Illustration results for romans 5:8
D.L. MOODY: GOD LOVES SINNERS
D.L. Moody was a renowned American preacher back in the mid 1800’s. He went to England where he was introduced to a young preacher named Henry Moorehouse. During their short conversation, Moorehouse said he wanted to go to America.
Moody, trying to be polite, said that if he did go to America, he should look Moody up and Moody would let him preach in his church. Well, the day came when Moody received a telegram saying Moorehouse was in America and was planning on visiting Moody’s church.
Moody was going to be gone at that time, so he told his wife that he had to let Moorehouse preach once anyway. He told her to let him give one sermon and if everyone liked him, let him preach two.
Moody was gone for a week, and when he came back, he asked his wife how Moorehouse was at preaching. She said, "He’s much better than you, because he tells people that God loves sinners." Moody snapped back that God hates sinners. His wife said, "You can tell him tonight, because he is preaching again, for the sixth night in a row."
Moody did go to the church that night, but circumstances made him a little late. He thought he would sit through the sermon and then tell Moorehouse he had to leave. But by the end of the sermon, Moody’s heart had changed, and he said that was the first time in his life that he really understood the love God has for us. It was at the end of that sermon that the great and famous preacher, D.L. Moody, found himself with tear-filled eyes at his own altar, coming to know the full realm of Jesus for the very first time.
(From a sermon by Bruce Ball, "AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE" 2/15/2009)
Floyd Landis, embroiled in a doping scandal since winning this year’s Tour de France, raised a Mennonite in Pennsylvania, leans on his mother for support.
“She’s the one that no matter what happens, to me or to anyone else in life, she will remain unchanged,” he said. “When she spoke to me, she said, ‘Look, tell me the truth, doesn’t matter to me what it is, I’ll see you the same regardless.’ And I think if you saw any of her interviews on television, she believes in me.”
If an earthly parent has this much unconditional love for her child, how much more does our Heavenly Father love us? No matter what we do, when we come to Him all He sees is Christ in us and yes, He believes in us.
(Taken from an ESPN.com article written on 08/07/06)
Dwight L. Moody
A MOTHER DIES SO HER BOY MAY LIVE
When the California gold fever broke out, a man went there, leaving his wife in New England with his boy. As soon as he got on and was successful he was to send for them. It was a long time before he succeeded, but at last he got money enough to send for them. The wife’s heart leaped with joy.
She took her boy to New York, got on board a Pacific steamer, and sailed away to San Francisco. They had not been long at sea before the cry of "Fire! fire!" rang through the ship, and rapidly it gained on them. There was a powder magazine on board, and the captain knew the moment the fire reached the powder, every man, woman, and child must perish. They got out the life-boats, but they were too small! In a minute they were overcrowded. The last one was just pushing away, when the mother pleaded with them to take her and her boy. "No, they said, "we have got as many as we can hold." She entreated them so earnestly that at last they said they would take one more.
Do you think she leaped into that boat and left her boy to die? No! She seized her boy, gave him one last hug, kissed him, and dropped him over into the boat. "My boy," she said, "if you live to see your father, tell him I died in your place." This is a faint type of what Christ has done for us. He laid down his life for us. He died that we might live.
Now, will you not love Him? What would you say of that young man if he should speak contemptuously of such a Savior? May God make us loyal to Christ! My friends, you will need Him one day. You will need Him when you come to cross the swellings of Jordan. You will need Him when you stand at the bar of God.
(This classic illustration by D. L. Moody is in the public domain.)
Two boys grew up together. They were close friends as children, but as they entered their teen years their paths began to diverge and they ended up in very different places. Ernie was always in trouble. He began by shoplifting small things from stores and worked his way up to stealing cars. Next it was armed robbery. Finally, on one of his stealing sprees he killed a man. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Mike took a different track. He turned away from the rebellious tendencies of his friend and continued through school. He worked his way through college, graduated and became a successful businessman. However, Mike had much difficulty with his physical health. His eyes in particular were weak. As he grew older, his eyesight deteriorated until he was legally blind. One day Mike heard the news about his old friend Ernie. He felt a terrific sense of compassion and sorrow for what had happened to his childhood friend and he reached out to him. After writing letters to renew their old relationship, he went to visit Ernie in prison. They had a very touching and emotional reunion there, speaking by phone across the security window at the penitentiary.
In spite of years of hard-hearted living, something in Ernie warmed as he talked with the man with whom he had play...
Sermon Central Staff
SALVATION FROM THE RUBBLE
The September 11, 2002 issues of TIME magazine has a touching article about 31-year old Genelle Guzman. Genelle was the last of just four people caught in the debris of the Twin Towers to be found alive.
After the planes hit the World Trade Center, Genelle was descending a stair case from the 64th floor of the North Tower. Steel beams weakened to their breaking point. Solid concrete was pulverized. But somehow her body found an air pocket. Her right leg was pinned under heavy concrete pillars. Her head was caught between stacks of wreckage. But somehow she was still alive.
For twenty-seven hours Guzman lay trapped and seriously injured. In recent months before the attacks Genelle had started attending the church called Brooklyn Tabernacle, and wanted to get her life turned around. So while she was stuck in the rubble, she started to pray. She'd trail off into sleep -- wake up and pray some more.
Shortly after noon on Wednesday the 12th, she heard voices. So she screamed as loud as she could, "I'm here! HEY, I'M RIGHT HERE!" A rescue worker responded, "Do you see the light?" She did not. She took a piece of concrete and banged it against a broken stairway overhead--probably the same structure that had saved her life. The searchers found the noise. Genelle wedged her hand through a crack in the wall, and felt someone grab it. She heard a voice say, "I've got you," and Genelle Guzman said, "OH GOD, THANK YOU." It took 20 long minutes, and then she was saved.
In many ways, Genelle Guzman represents the plight of all people. We are buried under an enormous mess of spiritual black marks -- ways we have wronged our perfect God. The Bible calls these things sin. We have no hope of freeing ourselves. We are truly stuck. In need of rescue. But by admitting the need to be forgiven -- by reaching out and saying, "God, help me! I can't get out of this unless you save me," we can be confident that he hears and helps. That's what we remember that God reached down into the rubble and saved us by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
(From a sermon by Mark Elkins, Rejoicing Through Adversity, 8/17/2010)
Sermon Central Staff
THE LOVE OF GOD ON AN ASYLUM WALL
Pencilled on the wall of a narrow room of an asylum were these familiar words:
"Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky."
(Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 1-2: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to John. New Testament Commentary (Jn 21:25). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, Following the Master, 8/27/2010)
Sermon Central Staff
JESUS DIED FOR NACOZARI
On November 7th, 1907, a boxcar containing dynamite caught fire in the village of Nacozari in Sonora, Mexico. When the flames reached the dynamite, the blast was felt 16 kilometers (10 miles) away. That would be like standing in the parking lot of the St. Albert Wal-Mart and feeling a blast that went off in Morinville!
The whole town of Nacozari should have been blown into the air like dandelion seeds scattered by a single, careless puff. It wasn't, however, thanks to the railroad engineer, Jesús García. When he noticed that the boxcar had caught fire, he quickly drove the car away from the town where it exploded harmlessly--harmlessly for the people of Nacozari, that is, but not harmlessly for Jesús. Jesús himself died in the blast. He gave his life to save the lives of many. Why did he do it? We can't ask him of course but I'm sure he would have said something like, "It was my job."
There is, of course, another Jesús who gave his life in a daring rescue. On Good Friday, Jesus of Nazareth hitched the world's sins to himself and pulled them up on the cross where God's fury exploded with a deafening silence that can still be heard 2,000 years later. Why did Jesus do it? Step close and press your eye to the keyhole of the cross and you'll see why he did it because you'll be looking into God's love. God's amazing love. Today we'll see that God's love is amazing because it's for you, and it's forever.
The train engineer, Jesús García, is hailed a hero because he saved a town of hard working people, of boys and girls, and of grandpas and grandmas. But what if he had driven a burning boxcar of TNT away from the mansion of a drug lord? Would newspaper headlines have read, "Jesús García Demonstrates Love By Dying For Drug Lords!"? More likely they would call him a fool for sacrificing his life for the sake of scum. Why not let the boxcar explode and take the drug lord and all his cronies with him?
Consider then what the Apostle Paul writes about the rescue Jesus pulled off. "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8).
The citizens of Nacozari were so thankful to Jesús García for saving them that they renamed their town after him. Jerusalem, however, was not renamed Jesusville in honor of the Savior's sacrifice on Good Friday. But you, dear listener, have been renamed. We were once God's enemies but thanks to Jesus are now part of God's family. This change is not just honorary. You really have peace with God.
(From a sermon by Daniel Habben, God's Love is Amazing, 7/16/2011)
I want to tell you about a 12-year-old boy we’ll call Justin. Justin never knew anything good. His parents, if you want to call them that, were completely without qualifications to birth the boy, having done so quite unintentionally, making far less effort to raise him than they made to conceive him. So, like many other boys of similar background, he literally grew up on the streets.
He had seen and done it all. By this young age he had already committed crimes that should have landed him in prison for a very long time. But, "fortunately" for Justin, in the crowd he spends time with, these crimes were everyday life largely hidden from mainstream society.
Everything he had, such as it was, was stolen. He rarely ate well and never on a plate. His language was foul, his manners atrocious. He was always dirty, always smelled bad. And the evil things that shock the average citizen either went ignored by him or, sometimes, it made him laugh. But mostly, he didn’t laugh, not really. Mostly he was just sad. Very, very sad. But, by now, he had grown numb to it.
One day Justin was picked up by the police (nothing new). But this time he was taken into a room and shown a large file. He had no idea the cops had so much dirt on him. They seemed to be aware of his crimes, but since there were so many boys like him, the police seemed to mostly ignored them. But he had gotten worse. Of course, in his culture he was getting better. He was able to steal without anyone detection, inflict pain without remorse, and even smile when he needed to. But he wasn’t just picking pockets any more. He was up to home invasions, mugging, carjacking, drug dealing, and other things I won’t mention here. He was actually considered to be very successful among his peers, destined for great things, well respected.
But this day his sat in an interrogation room with an iron clad case against him. He was going away for a very long time. He knew that he would be tried as an adult, this time he would not be able to get off by blaming his parents.
Just as his fate was sinking in, an extremely well dressed young man was brought into the room. He introduced himself as Joshua. He came representing a man that wished to adopt him.
Justin was incredulous. "What? Why? Who? What does it even mean?"
"As to the ’who’," replies the young man, "it is my father. He is the King of a foreign nation, though he spends much time in your land. As to the why, he has noticed you on his visits here and even has people watching you. He takes a great interest in you and is convinced that you are a great man inside the mind of a broken boy. He wants to adopt you and help you become that man. To put it short, he loves you. He talks about you all the time. Don’t get me wrong, you aren’t the only one he has sent me to bring home, but he acts like you are. He acts like you all are."
"Your dad is clearly out of his mind, Josh. And I am guessing that you are too."
"It would seem so, but he’s just unusual, as, I suppose, so am I. But he’s never wrong...about anything. And he’s absolutely determined to put all his vast resources into getting you, and others like you, up to your full potential."
"Because he can. Because he cares. Because nothing else makes sense. He’s just like this, and it’s what he loves to do."
"Has he seen my file?"
"He had it made. This is all the work of special investigations. It begins with how your parents came together and is thorough right up to the moment you were picked up. The ink is barely dry on some of this stuff."
"And still, he wishes to adopt me. There is something very wrong about this picture. Tell me, what does adoption mean exactly?"
"Well, it means that you immediately become a prince. Not much different from me, really. Everything that it is his is mine, and everything that is mine I share with you and the others measured out according to how cooperative you are."
"Ah ha, cooperative. That sounds like the catch to me. Explain it."
"Well, Justin, you will be retrained. From the ground up you will be completely re-educated on what life means and how you are to live it. In fact, you will no longer be called Justin. My Father has a special name for you that you will find out at the end of your process. In the meantime, you will be taught how to see yourself, your world, and your life. You will be given an almost entirely new picture of how to treat others. And, each of you, based on your particular skills and weaknesses, you will be given specific tools to help you in the re-education of others."
"That sounds easy enough. Why the emphasis on ’cooperation’? I am still missing something here."
"It isn’t easy. I am offering you something wonderful, but don’t ever think that I am offering you something easy. You will very quickly begin to come at odds with this training. The ideas you will be taught will sound completely wrong, and you will refuse most of it. There will be times when you will be very angry with my father. You’ll want to come back to your former lifestyle and will likely attempt to do so."
"What then, you have the cops pick me up again?"
"No. We simply wait. You’ll come back. My father is never wrong. You might take a while, but you’ll come back. Once you know my father, you’ll never see life the same again. All the things that make you happy today will seem bland by comparison or at best, they’ll simply remind you of him. No, you’ll come back. But you will have wasted a lot of time feeling sorry for yourself. It’s very painful to watch."
"So, if I accept this offer, my life as I know it is over?"
"Sort of. Actually the training takes place right here. You don’t leave."
"What? That’s nuts! How am I supposed to do that?"
"Well, a person doesn’t truly change unless he rises above that which has kept him down in the first place. We have training facilities all around to help you through this process. These facilities are run by people just like you. But this is why it takes cooperation. No one is going to force you to do anything. No coercion, no manipulation. You will be pushed, but you will have to choose to engage every step of the way. Otherwise, it will have no value and no real effect. This entire arrangement is built on trust. My father trusts you. So do I. You have to trust him, too. That’s what this is all about. The sooner and deeper you learn that, the more you’ll get out of this offer. But you must completely and thoroughly promise to give this your best effort."
"I’ve got to tell you, this seems way too good to be true. It’s like I won the lottery or something."
"It is good, real good. But it is true. And let me remind you, it is no picnic. You HAVE won the lottery, but you will not be spending the rest of your life sipping pina coladas on a beach somewhere. At least, not most of the time. When you are engaged, you will work like you’ve never worked before. It will hurt. You will struggle. I just want to make sure you understand this. But, if you completely surrender to the process, you will love it and the rewards are beyond your dreams."
Looking down at the table Justin asked, "What about this file? What about the cops? I can’t imagine they are going to let me off just because your dad’s a rich king?"
"Actually, no, they won’t. Nor should they. But we HAVE worked out a deal with the judge. I will be arrested in your place. I will serve your sentence."
Complete silence. Justin just stares at Joshua in shock. Not only at what he just heard, but at the fact that Joshua was smiling. "Joshua, do you have any idea what they will do to you in there?"
"I know EXACTLY what they will do to me in there."
Justin was used to pain. But he always feared prison. He was also used to fear and he could see that while Joshua was smiling...
THE POWER IN TOUCHING THE UNTOUCHABLE
Jesus, the Christ, is still in the business of touching the untouchable! You may feel like you are too dirty or too wicked for Jesus, the Christ, to touch you with His forgiveness today!
As an illustration, you may remember the move enitled "The Elephant Man," based upon the true story of a man living in London during the 19th Century! Joseph Carey Merrick (1862 - 1890) was terribly disfigured by neurofibromatosis. His own family rejected him because of his hideous appearance! Sir Frederick Treves (1853 - 1923), a prominent British surgeon found Joseph working in a circus as a sideshow freak! Dr. Treves, in August 1866, brought Joseph Carey Merrick to a London hospital and began to treat him as a person instead of some sideshow oddity! He provided books for Joseph and soon discovered that he was a kind, intelligent person. Joseph Carey Merrick lived in that London hospital until his death!
After a newspaper reported on Joseph’s progress, Dame Madge Kendal (1848 - 1935), born: Margaret Shafto Robinson, a talented English actress and theater manager - a beautiful woman of high society - and, also, a committed Christian, came to visit him. On one visit, she presented Joseph Carey Merrick with a copy of William Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet." He felt like an ugly beast cowering before a fairy princess. He was at such a loss for words that he opened the book and began to read. His voice was squeaky and broken as he read the words from the Second Act: "See! How she leaned her cheek upon her hand that I might touch her cheek." As he read that line, Dame Madge Kendal slipped quietly into the seat beside him! She responded with the words of Juliet that she had memorized from her years in the theater. Joseph read and she recited the rest of the act together! When it was done, Dame Madge Kendal leaned over...