May, 2017 – Jesus Loves Me This I Know

May, 2017 – Jesus Loves Me This I Know

I always loved going home for the breaks during my college years. It was HOME! With all its familiarity, I could have navigated through our old New England colonial blindfolded. Nothing ever changed. Everything was right where it supposed to be. The butter and condiments were in the same cupboard. The towels right where they should be in the hall closet. The dog’s dish to the left of the kitchen stove. And my left over high school memoirs still right in the draw where they were first placed. Everything was the same. I loved it!

Only one thing had changed. Me. My small Christian college required that every student have a Bible/Theology major, as well as their chosen major. Mine was music. I learned so much. My horizons were broadened beyond what I could ever have imagined. I learned more about musicians that I really cared to know. I practiced diligently on my major the four required hours a day, and eventually got to perform with some outstanding musicians. I felt like I had arrived!

I also had a whole new world opened up to me in my theology studies. Ideas and thoughts I had never known existed. I had never read these theological concepts in the Bible – if they were even there. And, I had never read any of the great theologians – fairly typical for an eighteen year old, I suppose. We studied Calvinism vs. Arminianism, Duotheism, Henotheism, Monotheism, Polytheism, Deism – and more! My head was bursting with all these new thoughts. Where did they even come from? And although I still knew that Jesus was the Way, the Truth and the Life, my thinking took on a whole new sophistication. It became an intellectual belief. It seemed to no longer be a caring heart-belief.

Well, I was back home in Maine on one of my school breaks and it just happened that one Wednesday evening sitting in prayer meeting with my parents, the pastor asked if anyone would like to stand and recite their favorite Bible verse. My pulse went up as my head was spinning thinking of just what verse I would stand up and show off my new found Biblical sophistication to those whom I had left in my theological dust – when all of a sudden I was aware of my dad’s voice reciting: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (That was in the days when we only had the KJV.) I could hardly believe it. Daddy was quoting the first verse that a young child learns. I cringed in my pew thinking, ‘don’t you know that there are so many more lofty verses than John 3.16? What are you thinking? You are reciting a child’s verse?!’ I couldn’t believe him . . . !

I continued on in my intellectual belief of the Trinity, and all things, central to the Word for several more years never realizing that it was personal. That Jesus loved not only the whole world, but He loved me – personally – as if I were the only one who had ever lived on the face of this earth. I realized that He wanted me as His own. Wanted me so much that He came to me in the middle of the night at the age of twenty-eight to show Himself as my personal Savior, Deliverer, Problem-Solver, Comforter, Counselor, and so much more. I began to ‘fall in love with Jesus’! He became the center of my life. Romans 11.36 took on a whole new meaning for me – “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things . . .” Daddy was right. After all, without John 3.16, there would be no hope for us. It is the heart-center of the Bible.

In preparation of writing this article, I decided to see what some others thought about ‘Jesus’. Not so much about ‘God’. Everyone seems to believe in a ‘god’. But about the second person of the Trinity. I decided to see what some great and well known people through the ages have thought about ‘Jesus’. And, I decided to start with a theologian!

Karl Barth, often regarded as the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century was asked shortly before he died if he could summarize his life’s work in theology in a sentence. His reply was simply, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so”.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D, Director of the Human Genome Project – “For me, that leap came in my 27th year, after a search to learn more about God’s character led me to the Person of Jesus Christ. Here was a person with remarkably strong historical evidence of His life, Who made astounding statements about loving your neighbor, and Whose claims about being God’s Son seemed to demand a decision about whether He was deluded of the real thing. After resisting for nearly two years, I found it impossible to go on living in such a state of uncertainty, and I became a follower of Jesus.” – 2007

Jerome Hines, Opera Singer – “Jesus is the solution to all our problems.” – 1997

Cameron Dollar, Basketball Athlete – “I have no fear of losing or of failure because Jesus Christ has already won the greatest victory for me on the cross.” – 1995

Mickey Mantle, Baseball Athlete – “I’ll just say (and he quoted John 3.16)” – 1995

Derek Draper, Businessman – “The core of my Christianity is a belief in the wisdom of Jesus’ words as told in the Gospels.” – 2001

George V. Voinovich, Governor of Ohio – “Without my personal acceptance of Jesus Christ, I could not keep going.” – 1994

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States – “. . . I am enabled to preach the practical moralities of The Bible to my fellow-countrymen and to hold up Christ as the hope and Savior of the world.”

Ernest Renan, French Historian – “All history is incomprehensible without Christ.” – 1863

Eugenia Price, Writer – “For much of my young life, I searched intellectually for what I felt secure in calling my concept of God . . . I saw that my way of searching had been all wrong. I was making it all complex when God had two thousand years ago, already made Himself plain in the person of Jesus Christ . . .” – 1990

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” I John 4.15