under a special agreement with
presents Explorers Series 2
under a special agreement with
Lesson 12: Jesus loves me!
The Lord Jesus Christ is the most wonderful Person in all of God's universe! He is seated at the Father's right hand, and all of God's glory rests on Him. He is on the throne of God's universe!
To see what a wonderful Person Jesus Christ is and to love Him with all my heart brings pleasure to His heart. Jesus is not a "force." He is a person! He wants to be my special Best Friend. He wants me to enjoy Him, and He wants to enjoy me, the way best friends enjoy each other.
The way to enjoy the Lord Jesus is to love Him with all your heart and put Him first in your life. A young girl named Amanda had learned this secret. She said, "I always put Him first in my life. I talk to Him a lot. I really love Him, and He loves me even more. I cannot imagine ever living without Him."
Everyone in Heaven loves and praises the Lord Jesus. I love and praise Jesus too. There are three reasons why I love Him so much.
I love Him because of what He did for me. He suffered and died on the cross that I might be forgiven of my sins and belong to Him. The Bible says that Christ "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26).
I love Him because of who He is. As the Son of God, He Himself is God; yet He is a Man—the Man Jesus Christ whom we know and love.
When I think of who I am, and who He is, I am amazed that He loves me so much, and that He has come to live in my heart.
I love Him because He loves me. Though He is "the Lord of Glory" and exalted to the highest place in Heaven, Jesus knows and loves each of us with a real and personal love. The Bible says, "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
Before I came to know the Lord Jesus as my Savior, I was separated from God, living for myself, and doing what I wanted to do. God was seldom in my thoughts.
Then an amazing thing happened! Jesus drew me to Himself. I was not any better than others, but Jesus chose me and saved me.
Why did Jesus choose me? He chose me because He loved me! He knew me and loved me before I was ever born! This is amazing, but it is true. The Lord says, "…I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you" (Jeremiah 31:3).
What does it mean to "redeem" a person? It means to rescue him by paying a price. Before the Lord saved me, I was Satan's slave. I was in Satan's kingdom of darkness. But Jesus loved me so much that He redeemed me.
What was the price that the Lord Jesus paid to redeem me? The price was His own life. On the cross He gave His life for me. He poured out His precious blood that I might be forgiven of all my sins and belong to Him. I can say with the apostle Paul, "The Son of God…loved ME, and gave Himself for ME!"
What was Jesus' purpose in redeeming me? His purpose was that I might belong to Him. When you buy something, it belongs to you. The Lord Jesus "bought" me by giving His life for me. Now I belong to Him. The Bible says,
"…Do you not know that…you are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The Lord Jesus is God's Ruler over the entire universe. He has all power in Heaven and in the earth. Though He is exalted to the highest place in Heaven, the Lord Jesus loves me so much that He wants my company. He wants me to spend time with Him each day, reading His Word and praying to Him.
Would you like for me to tell you a secret? It is this: The Lord Jesus is in love with YOU! You may not realize it, but He loves you with all His heart. Here are some ways that you and I show our love for the Lord Jesus.
I show my love for Jesus by giving Him the best gift that I can give. The best gift I can give to Jesus is the gift of myself. Even though I belong to Him, He does not make me give myself to Him. He wants me to choose to do this because I love Him.
The Best Gift
A thirteen-year-old girl listened intently as the pastor told of how the Lord Jesus loved her so much that He willingly went to the cross to die for her sins. He told how the Lord Jesus had redeemed her with His own precious blood that she might belong to Him.
The girl's heart was deeply stirred by what she heard. She loved the Lord Jesus with all her heart and she wanted to show her love for Him. She had no money, so it seemed as though she had nothing to give the Lord.
Then she thought of a gift that would please the Lord Jesus very much.
When the usher passed the offering plate, the girl whispered to him, "Please lower the offering plate." He lowered it.
Then she said, "Please lower it more." The usher lowered it to the floor. The girl stepped in it. She was giving the Lord Jesus the very best gift she could ever give to Him. She was giving herself to Him!
I show my love for Jesus by obeying Him. Believers are obeyers! Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). If I truly love the Lord, I will not do things that are displeasing to Him.
I show my love for the Lord Jesus by spending time with Him. Jesus says to each of us, "Do you love Me enough to spend time with Me each day, reading My Word and talking to Me?"
I show my love for Jesus by looking for His coming. This is "the Blessed Hope" of the Christians—that some day Jesus is coming to take us to be with Him forever. The Bible says we are to be always "Looking for the blessed hope, and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
Though we cannot know the exact time when Jesus will come, we know from the Bible that He is coming soon.
For believers, this will be a time of great joy! Those who died trusting in Jesus will be instantly resurrected, with glorious new bodies. Those who are living when He comes will be instantly changed. All believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. We will be with the Lord Jesus forever. You can read about this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (click on link).
In the meantime we are to expect to have many trials and troubles. The Lord Jesus wants us to be faithful to Him, no matter what happens.
A young man was captured by some rebels. When they found out that he was a Christian, the rebel leader told him that if he did not give up his faith in Christ, he would be shot. The young man replied. "You can shoot me, but alive or dead, I am Jesus Christ's man!" The Lord loves people like that!
Jesus Christ is coming for His believers! Unbelievers may laugh and make fun of us, but God's Word is clear. God has given us five mighty "shalls" concerning the coming of Christ:
"The Lord shall descend from Heaven."
"The dead in Christ shall rise."
"We shall all be changed."
"We…shall be caught up."
"So shall we ever be with the Lord."
—from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
1. The Lord Jesus loved me so much that He chose me.
2. The Lord Jesus loved me so much that He redeemed me. Jesus gave His life for me that I might belong to Him.
3. The Lord Jesus loves me so much that He wants my company. One way I show my love for Him is by spending time with Him each day, reading His Word and talking to Him in prayer.
"Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me so much. I belong to You, and no matter what happens, I want to live for You. In Jesus' name I pray."
Victory at Last
The story so far…
Beth told Jared about the plot to put Carlos on the raft and push it out into the river. Jared could not help Carlos, but Dan, Mr. Foster, and the police came to the rescue.
After a stop at the police station, the officer continued home with Carlos. Jared and Dan walked with them to the front door. When Carlos' father opened the door, he looked alarmed at the sight. The policeman explained what had happened and then stated, "You can choose to press charges against the other boys, but we want to put Alex Simons under court supervision. I do not think you will have any more trouble with him."
When the policeman had left, Mr. Moreno asked Jared and Dan a few more questions. As they got up to leave, Carlos started to walk with them when his father said, "No, son. You need to be with your family right now."
Jared and Dan decided to walk over to Beth's. On the way Jared asked, "Dan, how did you find out about what Alex was going to do?"
Dan grinned and then began, "Well, I told you my dad has changed since I took Jesus as my Savior. I keep telling him new things I learn from the Bible. We have great talks and things are a lot better at home now. I have also told him about my new friends—you, Carlos, and Beth—and about Alex, too.
"Today he was at the corner store when Alex and the guys came in. He heard them talking about their plans for Carlos and the raft. Dad sent me to help you, while he went to the police station."
Dan paused as the boys walked up the steps of Beth's porch; then he continued with a smile. "Since I could not find you, I left the message with our little helper here." Dan and Jared sat down next to Beth on the porch. "It took a while, but we all got there in time."
"That was great the way you swam out to Carlos," Jared said, patting Dan on the back.
"Poor Carlos," Beth said with tears in her eyes. "How could Alex plan such a mean trick? I wish Carlos knew Jesus."
Jared's eyes sparkled as he nodded. "Carlos has learned a lot in all this," he said. "I think he is very close to making that decision."
Jared was right. Just as he finished breakfast the next morning, he heard a knock on the front door. There stood Carlos with a big smile on his face; dressed in his best clothes. "Do you think I could go to church and Sunday school with you?" he asked.
"Sure!" Jared said. "Let me get my Bible and we'll go. Even my parents are going this morning."
On the way to church, Carlos whispered in Jared's ear, "Do you think I am a coward for being afraid of the water?"
"No, of course not," Jared answered quietly. "Not after what happened to your brother. But I know that if you trusted Jesus, He would help you overcome your fear and help you learn to swim. Who knows, maybe you could save the life of a drowning child some day!"
"That would really be something," Carlos replied as they walked into the church.
The Sunday school lesson was on telling others about Jesus by words and actions.
Carlos listened to every word. The teacher told the class that it was very serious to NOT tell others about the Lord Jesus. He told of the words of Jesus in the Bible, that if we are ashamed to tell our friends about Jesus, He will be ashamed of us when He comes again.
As they were leaving the classroom, Carlos turned to Jared and whispered, "Jared, I want to become a Christian. Do you think the teacher will help me?"
"Yes, yes, he will," Jared said, excitedly. "Take as much time as you need."
When the teacher heard what Carlos wanted, he smiled and sat down with him and began to explain the steps to become a Christian. He told him that he must be sorry for his sins; realize that God loves him and wants to forgive him; that Christ died for him; and that he must receive the Lord Jesus as his personal Savior. When the teacher saw that Carlos understood what he was saying, they prayed together and Carlos received Jesus as his Savior.
On the way home, the boys were so excited, they could not stop grinning. "Jared," Carlos said, "I'm sure glad you were not ashamed to tell me about Jesus. The way you chose to do the right things and said you were sorry when you did wrong things—that all helped me to want to become a Christian today. Now we have to pray for Alex and all the other kids at school."
"Yes, we will. Beth prays for them all every day. She's been praying for you for a long time. I think she will be home from church by now. Let's go tell her about the decision you just made."
When Beth heard the news, her face sparkled with delight! As the boys were leaving, she reached into a box and pulled out a "Silver Sword" bookmark. "Carlos, this is for you," she said. "I know Jared will want you to have one because you are best friends."
Carlos held the silver bookmark in his hand. He began to read Psalm 119:11, "Your Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You."
Then he turned the bookmark over and read Ephesians 6:17, "Take…the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God."
Then he said, "Thank you, Beth. I know if I use my sword as well as Jared has used his, the Lord Jesus will be pleased."
"He certainly will!" Beth replied as she waved goodbye.