several newspapers, magazines and online publications. Connect with her at LauraLeeLeathers.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or join her Facebook group, “Teacups, Mugs, and Friends.”