Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bethany Bullet - February 10, 2015

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.

Now I know most of you know those words by heart and perhaps have sung them most of your life.  I have too.  But it has been a long time since I have really looked at this text and friends; let me tell you, these are powerful words and words that work well with sanctity of human life Sunday. 

Anna Warner used a passage from her sister Susan’s novel back in 1860 that became one of the most famous Christian songs in the world. William Bradbury added the tune and the chorus soon afterward.

But if you are like me, you can sing the song and almost not think of the words.  But the text is profound and insightful. 

It begins with an assertion of faith, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

It is the foundation of belief, it is what we stand upon each and every day and the proof is found in Scripture, “For the Bible tells me so.” It is in the Word where this sure and certain hope is found.

The love of Jesus extends to all, “Little ones to Him belong.”  All of us, young and old, belong to Jesus, were bought at a price when Jesus took our sins to the cross and destroyed them in the open tomb. 

“They are weak, but He is strong.”  We are all weak.  The sinful flesh drags us down and makes us incapable of freeing ourselves from the grip of sin.  But the strong arms of Jesus are strong enough. 

To me this shows just how much Jesus cares for us.  Even in our weakened condition, all human life is precious in the sight of God and He is strong enough to bring us into His glorious presence where we belong where we can boldly sing, “Yes, Jesus loves Me!”

We are all little ones in the sight of God, but that does not mean we are insignificant.  All human life is precious to God, because life is sacred.  It was God who gave breath to life back in the garden and it is by His Spirit that life is sustained.

·         The sanctity of Human life is not just a slogan, it’s a doctrine. 
·         It’s not just an assertion, it is a confession.
·         It is not something that we should just reflect upon annually, but act upon daily. 

Life is intrinsically sacred.  It is God’s creation, God’s gift, God’s doing.

No one can claim that God loves them more than others!

·         God doesn’t love Lutherans more than Baptists.
·         He doesn’t love Americans more than Iraqis. 
·         God does not like conservatives more than liberals, or vice versa; girls more than boys, or vice versa.
·         He doesn’t like those in the pulpit more than those in the pews, Patriots more than Seahawks or Angels more than Dodgers.

I don’t understand it; I just know that it is true. 

Like the song says, “Jesus loves me, this I know”.

Sanctity belongs to human life by nature, for we have been created in the image of God.  Of course that image was shattered in the garden, and it is daily concealed and harmed by our own sinful action and choice, including that of denying the sacredness of life of that of profaning it by seeking to promote our own through greed or lust or lies. 

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” 

You heard the inspired words of Scripture proclaimed to you already this morning.  The Bible is clear that God loves you.  Listen to the words from 1 John chapter 4, “This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

And the sweet words of Jesus himself from John 3:16, “God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

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

God gave His Son to bring life and new life to all of us little ones.  He came to restore our broken image.  Through Jesus’ perfect life and His innocent suffering and death we have been sanctified and declared holy in His sight.  Jesus lost His life on the cross so that we might be born again, given the life of faith and to have eternal life.

Jesus not only proclaimed the sanctity of life, He granted dignity to the living.  Jesus cared for the little ones, the lowly, the less fortunate, the lepers and the lost.  He still cares for all his children including the most shunned and forsaken, like those who are on deaths door or those who have decided to keep the baby and not terminate a pregnancy.  He cares for all the little ones growing in the womb and even those who are feeling the grief and guilt of abortion. 

And Jesus loves and cares for you, no matter what you are going through. 

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Jesus restored our dignity, declaring us—who were God’s enemies—to be His friends.

Life is intrinsically sacred but it is intentionally dignified.  The sanctity of human life is intrinsically possessed, it is God’s creation and His gift, but the dignity of life is intentionally afforded by human action. 

Think of Jesus and who He spent time with, an outcast Samaritan woman at the well, a band of lepers, the ill, the infirm, the blind, the deaf, the outcasts and dregs of society, and Jesus touched them, and dignified their life on this side of heaven and resolutely went to the cross to sanctify their life and guarantee eternity with him. 

It was a bitterly cold evening in Northern Virginia many years ago. The old man's beard was glazed by winter's frost as he waited for a ride across the river. He heard a brigade of men on horses coming around the bend. He let the first one pass him without any effort to get his attention.

Then another passed by, and another. Finally, the last rider neared and the old man caught the rider's eye and said, "Sir, would you mind giving an old man a ride to the other side?" The rider said, "Sure, thing. Hop aboard." Seeing the old man unable to lift his half frozen body onto the horse, the horseman dismounted and helped the old man onto the horse.

The horseman not only took the old man across the river but to his destination which was just a few miles away. As they neared the man's home the horseman was curious and he asked, "Sir, I noticed that you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to get a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I'm curious why on such a bitterly cold night that you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you there?"

The old man replied, "I've been around these parts for some time. I reckon I know people pretty good. I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were there. I knew that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to help me in my time of need."

Those heartwarming comments touched the horseman. "I'm most grateful for what you have said," he told the old man. "May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion." With that, Thomas Jefferson turned his horse around and made his way back to the White House.

Jesus cares for life at all stages, we are called to do the same; to see it protected in the womb and see it defended and supported in the world.  The body of Christ is called to stand up for the little ones, the ones who have no voice, and to stand up with those who do.  We are called to bring dignity to all.  This is God at Work.  You can't pretend you care. Others will know.

As we affirm the sanctity of life we dare not abort our calling by neglecting human needs and failing to grant dignity to the living.  Through our love many may come to know God’s love and join with us in singing:
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.

-Pastor Seth Moorman


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