"JESUS LOVES EVEN ME"
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him…" (Rev. 19.7)
INTRO.: A song which rejoices in and gives honor to Christ for the love that He has shown to us is "Jesus Loves Even Me" (#274 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune (Gladness) was composed both by Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876). It was produced in June of 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss were staying in the home of Major Daniel W. Whittle at Chicago, IL. Bliss said that the words were suggested to him by hearing the chorus of the hymn, "O how I love Jesus," repeated frequently in a meeting which he had attended. After he had sung it a number of times, the thought came to him that he had been singing enough about his poor love for Jesus and needed to sing more of Jesus’s great love for us. Under the impulse of this idea, he went home and came up with a new hymn.
The next morning, Mrs. Bliss came down to the breakfast table and said that her husband had set forth a new tune which she thought would live and be one of his most useful because she had been singing it all morning and could not get it out of her mind. She sang the notes to the Whittles. Later, Bliss told them that his idea was to bring out the truth that the peace and comfort of a Christian are not founded so much upon his love to Christ as upon Christ’s love to him. The song was first published in Bliss’s 1871 book The Charm for Sunday Schools. The copyright was renewed in 1902 by the John Church Co., indicating that the song was actually copyrighted in 1874. The text is sometimes ascribed to Emily Sullivan Oakley (1829-1933). It is so indicated in the 1962 Trinity Hymnal published by Great Commission Publications, although the 1990 Revised edition gives Bliss the sole credit for the song. Emily Oakley did produce some words for which Bliss provided music.
Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use among churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1938/1944 (New) Wonderful Songs edited by Thomas S. Cobb; the 1971 Songs of the Church (original edition only) edited by Alton H. Howard; and the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons. Today the hymn may be found in the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand, in addition to Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
The song talks about some of the results of Jesus’s love for us.
I. Stanza 1 tells us that Jesus’s love is revealed in the Bible
"I am so glad that our Father in heaven Tells of His love in the Book He has given.
Wonderful things in the Bible I see; This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me."
A. Christians can look upon God as "our Father in heaven": Matt. 6.9
B. This Father has given us a Book, the scriptures, in which He has told us everything we need to know about Him: 2 Tim. 3.16-17
C. In this Book, also called the Bible, we can see wondrous things about our God: Ps. 119.18
II. Stanza 2 says that Jesus’s love calls us back to Him
"Though I forget Him and wander away, Still He doth love me wherever I stray;
Back to His dear loving arms would I flee, When I remember that Jesus loves me."
A. The fact is that all responsible human beings have wandered away: Isa. 53.6
B. However, even when we have strayed, He still loves us and calls us to come to Him: Matt. 9.13
C. Therefore, He has made a way where by we can flee from sin and return to Him: 1 Pet. 2.24-25
III. Stanza 3 reminds us that Jesus’s love made possible our redemption
"Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him; Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem.
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree; O, I am certain that Jesus loves me."
A. Jesus loved us enough to give Himself as a sacrifice for us: Eph. 5.2
B. His purpose in doing this was to redeem our souls from sin: Eph. 1.7
C. Therefore, He was willing to die on the tree, suffering for sin, the just for the unjust: 1 Pet. 3.18
IV. Stanza 4 tells us that Jesus’s love enables us to have the Holy Spirit
"If one should ask of me, how can I tell? Glory to Jesus, I know very well!
God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree, Constantly witnessing Jesus loves me."
A. Sometimes people ask us a reason of the hope that is within us: 1 Pet. 3.15
B. Because He loves us, Jesus has made it possible for us to know whether we are saved by what has been written: 1 Jn. 5.13
C. As part of this process, the Holy Spirit bears witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God: Rom. 8.16
V. Stanza 5 says that Jesus’s love gives us sweetest rest
"In this assurance I find sweetest rest; Trusting in Jesus I know I am blessed;
Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee, When I just tell him that Jesus loves me."
A. When we come to Jesus and receive the benefits of His love, He gives us rest: Matt. 11.28-30
B. Then we are truly blessed because all spiritual blessings are found in Him: Eph. 1.3
C. With this assurance, we can resist the devil and he will flee from us: Jas. 4.7
VI. Stanza 6 reminds us that Jesus’s love will be the song of the righteous in heaven
"O there is only one song I can sing, When in His beauty I see the great King;
This shall my song in eternity be: ‘O what a wonder that Jesus loves me."
A. The righteous in their ultimate victory are pictured as singing a song in praise of the Lamb: Rev. 15.3
B. This victory will be achieved when we see our great King as He is: 1 Jn. 3.2
C. The song will be how Jesus so loved us that He was slain and redeemed us by His blood: Rev. 5.9
CONCL.: The chorus continues ot emphasize the importance of Jesus’s love for us.
"I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me,
I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves even me."
When think about the fact that I have sinned and am not worthy of salvation, yet Jesus was willing to leave heaven, come to earth, and die for my sins as a sacrifice so that I could have forgiveness, I must marvel at the fact that "Jesus Loves Even Me."