Posted by: rcottrill | September 20, 2013

No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus

Words: Charles Frederick Weigle (b. Nov. 20, 1871; d. Dec. 3, 1966)
Music: Charles Frederick Weigle

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Charles Weigle)

Note: This fine song was written in 1932. It quickly became a favourite of gospel soloists and was often recorded, and sung on the radio. It was a great blessing also when used in street meetings, rescue missions, and prisons. The message touched the hearts of those in great need, and was used of the Lord to bring many to Christ.

You can see the heartbreaking circumstances behind the writing of it in the Wordwise Hymns link. But without specifically judging Mr. Weigle personally, the story does raise questions in my mind. Is it possible to think of “the Lord’s work” as something connected with a church building, or some other distant venue? And is it possible, with that mind-set, to miss a significant priority at home?

In the Bible, Samuel, the last and greatest of the judges of Israel, had a powerful influence on the nation. He was a great man of prayer, and boldly confronted the people–and individuals, such as the high priest Eli, and King Saul–with the truth of God.

It’s interesting, therefore, that Samuel’s sons turned out to be wicked men (I Sam. 8:3). There may have been a number of factors that led to this, but we know that Samuel became a kind of “circuit judge,” travelling to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah in turn, then back home again, year after year (I Sam. 7:15-17). Is it at least possible that the raising of his children was left to his wife, and he had less input than he should have? I don’t know.

The same goes for Charles Weigle. He was on the road a lot, as an evangelist. (From all accounts, much more than Samuel was.) But as you read his story you realize that his wife desperately needed him at home. Were his priorities right? That was between him and the Lord. But it’s worth each of us weighing our own priorities, and our responsibility to the family God has given us.

The Bible says that leaders in the church prove their worthiness of positions in the Lord’s work by how they have cared for their families (I Tim. 3:4-5). And, “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (I Tim. 5:8). Such texts at the very least demonstrate how important this matter is in the eyes of God.

For further thought on this issue, see my article on the subject called, Doesn’t Ministry Begin at Home?

But now, a word or two about the hymn. It’s a good reminder of the loving care of the Lord. When we read in Scripture that we should be “casting all [our] care upon Him, for He cares for [us]” (I Pet. 5:7), we are seeing two different Greek words translated “care” and “cares.”

The first (merimna) refers to anxiety and worry. We see it used in the Parable of the Sower, when the Lord Jesus refers to the choking weeds among the crops as representing “the cares of this world” (Matt. 13:7, 22). In another context, He speaks of “cares of this life” that can weigh upon our souls (Lk. 21:34). It’s so easy to become burdened and fearful about a host of problems we all must face.

That’s where the second word can provide great comfort. When we’re told “He cares,” it’s the Greek word melo, meaning to care about, to be concerned for. It signifies that the Lord takes great interest in us and what we’re going through. The Lord Jesus contrasts Himself with a hireling shepherd, who’s just a hired hand, and “does not care for the sheep” (Jn. 10:13). Whereas the good shepherd (Christ) is so concerned to meet their needs He willingly “gives His life for the sheep” (vs. 11).

Strangely, this word is used twice of the Lord in foolish and nearsighted ways. When Christ and His disciples are in the midst of a storm at sea, the men say to Him “Do You not care [melo] that we are perishing?” (Mk. 4:38). And when flustered Martha is preparing supper, while her sister Mary sits at Jesus’ feet to hear His word, Martha blurts out testily, “Do you not care [melo] that my sister has left me to serve alone?” (Lk. 10:40).

Dear me! Whether we face a crisis that actually imperils us, or the daily grind that gets us down, the Lord does care. And through His Word, and by the Holy Spirit, He offers us the resources we need to quit worrying (merimna) and find peace in our daily lives.

1) I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.

No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.

Questions:
1) What kind of cares are you facing today for which you can seek the help of our caring Lord?

2) What do you think of the issue discussed earlier–the proper priorities for a servant of God?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Charles Weigle)


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