Jesus loves me, this I know...

Hindsight 2020

What appears to us at first useless or injurious, contributes in the end to our felicity. And often when we believe God ceases to act for us, it is then that He is forming plans which are hidden from us; and which in being developed, work our deliverance from this or that adversity; and procure us such blessings as we could not have dared to hope for.

–Christopher Christian Sturm, Sturm’s Reflections on the Works of God, 1834

I read this passage for the first time on January 11, 2014. I read it that day and it inspired hope; Lord, may this be true of the difficult season I am going through?

I’ve returned to re-read this same passage every January 11th since. Six years on, I say without a doubt: It’s true! Marvelously true! I recognize it more clearly every year, looking back. God is so good! And I am grateful!

Jesus loves me, this I know...

Four-Letter Words

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

In other words, love God and love others; everything else will fall into place.

You run into trouble when the everything else becomes more important than the love. You’re communicating the message, that to Jesus, the everything else is more important than the love. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth.  

You’re not winning anyone to Jesus talking about the everything else; you’re winning people to Jesus when you love.

Jesus loves me, this I know...

Systematic Theology

More than 35 years of following Jesus, undergraduate and graduate degrees in Bible and Theology, 21 years as a pastor … and the two most important truths I’ve ever learned are (1) Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so (thanks to Brother Book’s All American Christian Day School’s 4-year-old preschool program), and (2) God is bigger than the boogie-man (via VeggieTales). Pretty much everything else takes care of itself when you stand on these two truths.