Jesus loves me…Do the children know?

"Jesus loves me", as "written" in a tall carpet of pink flowers

All over this earth, God has written "Jesus loves me" in a language the children can understand.

I John 4:19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.”  Today on lemonlimekids.com, I read the post entitled “i love jesus > jesus loves me.”  Inspired by a young child’s expression of love for Jesus, the author entered a train of wondering thoughts about the way (and order in which) we approach teaching the children that “Jesus loves me.”  In conclusion, the author posed this question: “what do you think? is i love jesus {greater than} jesus loves me?”  As my original response in the comments was growing beyond reasonable, I decided to write this post. 🙂

God is love.

First of all, God is love.  His love in us gives us love for one another and for Him.  Having learned for ourselves the awesome fact that “Jesus loves me,” we long to share that with the children.

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” (I Chronicles 29:14)

God’s love draws us to Him.  God’s love draws the children to Him.  God has written “Jesus loves me” in a language every child can read.  He has written “Jesus loves me” with the warm summer sun and the sparkling winter snow.  He has written it with a kitten’s purr and a puppy’s wagging tail.  He has written it with fluttering butterfly-rainbows and sweet-smelling flower-carpets.

“Jesus loves me” is written by God’s creative hand all over this earth.  The children only need an eye — that is, a heart — to see it.

That is where we come in.

“Jesus loves me” shines in the lives of teachers

While admittedly, only the Holy Spirit has power to change hearts, God has seen fit to give us a part in children’s ministry.

“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament.” (2 Corinthians 3:1-6)

God has written “Jesus loves me” with our own changed lives.

Vacation Bible School* may very well be a child’s first point of (realized) contact with the love of God.  You may very well be the one He uses to sing that precious truth to a child’s heart: “Jesus loves me.”

Taking it deeper…

But it does not stop there.  Next we have the awesome privilege and responsibility of introducing the children to Jesus Himself.

“Jesus loves me” gains awesome depth as God leads His people, the Israelites, through the desert to freedom, spares the lives of a whole ship-full of men for the sake of just one of His servants — Paul, or takes His beloved children gently into His very own lap to bless them.

“Jesus loves me” is seen in all that He is and does.  Our part is to expand the illustration to help the children know that “this same Jesus,” “the same yesterday, and today, and for ever,” lives today.  (Acts 1:11; Hebrews 13:8)  Christ’s love is just as powerful as it ever has been, and its message, “Jesus loves me” does, in fact, extend to each and every child personally.

Planting precious seed

We plant “Jesus loves me” seed every time we teach the children a memory verse such as “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

We plant “Jesus loves me” seed whenever we sing a song with them — how about “Jesus Loves Me“?

We plant “Jesus loves me” seed when we tell them again the wonderful Gospel story in its many forms.

We plant “Jesus loves me” seed when we encourage the children to dig deeper and see how the story fits into their own lives.

We plant “Jesus loves me” seed as we allow Him to live through us.

And God gives the increase.

As the child opens his heart to God’s awesome love, the child’s heart pours out in return.  “Jesus loves me” becomes “I love Jesus,” too… and the cycle continues on!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights….” (James 1:17)

“Jesus loves me” is greater than “I love Jesus.”

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*I have chosen to focus on Vacation Bible School since this is Hasten Home’s focus: restoring Virtue & Excellence in Vacation Bible School.  You, of course, could apply these principles to whatever branch of children’s ministry God calls you to — even parenting. 🙂

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Now it’s your turn: Think of your earliest memories of recognizing that Jesus loves you, personally.  What was it that drew you to Him?  Leave us a comment — we would love to hear!


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