This post was initially written around Christmas, 2012 but it is still relevant today! Hello everyone. I have a message for you from the Lord. As my husband and I were preparing for service in the nursing home that we visit, I asked the Lord what He would have me tell the residents. His answer was, “Tell them that I love them”. This post is based on Jesus’ message to the nursing home residents. We are blessed, however, because His message of love applies to us all.
“Jesus Loves You!”
Many of us learned a little song as children entitled “Jesus Loves Me”. According to Wikipedia, “Jesus Loves Me“ is a Christian hymn that was originally written as a poem in a novel by Anna Bartlett Warner in 1860. The poem was written to comfort a dying child. The tune and chorus were added in 1862 by William Batchelder Bradbury and has become one of the most popular Christian hymns in churches throughout the world.
These are some of the words to this song:
- 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.
We can rest assured that Jesus loves us unconditionally, just as the song says. He doesn’t like the sin that men commit, but He loves the sinner. We are approaching that time of year when many people are full of joy and excitement, which is the Christmas Season. Christmas is a very special time during which we exchange gifts and display love for our fellow-man. During this time Christmas cards are shared and hugs are plentiful. Jesus is the reason for the Season. It’s true that some people attempt to desecrate the holiday by “boozing it up” and doing things that have nothing to do with Christ. But we don’t worry about that because, in spite of what some people do, the Season is all about Jesus. Some people lie about a fat man that slides down a chimney, filling stockings and leaving toys. Other people forget the purpose of the Season and buy or charge themselves into so much debt that it will take them into next year to get out. But we don’t do those foolish things, because the Season is about Jesus. Still other people complain that because we don’t know exactly when Jesus was born they refuse to celebrate Christmas. We do choose to celebrate Christmas because we know that He was born.
Although many people may be happy during this time, there will be others who are overwhelmed with sadness. The older I get and the more friends and family members that I lose to death, the more I am able to understand the sadness that some may feel. On television we see large groups of family members and friends gather for fun and fellowship on Christmas day. Some people may lament that this is how everybody lives, except themselves. Of course, we know that this is not true. Other people may be sad because they do not have the same amount of money to spend at Christmastime that they once had. Retirement, the downturn in our economy and job losses have affected us all. Some people may even feel that they have no one to love them. For those who feel this way, please remember, Jesus loves you. If you still have life, you are blessed. Despite the fact that some may have good health and strength, a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs, they still complain. These material things are blessing from God and we should be thankful for what we have.
How do we know that Jesus loves us? The answer is in the song, “Jesus Loves Me”, because the Bible tells us so. The Bible lets us know that God is love and that He first loved us. He gave us His son Jesus to die for our sins. To quote the late, great, Apostle Lobias Murray, Founder of Full Gospel Holy Temple Churches, Inc., “If you believe it, say Amen!”
There are some people who do not believe or can not receive the truth of the love of Jesus because they think that they have done so much wrong in their lifetime that their sins are unforgivable. They are unable to forgive themselves and do not realize the breadth and depth of forgiveness that Jesus’ love has made available to us. Let’s look at the lives of a few really “bad” historical characters. Most of us will agree that they did a lot of wrong. These names are taken from The Top Ten Most Evil Men by J. Frater. www.listverse.com/2007/09/05/top-10-most-evil-men/ (accessed 11/29/2012). I’ve included five of the ten listed and tell you why they are considered to be the worst. You may remember some or all of them.
Idi Amin Dada – President of Uganda in 1972. He was responsible for the death of between 80,000 to 500,000 people.
King Leopold II of Belgium. – Died in 1909. He caused over 3 million Congolese to be murdered.
Pol Pot – Leader of the Khmer Rouge and the Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1976 to 1979. He caused 2 million Cambodians (approximately one third of the population) to die.
Adolf Hitler -Appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He brought death and destruction to tens of millions of people, including the genocide of some six million Jews in what is now known as the Holocaust.
Josef Stalin – General Secretary of the Communist Party. The total number of people murdered under Stalin’s reign, ranged from 10 to 60 million.
Yet, in spite of all of the evil that they did, if they had just called on the name of Jesus and repented of their sins, they could have been saved. Why do we know that ? Because of this Scripture:
John 3:16 (KJV)
16 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.
John 15:13 (KJV) declares:
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Can you think of anyone who might die for you? Not many of us can. But guess what; Jesus already did just that. When we were at our worse, Jesus died for us. Why? Because he loves us. There are some people that we might consider hard to love. They may fall into our “really, really hard to love” group like child rapists and mass murderers. Some of you may even think that you fall into this group, but look at this scripture:
Romans 5:6-8 (KJV)
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
No matter what you have done, you are not too tough for Jesus’s love to be extended to you.
There is one group of people who I would especially like to comfort and that is those who either had an abortion (female) or who contributed to the death of a child through abortion (husband, boyfriend, parent). This is a sin that takes severe emotional toll on the involved people. It is truly a hard-hearted person who can murder an innocent child, embryo or fetus and walk away unscathed. Sometimes the emotional toll shows up years later. There are even those who fear that they can not be forgiven by Jesus for this sin. But I’m here to declare unto you that even this sin can be forgiven through the love of Jesus. I was a graduate student at Texas Woman’s University a few years ago when a group of young nurses from Russia, who were touring the United States, came to our campus. We had an opportunity to exchange ideas with them (through an interpreter) about Nursing and our various roles. The question arose concerning the most frequently utilized method of birth control in Russia and the answer astounded us. It was abortion! This discussion was held years ago. Curious about how things had changed in that country, I checked the internet to determine what the most frequently used method of birth control is today and it is…abortion! In an article entitled “Abortion Remains Top Birth-Control Option In Russia” dated 6/28/08, the interviewee stated, “Despite an abundance of new family planning options, the lack of public awareness and prohibitive expenses — like $25 monthly packs of birth control pills — mean many women still see abortion as their only choice.” http://www.rferl.org/content/AbortionRemainsTopBirthControlOptionRussia/1145849.htm (accessed 11/29/2012). In spite of these astounding crimes against the ordinances of God, Jesus still loves those women. Whether the individual has committed one murder or one million, whether a person has committed one abortion or 50; Jesus is able to love them, save them and deliver them. He hates the sin but He loves the sinner. No matter what state you find yourself in today, call on the name of Jesus. Repent of your sins and allow His love to turn your life around. Jesus loves you!