Ephesians 3:19 - "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
I heard a magnificent story the other day of a minister from Oregon who was assigned to provide counseling to patients in a state mental illness facility. When he arrived for duty, he was sent to a padded cell with a large group of deranged, barely clothed people. The stench of human excrement filled the room. When he tried to talk with the patients, they responded with groans, moans and demonic-like laughter.
Then the Holy Spirit prompted him to sit in the middle of the room and sing the familiar children's song, Jesus Loves Me. For a full hour, he sang, "Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. For the Bible tells me so".
Nothing happened the first day, but he persisted. For weeks he would sit and sing the same melody, but with greater conviction each time. "Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! For the Bible tells me so!" Soon the patients began singing with him, one by one. By the first month, 36 of the severely ill patients were transferred from the high-dependency ward to a self-care ward. Within a year, all but two were discharged from the facility.
These simple words, "Jesus loves me, this I know", were first written as a poem, by Anna Bartlett Warner, an American writer born in 1827 in Long Island, NY. Thirty-five years later, composer William Batchelder Bradbury set the words to music and added the chorus, "Yes, Jesus loves me".
No matter what challenges, failures and misdeeds you or I might face, the love of Jesus remains constant. "Jesus loves me, this I know". My question to you is, do you know that Jesus loves you? Do you know how much He loves you? How can we know? The Bible tells us so. So simple, yet so powerful.
Ephesians 3:19 says "to know the love of Christ". Wow! The word used for "know" is the same word used in Genesis 4:1, where it says that Adam "knew" Eve and they produced a child. God wants us to know the love of Christ. Not to know about the love of Christ, but truly experience the intimacy of His love. When the people in the mental facility simply spoke the words, "Jesus loves me", they experienced a love that passes all understanding. You can't figure it out!
I challenge you, as often as you look in the mirror, say to yourself, "Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so". And enjoy the freedom, healing and restoration that comes from truly knowing the love of Christ that passes all knowledge!