We live in a culture that likes brevity. Almost everything has to be distilled down into a few easily remembered words or phrases. In getting ready for this message I Googled the phrase “Three Most Important Words” and discovered some interesting results. A teacher’s web site said that the three most important words in education are: “I don’t know.” A site dedicated to sales success said “Targeted Action Plan” were the three most important words for salesmen. A web site for concrete suppliers had as the three most important words in construction as “Foundation, foundation, foundation.” Those of you who regularly work with computers know that the three most important words are “Backup, backup, backup.” When is comes to relationships, there is significant debate about what the three most important words are. Half the sites say, “I love you” are three most important words in a relationship while others insist they are “I was wrong.” Anne Hill, a talk-radio host insists that the three most important words in a relationship are “While you’re up.” Some of you may remember a World Series commercial from a few years ago that touted “Hey, beer man!” as the three most important words in life.
I have a better suggestion for the three most important words in life. Let me tell you what truly are the three most important words in all the world are: They are: Jesus Loves Me!
Have The Congregation Sing The Song
I. JESUS LOVES ME!
- “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6–8, ESV)
- I was eighteen years old before really understood that Jesus loved me
- many of you have heard my testimony of how I came to know Jesus as my Savior and Lord
- many of you have not heard it
- ILLUS. Testimony: Points to emphasize — 1. I grew up Catholic; 2. I saw mass as a religious ritual that had little meaning for me since it was still in Latin; 3. I saw confession as a way to appease a judgmental God; 4. I saw prayer as punishment — you sinned, you went to confession and then you were given so many prayers to pray for your penance; 5. I saw Jesus as little more than a means-to-an-end—you ate His body weekly at the Eucharist in order to “store up” salvation until your next round of confession and penance and communion
A. JESUS LOVES ME—THE SAVING GOSPEL
- one Sunday I went to a Baptist church
- actually, I was black-mailed into it
- I had invited Linda out to a movie on a Sunday evening and she told me that she couldn’t go because she had to go to church, but if I wanted to be with her I could come to church with her and her family
- my first thought was, “Who goes to church on Sunday night?” Is she a cultist or a member of some really weird religious group?
- but she was cute and I wanted to be with her, so I went
- some of you young ladies remember that your dimples can be a great evangelistic tool
- it was at that Baptist church that, for the first time in my life, I heard the gospel message
- I heard that Jesus loved me and that He died on the cross for my sins
- I heard that by believing in my heart and confessing with my mouth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God that I could have eternal life
- I heard that He would send a Comforter called the Holy Spirit into my life to live in me forever, and that God’s Spirit would guide me, and comfort me, and illuminate my mind to the truth of God’s word
- I had never heard these things before
- verses like Romans 4:25 became very powerful to me: “He [Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” NIV
- the three most important words in my life became Jesus loves me!
II. THIS I KNOW!
- I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus loves me!
- I’ve been a Christian now for 38 years
- in all of those years I’ve never once doubted Jesus’ love for me
- my love for and commitment to Him have not always been what they should be, but I’ve never had any doubts that Jesus loves me
- how do I know this?
A. ASSURANCE IS FOUND IN TRUSTING IN A MAN WHO DIED FOR YOU
- “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV)
- ILLUS. At the turn of the century, there was a law in Tokyo which stated that no foreigner could take up residence in the city unless he had a "substitute." There were native Japanese who earned their livelihood by hiring themselves out for this purpose. If the foreigner broke any law, the substitute suffered the penalty for it, even if the penalty were death.
- in a similar way, our standing before God and his law is only obtainable through the substitutionary work of His Son
- and this substitutionary work is obtained without any fee--only faith in Him
- “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18–19, NIV)
- how do I know?
- ILLUS. Testimony: I know because I head the gospel of my salvation taught week after week in Sunday School and preached week and week in Worship. And the Holy Spirit used that teaching and those messages to convict my heart and mind and soul that I was a sinner who needed to be saved from sin and hell, and only the love of Jesus could do that. He was my substitute on the Cross of Calvary. I know, because on a bright, clear day in June of 1973 I gave my heart and life to Jesus while traveling down Interstate 70 in a delivery van. I know because the Holy Spirit came flooding into my life and filled me with the peace that passes all understanding.
B. THE SON OF MAN IS UTTERLY FAITHFUL AND TRUSTWORTHY
- “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:9, NIV)
- “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24, NIV)
- “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23, NIV)
- even when we are not always faithful to God, Jesus is always faithful to us
- “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13, NIV)
- if we are faithless, He will remain faithful — aren’t those beautiful words?
- Christ cannot disown Himself; therefore He will not deny even backslidden members of His own body
- true children of God cannot become something other than children, even when disobedient and weak
- Christ’s faithfulness to Christians is not contingent on their faithfulness to Him
- I know this because I have put my faith in the Son of God who died for me
- I know this because the one who died for me will always be faithful to me, even when I am not
III. FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO!
- "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, NIV)
- the Bible is the Word of God
- "It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter."
- I believe the bible is infallible and inerrant
- unless the Bible is without error, not only when it speaks of salvation matters, but also when it speaks of history and the cosmos, we have no assurance that it is accurate when it teaches about salvation
- if the Scriptures are not inerrant then Christians have nothing on which to stand
- the three most important words in my life are Jesus loves me!
- I have no doubt that He loves me because the Bible tells me so!
What are the three most important words in your life?
Many years ago, someone sent in the following prayer to “Dear Abby.” It was written as though Jesus were writing a letter to us: “I had to write to tell you how much I love you and care for you. Yesterday, I saw you walking and laughing with your friends; I hoped that soon you'd want me to walk along with you, too. So, I painted you a sunset to close your day and whispered a cool breeze to refresh you. I waited -- you never called -- I just kept on loving you.
As I watched you fall asleep last night, I wanted to touch you. I spilled moonlight onto your face -- trickling down your cheeks as so many tears have. You didn't even think of Me; I wanted so much to comfort you.
The next day I exploded a brilliant sunrise into glorious morning for you. But you woke up late and rushed off to work -- you didn't even notice. My sky became cloudy and My tears were the rain.
I love you, oh, if you'd only listen. I really love you. I try to say it in the quiet of the green meadow and in the blue sky. The wind whispers My love throughout the treetops and spills it into the vibrant colors of all the flowers. I shout it to you in the thunder of the great waterfalls and compose love songs for birds to sing for you. I warm you with the clothing of My sunshine and perfume the air with nature's sweet scent. My love for you is deeper than any ocean and greater than any need in your heart. If you'd only realize how I care.
My Dad sends His love. I want you to meet Him -- He cares, too. Fathers are just that way. So, please; call on Me soon. No matter how long it takes, I'll wait -- because I love you. (Your Friend, Jesus)