“NO ONE EVER CARED FOR ME LIKE JESUS”
“I will mention the lovingkindness of the Lord…according to all that the Lord hath bestowed…” (Isa. 63:7)
INTRO.: A song which focuses our attention on the lovingkindness of our Lord and all that He has bestowed on us is “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus” (#562 in Hymns for Worship Revised, #141 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune (Weigle) was composed both by Charles Frederick Weigle, who was born on November 20, 1871, at Lafayette, IN, the son of a God-fearing immigrant German baker and his wife. There was a total of twelve children, five boys and seven girls. Young Charles was sent to a Lutheran parochial school. The Weigles attended church, but Charles became rebellious as a young boy and after getting into trouble with the law was converted when age twelve at the Methodist Church where his parents attended. When he was still a lad in high school, the family moved to Florence, KY, where at age seventeen he went to work at the Dueber Watchcase Factory. His keen interest in music led him to attend the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he received training that later helped him in his ministry. Then he went on to a career as an itinerant crusade evangelist in the Methodist Church.
Not only was Weigle an inspiring preacher, but also he was a gifted songwriter. This particular song was the product of one of the darkest periods of his life. Quite frequently believers find new joys in their times of sorrow and despair because they discover a greater closeness with the Lord during those experiences. For example, such was the case with the blind songwriter Fanny J. Crosby. She once said, “If I had not lost my sight, I could never have written all the hymns God gave me.” One day Weigle returned home from an evangelistic crusade to find a note left by his wife of many years. It said that she was leaving him and taking their only son with her because she had had enough of being an evangelist’s wife. She wrote, “I’m leaving Charlie. I want to go the other way—to the bright lights.” Over the next several years, he became so despondent that there were even times when he contemplated suicide because of the terrible feeling that no one really cared for him any longer. However, his spiritual faith was gradually restored, and he soon became active again in his preaching work.
Having authored several hymns before this time, Weigle felt compelled in 1932 to create a gospel song that would contain a summary of his past tragic experience. It was originally copyrighted by the Hall-Mack Co. of Philadelphia, PA, which merged with the Rodeheaver Co. It was later owned by Singspiration and now belongs to Brentwood-Benson Music. Having renewed his commitment to the Lord, Weigle went to produce some 400 more songs, nearly 1,000 in all, and during his life edited several hymnbooks, including Songs of Peace, Purity and Power No. 2 (1903), Great Tabernacle Hymns (circa 1916), Songs of the True Life (circa 1935), and Songs About Jesus (1940). However, the choice words of “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus,” which came from a heart that had been broken, are probably his best known and have been a comfort to many. In 1963, at the age of 92, Weigle told his story to an Atlanta, GA, radio station, which was also published in a book to raise funds for the Tennessee Temple Schools in Chattanooga, TN. Spending the last fifteen years of his life on the campus of the Tennessee Temple Schools, he continued his work of preaching and songwriting until his death at Chattanooga, on December 3, 1966.
Among hymn books published by members of the Lord’s church for use in churches of Christ, “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus” has appeared in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; and the 2009 Favorite Songs of the Church and the 2010 Songs for Worship and Praise both edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.; in addition to Hymns for Worship and Sacred Selections.
The song points out that we can always look to Jesus as our Friend and Guide.
I. In stanza 1 we are told that Jesus can change our lives completely
I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus,
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true.
I would tell you how He changed my life completely;
He did something no other friend could do.
- All Christians should tell others about Jesus: Mk. 5:19
- The reason is that we have found Him to be a friend: Jn. 15:15
- He can change our lives because He is able to do something that no other friend can do, and that is never to forsake us: Ps. 37:25
II. In stanza 2 we are told that Jesus can lead us in the way that we ought to go
All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me;
All my heart was full of misery and woe.
Jesus placed His strong arms about me,
And He led me in the way I ought to go.
- The reason why we need a leader is that our lives are full of sin: Rom. 3:23
- As a result of sin, our hearts are often full of misery and woe: Job 14:1
- The leadership of Jesus to help us with these things is pictured as placing His strong arms about us: Deut. 33:27
III. In stanza 3 we are told that Jesus can save us eternally
Every day He comes to me with new assurance;
More and more I understand His word of love.
But I’ll never know just why He came to save me,
Till someday I see His blessed face above.
- To those who truly believe in Him, Jesus offers assurance of eternal life: 1 Jn. 5:11-13
- We understand that His reason for doing this is His great love: Eph. 3:16-19
- The result is that someday we shall see His blessed face: 1 Jn. 3:1-2
CONCL.: The chorus emphasizes the fact that Jesus does all this for us because He cares for us
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There’s no other friend so kind as He.
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me;
O how much He cared for me.
When I was a teenager and the congregation where we attended changed from Christian Hymns No. 2 to Sacred Selections, a dear, elderly sister asked me to lead this song. I asked her how she knew it, and she replied that she had never even heard it before but saw it in the new hymnbooks, read over the words, and thought that they had a comforting message. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to catch on, and my experience through the years is that it has been seldom used. Yet, it reminds me that with God’s help, I can rise above the problems and hurts that I may experience in life, knowing that “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.”