Jesus Loves Me

Celebrating the profound truths of a simple hymn

Warner Books

Calvin Miller

Central Theme
The lyrics of Jesus Loves Me are simple enough for a child to understand, yet profound enough to satisfy the intellect and spirit of the sophisticated adult.

Calvin Miller reads broadly and deeply. He possesses the soul of a mystic, the pen of a poet, the storytelling magic of a country boy and a wisdom gleaned from pastoring contemporary Christians through their real-life struggles. The combination has always been potent but never more so than in this collection of reflections on the lyrics of a hymn many of us knew in our childhood, Jesus Loves Me, penned by Ann Warner in 1860. Church historian Randall Balmer once said it was the hymns of his childhood that brought him back to the faith of his fathers. This book will draw some back, and bring others in for the first time, to the truths forming the bedrock of the Christian faith. The book is counter-cultural in its emphasis on self-denial and an aim towards truly centering life on becoming like Christ. When asked what his greatest burden is for today’s church and culture Miller said: ‘We lack role models of individuals whose lives are dedicated to becoming one with Christ.’

Beliefs num
–The phrase, ‘Jesus loves me’, means I can make it and Jesus is creating a better me.
–In an age of uncertainty, ‘this I know’, means I can embrace certainty (God’s future is the parent of self-confidence) and I can erase doubt.
–‘Little ones to Him belong’, reminds me that as a little one, trusting and full of hope, I have a great potential and I am welcome by my Abba Father.
–Though western civilization increasingly ignores this book, ‘for the Bible tells me so’, reminds me that in simple, common words, God has illuminated the exit signs and revealed Jesus.
–‘They are weak but He is strong’, reminds me of the end of self-sufficiency.
–‘He who died, Heaven’s gates to open wide’, reminds me of the centrality of the cross and self denial in my faith.
–‘He will wash away my sin — let his little child come in’ — The ultimate sin of the believer is to know Him but not hold his acquaintance special.
–‘He will stay close beside me all the way’, means the end of loneliness and the assurance of His presence even in hard places.
–‘If I love Him when I die — He will take me home on high’, reminds me that Heaven is the heart’s greatest longing and it is my destiny.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Miller argues that this hymn is not saccharine or Pollyanna-ish. What do you think?
–When did you first hear or sing this hymn? Have the lyrics taken on more meaning, as you have gotten older?
–How has the essential message of selflessness become lost in so much of American life and Christianity?
–Miller points out that there is little preaching on heaven and hell today. Why?
–Miller talks about certainty rooted in what the Bible tells us. Do people still believe the Bible is communicating truth?

Provocative Quotes byline
–If I dismiss him as an idea, Jesus haunts me as a man. If I dismiss him as a man, he haunts me as an idea.
==Earl Palmer
–The line separating good and evil passes not through states or political parties, but through the center of every human heart.
==Alexander Solzhenitsyn
–I have a need for a great Christ.
==Puritan Thomas Brooks
–I have a great Christ for my needs.
==Charles Spurgeon
–In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
==Abraham Lincoln
–God is within himself a sweet society.
–Ego and God are both three-letter words.
==Calvin Miller
–The number one fear of aging people is the sheer terror of living a meaningless life.
==David Shapiro and Richard Leider
–There may be only one sin for those who believe in Christ. It is the sin of knowing Christ but not holding his acquaintance special.
==Calvin Miller
–Once a single great passion occupies the soul, it displaces everything else. There is no room in us for two passions.
==Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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