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Psalm23

Alfrescian
Loyal
Who Goes To Heaven? Do Only Good People Go To Heaven?


Many believe that they’ve done enough good to go to heaven, but who goes to heaven? Do only good people go to heaven?

Who is Good?
If you ask a person on the street if they’re a good person, almost every one of them will tell you, “Yeah, I’m a pretty good person,” and then they’ll give you what is supposed to be evidence of that, by telling you about a few circumstances where they helped someone out or did some good things, but what does the Bible say about the goodness of man?

Are there any people that we can say are really “good?” Does doing good things for others count for anything? Can it help us in our relationship with God? Yes and no, but that will be made clear later. A friend of mine was with me when we ask a man on the street if he thought he was a good person and good enough to go to heaven.

He didn’t think he was a good person but said, “I’m great person! The ladies love me,” so that’s when I thought, this man doesn’t understand that none of us are good. We might do some good things, but so can a thief or bank robber.

I doubt very seriously the good things he did in his life will help him in front of a judge. Neither will the excuse, “Well, I was deprived as a youth, my mother didn’t really love me,” or, “It’s the way I was raised, so it’s my parents fault” work on judgment day.

None are Good

If you think that there are good people out there, by our human standards, yes, there are many, but it’s the biblical view we want, and we are asking, “Do good people go to heaven?” and that critical question deserves an answer.

The Apostle Paul quotes the psalmist in writing, “as it is written: None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10). I think Paul and the Psalmist both say, “no, not one” because the guy we met on the street thought he was the one exception, but there are no exceptions. We all fall infinitely, and I would say, impossibly short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23).

That’s too far a bridge for us to gap by ourselves. We need the cross of Christ, so works not done for Christ won’t help you at all. In fact, many will claim good works as evidence of their faith, as in the case of Matthew 7:21-23 where many (not a few) will say, “Lord, Lord,” but these same many will be turned away forever.

It is only when a person’s been regenerated by the Spirit of God into a new creation (2nd Cor 5:17) that they can do any good works for Christ, but not to be seen by others, but as unto Christ Himself (Matt 25:40).

The dangers of not doing anything for someone who claims to be a believer are clear that those who do nothing for Christ will end up separated from God forever when Jesus tells them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt 25:45-46), so “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).

Comparing Ourselves

We like to compare ourselves with others, don’t we? I know I have, and others have done the same thing with me, my children, and other people I know, but are people the right standard before God?

I’m certainly not a standard for someone to live up to. Its Christ Who is the supreme example for our lives. We must imitate Him, and not others. You can pick up on godly attributes of others, but it’s Christ that is the gold standard for what God desires in us.

The Apostle Paul says that should not “dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding” (2nd Cor 10:12).

It’s fine to live up to what others do but to use others to compare ourselves as to whether we’re a good person or not is flawed to begin with. The excuse I hear is, “Well, at least I’m not as bad as Joe Smith down the street who did such and such…but Joe is not our standard….we need the very righteousness of God. We might not have done as much bad as Joe, and compared to him, we might look like saints, but Joe is not the standard.

The Importance of Works

James would tell you that works have a lot to do with our faith, and in particular, whether it’s real faith or it’s an imagined faith.

We don’t want to be deceived about this, and we know the hearts susceptible to this (Jer 17:9), so this is why James thought it important to write, “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:15-17).

That’s as if we see someone in need and we can help, but we only say, “I’m so sorry, I will pray for you,” and then do nothing. That person’s deceived and their faith is dead. What’s worse, their dead faith won’t help them on the Day of Judgment.

Jesus was once asked by someone how they might do the works of God, and Jesus told them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29). That’s the only work you can really do to be saved, and it’s essentially putting your trust in Christ after having repented.

Conclusion

No one is good outside of Christ. Our works are nothing more than filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6), but that doesn’t mean we don’t do any works at all.

That would contradict Scripture. Someday, “the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matt 25:34-36).

What’s the difference in these works and the works we do on our own? Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt 25:40). When we do things for others but do them for Christ and not to be seen by others, He will reward us with the sweetest words we’ll ever hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt 25:21).

This is infinitely greater than hearing, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me” (Matt 25:41-43).

Dear Brother Beensetfree,

Praise God! This is message is great!

And among all these, my most favourite verse concerning man's 'righteousness is: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

I can't speak for others...I can only speak for myself...I belong to exactly what Isaiah has said in 64:6.

I often tried to be self-righteous but failed to see myself in the mirror. I am no better than anyone - in fact much worse than most of you all most of the time!

My conversion to Christianity was very simply but yet profound (my own personal opinion only). A good friend of my from the same office where I worked many years' ago and shared with me the Gospel. After the sharing, he asked me, do you know you are sinner. Upon hearing this, I cried out....oh yes! Indeed I am. Because when I looked back I saw myself nothing but a filthy rag....always thinking to be richer, to be better than others and often tried to do at the expense of other, get jealous and envy all the time, unholy, corrupt, you name it!

Praise God I was converted there and then and I confessed with the sinner's prayer.

The word of God is like a sword, often, cutting into your heart (spiritually speaking). Let's pray that those who are hearing the Gospel can respond to His holy truth that we all are like filthy rags and only the blood of Jesus can save. Without the shedding of His previous blood, there is no forgiveness of sins and hence no redemption. We are all saved by His blood, the blood of Christ

God Bless
Psalm23
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Jesus Heals

Jesus sat upon the mount
And healed whoever came—
The blind the deaf, the ill,
And people weak and lame.

So I have heart to turn to Him
To ask Him to heal me,
For He who healed the crippled
And made the blind to see

Will also reach out His own hand
To make my sorrows fade;
I need only bow my head in prayer
And He’ll come to my aid.



Read more: http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/6361/jesus-heals/#ixzz4tvxHQPGh
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Noah’s Wife’s Love Creates Pets


I bet you’ve heard about Noah’s ark, haven’t you? But, have you heard about Noah’s wife, Noriah? God did tell Noah to build a giant boat’ and take two of all kinds of animals on it; but the part of the story you haven’t heard, is that Noah was afraid to do it.

Back in those times, so long ago, animals were all very mean. They bit and scratched and kicked. People could not get close to them, and they didn’t want to because they were afraid of wild animals. In those days, the animals were mean and the people were mean. It was a mean time.

But, Noah and his wife were very good and when God decided to make a new beginning for the world, he wanted a very good couple to lead the way to a more peaceful and good world.

God told Noah his plan. But, Noah thought the plan was crazy. How could he and his family possibly live with wild and ferocious animals on a boat? They would scare him to death. And why save the animals anyway? They were all very mean.

He couldn’t sleep that night and his wife, Noriah asked about his troubles. Noriah’s heart leapt upon hearing the plan. Since she had been a little girl, she had always wanted to befriend animals. She had tried several times but was always bit or scratched. But she never blamed the animals for their wild nature.

Maybe she could prove to some animals her good intentions while taking care of them on a boat. Perhaps they would eventually see that she meant no harm.

Noriah calmed Noah by reminding him that God only wanted two of each animal to come aboard the ark. She offered to search low and high to find the friendliest two of each kind of animal to bring on the trip and she promised Noah that somehow they would all get along.

So, while Noah worked tensely night and day building an ark, Noriah worked excitedly night and day looking for animals to take upon the ship.

When the day arrived, Noriah’s animals boarded the boat. Everyone was nervous. The sheep were bleating, the donkeys braying and the dogs barking. The cats were hissing, the hyenas hysterical and the coyotes howling. When the bear almost bit the kangaroo who kicked, Noah prayed, he and his family would survive this trip.

Noriah spent day and night trying to calm the animals. She talked and sang to them. She fed them and bedded them. She nursed their wounds and tried to cheer them up.

Days and weeks went by like this. And slowly something started to change.

Noriah’s love for the animals was so great, that some of the animals began to trust her. Some let her pet them and some would sit calmly in her lap. And slowly some of them began to love her back. After a few months some of the animals even started helping Noah’s sons lift and pull things.

When the flood ended, Noah and his sons built houses for their families. And to make the world a better place to live, Noah’s sons built houses for many of the animals that had helped them during the months on the ark. Horses, donkeys, camels and oxen, llamas, cows, sheep and goats, all lived in separate houses next door like good neighbors. Chickens and rabbits lived in their own small houses so they would not get stepped on by the bigger animals. Noriah invited her most loving animal friends to live right in their house with them! Dogs and cats became the worlds first pets.

The animals gave Noriah, her husband and her sons, love and friendship. Some gave them eggs and milk. Others helped Noah’s sons with their work. Noah never got used to living with all these animals, but he did admit that life was much better when people and animals helped one another.

The world become a much better place, for people and for animals.

Authors note:

The Bible does not mention the name of Noah’s wife, but the Rabbis say that she had two names, Na’ah’mah and Noriah. Na’ah’mah comes from the verb na’ahm – to be pleasant or delightful. But in the middle ages it was used as another name for Lilith, as mother of the demons.

So we use the less popular name of Noriah because it could mean God’s light ie nair yah or nuri ya my light is God. The Rabbis also say that prior to Noah, people worked the land with their bare hands. It was Noah who invented the plow. Therefore, there were no domesticated animals until the generation of Noah. It makes sense that women who gardened and gathered fruits, nuts and vegetables, rather than men, who hunted animals would be responsible for domesticating animals.

After the time of Noah, people learned to respect and care for each other as well as to respect and care for animals, their new helpers and friends. This became a rule of decency declared by the Rabbis when they said, “You must feed your domesticated animals before you feed yourself.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Escape

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” – James 4:7-10.

In Australia an eight-year-old girl barely escaped from the jaws of an eight-foot crocodile after her little brother distracted it. Paul, who is five years old, grabbed the beast’s tail which gave Martina the time to get her feet out of its’ mouth.

Their father then killed the croc with an ax. The family had been hunting for turtles in a creek in Australia’s Northern Territory when the reptile suddenly attacked. There is a spiritual beast who is just as dangerous which loves to tear down, destroy, hurt, kill, and steal everything that is good in our lives (John 10:10a).

What do you do when the beast has you in its’ jaws and is carrying you off? What do you do when it seems you are going under for the last time? What do you do when everything seems to be going wrong and nothing seems to work? Martina’s little brother had the right idea. Most likely it is time for a distraction. Something is needed to take the beast’s mind off of you.

James says that we should submit ourselves to God. As humbly and best that we know how we should come before God in the Name of Jesus asking for His help. What happens is Hebrews 2:18 which says “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” The word aid has been translated as help, succor, or a more literal translation is “run to the cry.” Now that will get that old beast’s attention when the Lord comes running to help!

Then James says we are to resist the devil. How did Jesus resist the devil in Matthew 4? He resisted the devil with the Word of God. We need to saturate our lives with the Word of God. We need to read it, memorize it, recite it, meditate on it, listen to it and then we need to use it to defeat the enemy. It will then become the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). James says what will happen is that the devil will flee from us. Give that old devil a distraction and you too can escape from the jaws of the beast
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Optimism – The Difference between Optimists and Pessimists


In order to better understand people’s views of the world, a researcher once placed two children, one a pessimist and the other an optimist, alone in separate rooms.

The pessimist was placed in a colorful room full of all kinds of imaginative toys…the optimist was put in a room filled with horse manure.

The first child played in the room for a little while, but soon came to the door asking to leave because the toys were boring and because they broke too easily.

Likewise, the young optimist soon came to the door…but rather than asking to leave, she asked for a shovel.

Of course, the researcher asked the child why she wanted a shovel.

She replied, “With all this manure around, I know that there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
The Handwriting On The Wall

A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.

“While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It’s on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you’d be mad at having to do it again.”

She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
“Where is your little brother right now?”
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.

She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear – he knew that meant doom!
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper, and how she had saved.

Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!

She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, “I love Mommy,” surrounded by a heart.

Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall.




 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
The Barracuda

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute did the
following study:

It's a widely known fact that Barracuda love to eat mullet.

Scientists put a barracuda into an aquarium, added a glass
partition in the middle and then put a mullet in the other side.

Not believing his good luck the barracuda circled a few times,
gathered up speed and launched directly at his lunch - the poor
unsuspecting mullet.

Wham! Bam! Full throttle into the glass partition.

Unfazed at this, the barracuda did his preliminary circles and
sped off again toward the mullet. Again, Wham! Bang! into the
glass partition.

Again and again and again he tried. Some weeks later, the
scientists noticed the barracuda quit trying to eat the mullet,
so they removed the glass partition.

Amazingly, the barracuda remained in his side of the aquarium,
silently swimming in circles.

In fact, the hapless barracuda slowly died of starvation while
the lucky mullet swam about in safety just a few inches away!

Many of us are like that barracuda - hurt, bruised and wounded
from many previous collisions with life.

We've given up, our lives have become unproductive, lifeless,
hopeless, without goal, purpose or meaning.

Around and around we go, going nowhere...
silently, starving to death... while just a few millimeters
away
there is a prize to be collected,
a blessing to be claimed,
a job to be had,
a relationship to begin,
an education to be gained,
earnings to be earned.

I took this advice seriously and let me tell you,
the mullet is delicious!!!
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
It takes a child

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He then, wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. “Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,” the man said to Erik. My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?”

Erik continued to laugh and answer, “Hi, hi there.” Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.

Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, “Do ya know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.” Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s “pick-me-up” position.

Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor — gently, so gently, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back.

No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.”

Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest — unwillingly, longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.”

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking — “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?” — when He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Prayer Before Meals – For Children

Meal time is a great time to introduce a short prayer of thanksgiving to your children. If they get used to giving thanks for the little things, then they will soon give thanks for all things. Here are some common child friendly before meal prayers.

——

Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything.

——-

For food and health and happy days
receive our gratitude and praise
In serving others Lord may we
Repay our dept of love to thee.

——-

God is great, God is good.
Let us thank him for our food.
By his hands, we are fed.
Let us thank him for our bread.

——-

God our Father, Lord and Saviour
Thank you for your love and favor
Bless this food and drink we pray
And all who shares with us today.

http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/1002/prayer-before-meals-for-children/#ixzz4ufeIQWB4

 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
A Child Learns

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.


If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.


If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.


If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.


If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.


If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns confidence.


If a child lives with praise,
he learns to appreciate.


If a child lives with fairness,
he learns justice.


If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith.


If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.


If a child lives with acceptance, and friendship,
he learns to find love in the world.

 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Gaw Hong

More than 200 years ago, the Chinese on Formosa were having a
difficult time stamping out the barbaric practice of headhunting
among native Taiwanese inhabitants.

Because of the coming of the Chinese gentleman named Gaw Hong
who had been appointed magistrate to the region, the practice
was almost wiped out except for a few spots here and there.

He was a just man and a kind man. Soon he had won the hearts of
all the people in the area. By his good dealings with the
people, he won their affection. Even the fiercest of the tribes
couldn’t help but love, respect and revere him.

Because he was such an incredibly fine gentleman, he managed to
stamp out this barbaric practice bit by bit. Unfortunately,
when it appeared that he had almost succeeded, a religious
festival approached and the local inhabitants felt that they
needed to appease the Gods by offering human heads.

Gaw Hong appealed to them with every ounce of persuasion he had,
not to do it, but they wore him down.

Eventually, he said to them, “I will give you permission to take
one head, only one. And, you will take it when and where I shall
appoint.”

When the feast came, he told them explicitly what he wanted them
to do. They were to take the first man using a certain path at
dawn the next day. In keeping with his instructions, the
assassins lay in wait for that first person to appear on the
road. The arrow of the assassin found its target, and they
quickly cut off the head of the victim, put it in a bag and took
it to the tribal chief.

When the sack was opened, it was the head of Gaw Hong.


On that day in Formosa, headhunting ceased forever.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
The Letter

A minister was opening his mail one morning. Drawing a single
sheet of paper from an envelope he found written on it only one
word: "FOOL".

The next Sunday he announced, "I have known many people who have
written letters and forgot to sign their name. But this week I
received a letter from someone who signed his name and had
forgotten to write a letter.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Share Your Time

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?

“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?”

The father was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you’re being so selfish. I work long, hard hours everyday and don’t have time for such childish games.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning. How dare him ask such questions only to get some money.

After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep son?” he asked.

“No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that $10.00 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you daddy!” he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the father grumbled.

“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.

“Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?”

Share some time with those who need you.
They need our time more then we will ever know.




 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
The History of “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” Song


The very first Christian song most children learn is “Jesus Loves Me.” If there were a best-seller hit list among the preschoolers, this very simple but precious song would have to be at the top of the charts. Yet few people know that “Jesus Loves Me” began life not as a song but as a part of one of 1860’s best-selling novels.

Anna Warner was well aware of the coming of the war between the states. She lived with her father and sister on Constitution Island. Their home was practically next door to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and from her front porch she constantly heard the rumors of war. Yet even in the face of uncertain times, every Sunday Anna taught Bible classes to the cadets. She realized that if the southern states made good on their threat to withdraw from the Union many of the boys she knew could be killed or wounded in the war that would follow. While it broke her heart to consider the dismal fate for those too young to have experienced the many blessings of life, she also fully comprehended the importance of leading each of them to Jesus now. With an urgency brought about by a nation on the brink of dividing, sharing Christ’s love became her mission in life.

Besides her teaching, the forty-year-old Anna also wrote. With her sister
Susan she had written several novels, using the pseudonym Amy Lothrop. In
1860 the sisters’ Say and Seal became the country’s best-selling work of
fiction. Written for the masses and the moment, not fueled by timeless
struggles or epic writing, the book would quickly pass from the public’s
fancy, lost with thousands of other period pieces of the time. Yet, thanks
to one very special scene on but a single page, the essence of the book and
of Anna’s faith would live for decades after Say and Seal and Anna herself
had been forgotten.

In one chapter a child lay dying. Nothing could be done to ease his pain or
give him a second chance at life. As his ultimate fate grew nearer, the
novel’s focal character, Mr. Linden, attempted to comfort the small boy.
Looking into the child’s eyes, he slowly recited a poem that began, “Jesus
loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

The words of the poem made the boy’s last moments of life much easier. These
simple lines also moved thousands of readers to tears. Hauntingly beautiful,
composed straight from Anna’s faithful heart, “Jesus Loves Me” quickly
sprang out of her book’s pages and became one of the most beloved poems of
the era. No one can even begin to calculate how many times it was said on
the battlefield, in the homes of children whose fathers were engaged in the
Civil War, from pulpits and in Sunday school classes, and even at the White
House itself. Ringing so clear and true, Anna’s sixteen short sentences had
touched the hearts of millions with verses meant only to calm the soul of a
dying fictional character.

One of the scores of readers who memorized the poem was William Bradbury. A
teacher of voice and organ, in 1854 Bradbury had formed a piano company with
Ferdinand Lighte and Henry Newton. Besides heading up his business, the
noted musician also continued a practice of setting his faith to music by
composing his own songs. By the beginning of the Civil War, Bradbury had
built his own music company to publish and distribute his works. It was
during the time when his music business was taking off that he first read
and fell in love with “Jesus Loves Me.”

Although an accomplished composer of what many think of as high-church
music–he had already lent his talents to such hymns as “Sweet Hour of
Prayer, …. He Leadeth Me,” and “On Christ the Solid Rock I
Stand”–Bradbury was moved in a much different fashion when he decided to
add a melody to Anna Warner’s poem. A lover of children’s voices, as well as
a proponent of music education in both school and church, Bradbury allowed
the child in his own heart to spring forth when writing the simple musical
notes for “Jesus Loves Me.” Then, to fully complete the work, he added the
following chorus:

Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible
tells me so.

The marriage of Waner’s words and Bradbury’s music was one of the most
beautiful gospel efforts of all time. Yet the song “Jesus Loves Me” might
have been as quickly forgotten as the novel Say and Seal if Bradbury’s music
company hadn’t published it. Through the publisher’s established
distribution network, the new children’s song quickly worked its way across
the North and South. In the face of the most horrible fighting this nation
had ever known, both sides were singing about a Savior who died, yet had
risen and still watched over everyone with equal love and compassion. It was
an ironic message for a very ironic time.

Almost a hundred and forty years after this song was first published, few
know of the writings of Anna Warner or recognize the name of William
Bradbury. But even though the writer and the composer have been forgotten,
everyone knows their song. Children and adults of all races and even
millions outside the Christian faith can sing “Jesus Loves Me.” How many
millions have clung to this message on lonely nights or rocked babies to
sleep while singing this song is unknown. But what can be most assuredly
stated is that “Jesus Loves Me” is the foundation on which many children not
only first come to know Christian music but also come to know the love and
sacrifice of the Lord who inspired it. And this message is what keeps them
singing the gospel throughout their lives.


“Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Chorus:

“Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

“Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, ‘Let them come to Me.’

Chorus

“Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Chorus

“Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Chorus

“Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

Chorus
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Young Parents’ Prayer

They’re only little once.

Grant me the wisdom to guide them down the path that their feet should take.
For I know that they can never turn back and walk those paths with me again.

Give me the wisdom to guide their feet so that someday they’ll be able to walk alone.

They’re only little once.
Give me the time I need to enjoy them.
For I know that after they’re grown,
I’ll never have another chance to tell stories and pretend at those tea parties.
I’ll never have another chance to watch them in a school play or church sing,
or to see them catch that first fish or hit that first home run ball.

Give me the time in life’s busy schedule to have fun with my children.

They’re only little once.
Let me be a loving parent.
Let me correct and not punish,
explain and not merely scold.
Let me know when to correct, and how often,
and when it’s best to just look the other way.

Help me be patient and give me a gentle hand to mold them into better people.

They’re only little once.

Let me be a good teacher and an even better example.
Give me the right words and deeds to teach them.
Grant me the key to unlock their spirits and set them truly free.
For they’re only little one time,
only innocent and trusting and pliable for a space of time,
one minute in an eternity.

Let me do my best for them while I have the chance.



 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Wet Oatmeal Kisses

One of these days you’ll explode and shout to all the kids, “Why don’t you just grow up and act your age!” And they will…

Or, “You guys get outside and find something to do — without hurting each other And don’t slam the door!” And they don’t.

You’ll straighten their bedrooms until it’s all neat and tidy, toys displayed on the shelf, hangers in the closet, animals caged. You’ll yell, “Now I want it to stay this way!” And it will…

You will prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn’t had all the olives picked out and a cake with no finger traces in the icing and you’ll say, “Now this is a meal for company.” And you will eat it alone…

You’ll yell, “I want complete privacy on the phone. No screaming, Do you hear me?” And no one will answer.

No more plastic tablecloths stained. No more dandelion bouquets. No more iron-on patches. No more wet, knotted shoelaces, muddy boots or rubber bands for ponytails.

Imagine…. a lipstick with a point, no babysitters for New Years Eve, washing clothes only once a week, no PTA meetings or silly school plays where your child is a tree, no car pools, blaring stereos or forgotten lunch money.

No more Christmas presents made of library paste and toothpicks, no wet oatmeal kisses, no more tooth fairy, no more giggles in the dark, scraped knees to kiss or sticky fingers to clean.

Only a voice asking, “Why don’t you grow up?” And the silence echoes: “I did”


 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Young Faith

One cold evening during the holiday season a little boy about six or seven years old was standing out in front of a store window. The little child had no shoes and his clothes were mere rags. A young woman passing by saw the little boy and could read the longing in his pale blue eyes. She took the child by the hand and led him into the store. There she bought him some new shoes and a complete suit of warm clothing.

They came back outside into the street and the woman said to the child, “Now you can go back home and have a very happy holiday.”

The little boy looked up at her and asked, “Are you God Ma’am?”

She smiled down at him and replied, “No son, I am just one of His children.”

The little boy then said, “I KNEW you had to be of some relation.”

Author Unknown




 
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