Summary: I wrote this funeral message for a mentally handicapped adult who was very child-like. It is based on some of the more obscure verses of "Jesus Loves Me."
INTRODUCTION: One of the most familiar Christian songs in the world is “Jesus Loves Me.” Most of us can recall one or two verses, but did you know that the author of the song, Anna Bartlett Warner, originally wrote seven?
BODY: As I looked at some of the more obscure verses, I quickly realized that every word of this innocent song of faith could be applied to Kevin Maxwell’s life. Every word should apply to our lives as well. Listen:
Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong
“God will quiet us with his love” (Zephaniah 3:17). In this day when so many cry out for acceptance and love, God has already lavishly poured out his love upon us through Jesus Christ our Lord. He not only wants us to know His love, he wants us to know His peace.
Jesus said to his troubled disciples the night he was to be arrested, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.”
Melvin, Arlene, Kim, and Mike, this is the peace available to you in your loss. As we lean upon the love of Jesus, He promises that those who mourn will be comforted; comforted with a “peace that passes understanding that will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1. God intends for us to find Peace in His love
Jesus loves me when I’m good
When I do the things I should
Jesus loves me when I’m bad
Though it makes Him very sad
Sometimes we don’t feel loved, or we don’t feel worthy of love. Sin interferes with all our relationships, especially the one relationship we need to have with God.
But when God forgives, there is no sin. Romans 8:1 tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
In fact we know it is God’s love for us through Jesus that provides forgiveness. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Throughout the last few weeks, as Kevin’s condition worsened, I heard stories of his young life from you and others; how after a frightening start to his life, his abilities slowly progressed. And with the onslaught of his seizures, everything regressed. Please know that because Kevin Maxwell lived an innocent life, he was and forever will be a child of God.
2. God intends for us to find Forgiveness in His love
Jesus loves me loves me still
Though’ I’m very weak and ill
That I might from sin be free
Bled and died upon the tree
Yesterday at the funeral home, we shared some scripture before visitation started. I read from Psalm 139: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb…you watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together… You saw me before I was born. Everyday of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!”
Kevin didn’t have a strong life, but he had a strong home filled with the love of God. God knew Kevin would need special people surrounding him, so he chose Melvin, Arlene, Kim, and Mike. The strength of your love, along with the love of Kimberly, Ben, Sam, and so many other family members allowed Kevin to flourish.
Now that Kevin is free from all his afflictions, you, his very special family, can have strength to carry on through the love of Jesus Christ.
3. God intends for us to find Strength in His love
Jesus loves me he who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide
He will wash away my sin
Let His little child come in
Infants do not have to prove anything. They cannot make themselves loveable; they cannot make themselves worthy of love. Instead, parents place an immeasurable value on their lives. They choose to love them with all their hearts.
Little ones get their first glimpse of God’s love through the nurturing love of their parents. As they realize how valuable they are to Mom and Dad, they also begin to understand how valuable they are to God. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
Our value is not based on what other people think of us. Our value is IN THE FACT that God loves us! And this simplest lesson we teach to our youngest children had to be valuable to Kevin. May the wonder of God’s love become the most precious, valuable thing in our lives as well!