Jesus Loves Me This I Know

2019-09-15 – Year C – Proper 19 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

Exodus 32:1, 7-14; Psalm 51:1-17; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10

  • Welcome to Preschool Families – Thank you for the honor of trusting us with your children this year!
  • A Word about “Jesus Loves Me”
    • We sing this song at the close of chapel each week.
    • If they don’t learn anything else in chapel this year, I want your children to know how much Jesus loves them!

Jesus Loves Me This I Know

  • “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
    • While the Bible has all kinds of things written in it, it is primarily the story of God’s love for us and his plan to rescue us.
    • “When asked in 1962…how he would summarize the essence of the millions of words he had published, [Karl Barth] replied, ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’” Link
    • What does the Bible have to say about God’s love today?
  • Luke 15:4-10 – Two stories, one about a lost sheep and one about a lost coin. The conclusion of both of these stories is that the seeker of the lost item gathers his or her friends and rejoices. Luke 15:6.
    • Jesus then says it is the same in heaven when one sinner repents. Luke 15:7.
  • Sometimes when the shepherd comes looking for us, we run further away to hide. Why?
    • We might be scared that he will be angry when he finds us, or embarrassed to face him knowing what it is that we have done.
    • When you run a red light or a stop sign (accidentally of course) what is the first thing you do? You look around trying to see if there is a police car!
    • We act sometimes like God’s big goal is to wait for us to mess up so he can punish us. This couldn’t be further from the truth. He wants to rescue us, and he rejoices when we are found!

Jesus Loves Me, He Who Died

  • Jesus’ love isn’t limited to “good” people who do the right things. Jesus said that “No one is good but God alone” (Luke 18:19).
    • 1 Timothy 1:13–15 – written by Saint Paul and when he says he was the foremost of sinners, he means it. He used to hunt down Christians to put them to death!
    • Yet, God forgave him and used him mightily.
  • Another example of this is King David. He was one of the best kings ever in the history of Israel, but he wasn’t perfect, far from it. One time he committed adultery and then covered it up with murder! – Psalm 51:1-3
  • When we mess up in our lives, when we run away from God, he wants us to come home. It doesn’t cost us anything, but there is a price to pay. God’s love is costly.
    • Scholarshipped YMCA Membership while in seminary
    • The shepherd left 99 sheep behind to seek out the one.
    • “Jesus loves me he who died, heaven’s gate to open wide. He will wash away my sin, let his little child come in.”
    • Jesus gave up his life on the cross so that we could be forgiven and restored.
  • When we ask God to come into our lives and forgive us, he is always faithful to do so.
    • Psalm 51:10-13

I will Henceforth Live for Thee

  • So, once God has forgiven us, what next?
  • “Thou has bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for thee.”
  • Our response to God is to live for him. We can’t earn God’s favor by “being a good person,” but good works are our proper response to God’s free gift. Another way to think of this is that good works are the fruit of a life that has been rescued by God.
    • There is more good news. God sends his Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, strengthening us to be the holy people that we can’t be on our own strength.
  • 1 Timothy 1:17 – Jesus is “King of the Ages”
    • When we put our faith in him, we accept his Lordship over our lives and we seek to follow his commandments and walk in his ways.
  • This is our intention, but it doesn’t always work out that way. We don’t become perfectly holy overnight! In fact, none of us will be perfectly holy until Jesus returns and sets things right.
  • And yet, Jesus will continue to stay with us.
    • “Jesus loves me he will stay, close beside me all the way.”
    • He will continue to search for us when we stray off the path. He will continue to forgive us. He will continue to rescue us and bring us back home.
  • Have you been found by the Good Shepherd? Do you need to be found again? If God is tugging on your heart this morning, I invite you to join me in saying the following prayer to put your life in his hands.
  • Prayer of Repentance and Faith: “Lord Jesus Christ, I confess my faults, shortcomings, sins, and rebellious acts, and ask you to forgive me. I embrace you, Lord Jesus, as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for your atoning death on the cross in obedience to your Father’s will to put away my sins. I enthrone you, Lord Jesus, to be in charge of every part of my life, and I ask you to indwell and empower me with your Holy Spirit, so that I may live as your faithful follower from now on. Amen” (ACNA Catechism).
  • If you prayed this prayer with me, either to accept God’s grace for the first time or to recommit your life to God, please let me know by using one of our “Welcome” Cards and I will follow up with you.

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