Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so.  Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong.

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

This is a familiar song, and one that even the youngest of Christians knows.  Yet, do we truly know what it says?

As children we just accept it as we sing.  We read the words, and proclaim them out of our mouth to the sound of music playing in the background.  Yet, did you ever think about the words, because I can honestly say, that I have never really thought about the words?

After all, it is just a kids song about how much Jesus loves us, so why pick it apart?

Well, I do not want to pick apart the song, but I do question if we really understand what God's love means?  God's love is a different type of love, that transcends all of our understanding.  1 Corinthians 13 gives us a glimpse of that love, and describes it as patient, kind, not boasting or rude, etc.  Jesus speaks of His love for all, and then dies on the cross to show that love in action.  Yet, what have we turned the love of God into?

We look at it in the sense that no matter how we are, what we do or say, or how we act that God will always love us.  To a point this is correct, because the Bible also talks about God's grace, which is what we often lean on when we fall short of His glory.  However, I view this understanding in the perspective of my own children.  I love them unconditionally, but that does not mean I approve of everything they do.  It also means that I will punish them when they do something wrong, because I want them to learn right from wrong.

Love is still present when I punish them, even though they may not perceive it as loving.  The Bible calls this discipline.  Hebrews 12:7-8 states, "It is for discipline that you have to endure.  God is treating you as sons.   For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons."

Further in Hebrews 12 it states, "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."  Discipline is supposed to produce something within us.  In fact, discipline is one of the most important parts of our lives, and we need to understand it.  Honestly, I am not sure we can truly understand what love is without discipline.

Therefore, what is discipline?  I think for some people the word discipline or the action of discipline is terrifying.  It is terrifying, because at some point in their life they were abused under the heading of discipline.  That is not discipline.  True discipline is done in a loving/caring way to encourage correct action.  When I think of how Jesus disciplined people, especially the woman caught in adultery, He never abused them or even touched them.  Yet, He always got His point across.

Jesus had a way of discipline that made the person feel that they did something wrong, needed to bring about a change in their life, but they never felt abused or degraded.  He taught them right from wrong in the midst of His act of discipline.

True love and true discipline go together under the heading of unconditional love.  It does not mean that God approves of everything we do, especially when we go against His Word or Commands.  It also means that He will discipline us either here on earth or when we stand before that final judgment throne.  Yet, through Christ we have the chance to come forward, and truly repent.  It is not like a kid repents or says sorry, "Why do I have to say it.  Fine.  I'm sorry."  Instead it is a true recognition of wrong, and a true apology, "God, I fully understand and recognize where I have done wrong.  I broke Your command; Your Law.  It was all me, and only me.  Therefore, for the sake of Jesus Christ, and His unconditional love on the cross, please forgive me, and help me change."

When we recognize God's discipline in our life, and His call to repent, then we can truly feel and embrace His love as we sing:

Jesus loves me, this I know.  For the Bible Tells me so.  Little ones to Him belong.  They are weak but He is strong.

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

Go forth in His discipline, forgiveness, and love.