Illustration results for rich in mercy
Staff Picks of the Week:
Memorial Day 2013
Memorial Day 2013 Preaching Bundle »
Greater Love Video Illustration » Everlasting God Worship Music Video »
Sabbath Sabbath Preaching Bundle »
1 Outta 7 Video Illustration » Before The Throne… Worship Music Video »
John Newton: Infidel Restored
John Newton continued his ministry into his old age, turning a deaf ear to friends who urged him to accept retirement, as by the time he reached 80 he was almost blind and partially deaf. "I cannot stop" he replied. "What! Shall the old African blasphemer stop while he can speak?"
But in December 1806, the end was coming. His diary recorded his prayer asking God to help him meet his end with a faithful spirit: "Oh for grace to meet the approach of death with a humble, thankful, resigned spirit becoming my profession. That I may not stain my character by impatience, jealousy or any hateful temper but may be prepared and permitted to depart in peace and hope and be enabled, if I can speak, to bear my testimony to thy faithfulness and goodness with my last breath. Amen." That’s the prayer that I would make my own and perhaps you as well.
Newton’s friend wrote: "I saw Mr Newton near the closing scene. He was hardly able to talk; and all I find I noted down upon my leaving him was thus: ’My memory is nearly gone but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Saviour.’"
Newton would not have been pleased by the eulogistic reference in The Times report of his death to his "unblemished life," for he never forgot that he owed his redemption from a life of sin to a life in Christ entirely to divine mercy. He made this clear in the epitaph he wrote for himself. It was to be the inscription on his tomb at Olney and on a commemorative tablet to him at St. Mary Woolnoth:
"Once an Infidel and Libertine,
A Servant of Slaves in Africa,
Was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST,
Preserved, restored and pardoned,
And appointed to preach the faith
He had long laboured to destroy."
Sermon Central Staff
CHRYSOSTOM ON ECCLESIASTES
Eutropius had fallen into disgrace. As the highest-ranking official in the Byzantine Empire (late fourth century), he served as the closest adviser to the emperor Arcadius, then ruling in Constantinople. But Eutropius abused his imperial power and aroused the anger of the empress Eudoxia, who orchestrated a campaign against him that resulted in a sentence of death.
Desperate to save his life, Eutropius slipped away from the palace and ran to the Hagia Sophia, where he clung to the altar and claimed sanctuary. Soon an angry mob of soldiers surrounded the great church, denouncing Eutropius and demanding his execution. Eventually, the crowds dispersed, but the next day was Sunday, and so they returned the following morning to see whether the pastor would give in to their demands for the execution of Eutropius.
The pastor was John Chrysostom, the famous preacher who served as the Bishop of Constantinople. As he mounted his pulpit, Chrysostom could see a church crowded with worshipers and thrill-seekers. They, in turn, could see Eutropius groveling at the altar. The great man had become a pitiable spectacle, with his teeth chattering and hopeless terror in his eyes.
The dramatic sermon Chrysostom preached that day may have been the finest he ever preached. For his text Chrysostom took Ecclesiastes 1:2 ("Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity"), and for his primary illustration he used the decline and fall of Eutropius.
Here was a man, Chrysostom noted, who had lost everything--position, wealth, freedom, safety. Only days before, he had been the second most powerful man in the world. But it was all vanity, as events had proven, for now Eutropius had become "more wretched than a chained convict, more pitiable than a menial slave, more indigent than a beggar wasting away with hunger." "Though I should try my very best," Chrysostom said, "I could never convey to you in words the agony he must be suffering, from hour to hour expecting to be butchered."
Chrysostom did not stop there, however. His purpose was not to condemn Eutropius but to save him, and also to give his listeners the gospel. To that end, he challenged his listeners to recognize the vanity of their own existence. Whether rich or poor, one day they would all have to leave their possessions behind. They too would face a day of judgment--the judgment of a holy God. Their only hope then would be the hope that they should offer to Eutropius now--mercy at the table of Christ.
The sermon must have hit its mark, for as Chrysostom came to a close, he could see tears of pity streaming down people's faces. Eutropius was spared--a life saved by the preaching of Ecclesiastes.
Because Ecclesiastes is the Word of the living God, it can have the same impact in our lives today. Ecclesiastes teaches us that there is more to life than what we can see with our eyes. Ecclesiastes warns us to live our lives in light of eternity. Ecclesiastes teaches us how to live a meaningful life.
(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, Introduction to Ecclesiastes, 7/11/2010)
The Greatest Love of All
"For this reason I kneel before the Father... that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3: 14, 17 - 19)
Everyone of us who is now born-again in Christ Jesus was at one time an enemy of God. We loved ourselves more than God, and we esteemed our sin more highly than we esteemed His salvation. We were fit only for hell and the judgment of God. Scripture says that, "we were by nature objects of wrath."
If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you are, unfortunately, still in this position with God. But, we were changed, and so can you be changed!
"Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2: 4, 5)
Because of His great love! This is the sole reason that any one of us may be reconciled back to God. There simply is no other rationale for us to have been given the opportunity to live in His presence forever. It is because of His great love!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3: 16)
God's love for you is perfect, complete and everlasting. Our human love for one another is fickle and changeable. The dearest of friends may find offenses and part ways. A vow of love at the alter may fail only months or years later. Even a parent may let their love for their own child grow cold, or a child for his parent. But the love of the Lord our God, Creator of heaven and earth does not fail. His love does not grow cold. He says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness" (Jeremiah 31: 3)
There is no person, no thing seen or unseen, no trial or hardship that can separate you from the love of God. The apostle Paul, a man acquainted with many trials and much suffering, wrote these words, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8: 38, 39)
If you are reading this and you do not know Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, then God is drawing you now to Him. When Jesus allowed His blood to be shed at Calvary, this covered all your sin and His death paid the penalty for it. You can have a fresh clean start in Christ. He will enable you to overcome any sin that may be keeping you out of fellowship Him and give you the ability to sacrificially love your spouse, children, family members, co-workers and the body of Christ.
Who of you can refuse such a great love? Why would you want to? Asked Jesus to forgive you today! Invite Him into you heart and life while you still have time!
John Wesley’s father, Samuel, was a dedicated pastor, but there were those in his parish who did not like him. On February 9, 1709, a fire broke out in the rectory at Epworth, possibly set by one of the rector’s enemies. Young John, not yet six years old, was stranded on an upper floor of the building. Two neighbors rescued the lad just seconds before the roof crashed in. One neighbor stood on the other’s shoulders and pulled young John through the window. Samuel Wesley said, “Come, neighbors, let us kneel down. Let us give thanks to God. He has given me all my eight children. Let the house go. I am rich enough.”
John Wesley often referred to himself as a “brand plucked out of the fire” (Zech 3:2; Amos 4:11). In later years he often noted February 9 in his...
I saw a sea of faces in a dream I had one day and millions stood before the throne whose sins were washed away
From every tribe and every land they all had heard the call
the rich, the poor, the black, the white, and Jesus loved them all
He loved them with their many faults He loved them with their needs
He said that He accepted them because they had received
Amazing grace and mercy he had sent them from above
they sang the mighty chorus called redeemed by His great love
It wasn’t works that they had done it wasn’t mighty deeds
for everyone within this world had made it on their knees
it wasn’t by their righteousness they had received the call
it was a cross called Calvary and Jesus loved them all--copyright 2001 SPF
And Jesus Loved Them All------
I saw a sea of faces in a dream I had one day
and millions stood before a throne
whose sins were washed away
from every tribe and every land
they all had heard the call
the rich, the poor, the black, the white
and Jesus loved them all.
He loved them with their many faults
He loved them with their needs
He said that He accepted them
because they had received
amazing grace and mercy
he had sent them from above
they sang the mighty chorus
called redeemed by His great love.
it wasn’t works that they had done
it wasn’t mighty deeds
for everyone within this world
had made it on their knees
it wasn’t by their righteousness
they had received the call
it was a cross called Calvary
and Jesus loved them all
c-copyright 2001 SPF-Stephen Funderburk
K. Edward "Ed" Skidmore
Amazing Grace was written by a man who spent his early years as a captain of a slave ship. After his conversion, he served as the minister of a church for 44 years before his death at the age of 83. Here’s what he had inscribed on his tomb stone:
"John Newton, … once an Infidel and Libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich Mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the Faith he had long labored to destroy."
A simple story told by James Pleitz illustrates how easily we forget how blessed we are.
Two children dressed in ragged and outgrown clothes, huddled inside the storm door. “Any old papers, lady?” The woman was busy and wanted to say so— until she looked down on their feet and saw their sandals sopped with sleet. “Come in the house, I’ll make you a cup of hot cocoa,” she said. They said nothing but came in with their wet feet and sat on the floor in front of the fire. Hot cocoa and toast with jelly warmed them from the chilling cold outside.
She went back to the kitchen and started again on housework. The silence in the front room struck her and she looked in. The girl held her empty cup in her hands, looking at it. The boy asked in a flat voice, “Lady, are you rich!” “Am I rich” Mercy, no!” was the reply.
She looked at her shabby slipcovers and the worn place in the rug. The girl put her cup in her saucer — carefully. “Your cups match your saucers,” she said. Her voice had a hunger not from the stomach. They left with their papers under their arms and had no...
When I was small, I used to play a game with my friends called musical chairs. Do you remember it? The object of the game was to be in possession of a chair when the music stopped. All through life it often seems we’re caught up in this game.
There are different kinds of chairs and in life’s "game" we can sit in one of these
The principal’s office chair
The kitchen chair
The rocking chair
The electric chair
The throne of a King
Let me tell you about God’s chair:
"I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple."
Ephesians 2:4-7 (Amplified)
4But God--so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
5Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation).
6And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us [b]joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
7He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.
When you accept God’s love and mercy and acknowledge that you are a sinner. When you ask for forgiveness of your sins and submit to Jesus Christ as the Savior of your soul He raises you up from death unto His chair. We were spiritually dead but God decided to give us the very life of Christ Himself.
I WILL, WITH GOD'S HELP
I read a marvelous story remembered by Reverend Mary Moore Roberson. She writes:
"Some years ago, I served on the lay staff of my home parish under the supervision of the priest charged with pastoral care. Barbara took to appearing, first at the door to his office and then to mine. She was a member of a very large, very affluent church. She was neither affluent nor large – short enough to be easily overlooked. She told us that the bank was about to take her childhood home, the house in which she and her 10-year-old son Jeffrey lived. The treasurer gave her advice and offered to speak to the mortgage people, who went on and foreclosed anyway.
And for a time, we heard, she and the boy lived in her tired blue Chevrolet, eventually moving into the grand-sounding Jesse Jackson Townhomes, a public housing project filled with the crack of guns and cocaine, so dangerous that Barbara could not allow her child to go outside to play. The place might as well have had a sign over its entrance: 'Abandon hope all ye who enter here.' Or perhaps: 'Having abandoned hope, enter here.'
"But she did not abandon hope. Over and over during those long months, I would look up from my desk to find Barbara in the doorway, her short, round body fixed there, often with her taller pasty-faced child looming over her right shoulder. 'Jeffrey needs shoes for school, and I don’t have the money to buy them. Will you help?' 'I don’t have the money for car insurance.' 'I don’t have the money for gas.' 'Jeffrey’s not going to have any Christmas unless you help.'
"We gave her just exactly what she asked for, layer after layer of Band-Aids as our own selves became overwhelmed by her persistent need and our impotence in the face of that. We just plain came to dread the sound of our normally cheerful receptionist as she announced tiredly, 'Barbara’s here.'
"One day a member of the staff came to the pastoral care priest and me and said, 'Let’s stop messing around and really help her. It’s going to take a lot of money, and you know as well as I do who is going to say we’re crazy, but we can live through that.'
"He brought us up short. He brought us on into the room where the healing touch of our Lord awaited, reminding us by implication of the pledge that we make when we first stand in the doorway, the baptismal vows that we renew from time to time." The words we just said, "Matthew is now received into the holy Catholic church. Through baptism God has made him a member of the household of God, to share with us in the priesthood of Christ. I charge you, the people of this congregation, to nurture and to love him, and to assist him to be a faithful disciple."
Reverend Roberson continues:
"Those words came back to us, but, now, up close and personal. Barbara enrolled in nursing school, living in a furnished apartment donated for the time it took her to complete her education, driving a car provided by another parishioner, her tuition and day-to-day expenses taken care of.
"I don’t have the faintest idea where Barbara and her son, Jeffrey, are these days. I do, however, remember how she said she would tell the story called 'God Helps,' the chapters and chapters of mercy that came by way of her conviction that God would see her desperate need, would care about her, would cause her life to be reordered, and in fact, had brought her through the door into the place where God had chosen for that to be done.
"A straight-A student and only a step away from receiving her cap, Barbara announced, 'I want to come speak to the vestry at its next meeting.' She did come and stood there before the church’s leaders—the rector and the twelve rich business people and the civic movers and shakers. She stood erect in her white uniform, a stethoscope around her neck, and told her story of the eking away of her life and the miracle of her new life. And most especially of its purpose. These are the words that every person in that room believed then as we wept together, and remembers now most especially what she said last: "Thank you for helping me when I could not help myself. Because of you, I am going to help others. I want you to know this. Every single time I touch a person for healing, this parish will touch that person with me. You will be right there."
[The Reverend Mary Moore Roberson, "I Will, With God’s Help," Mark 1:29-39, February 5, 2006, Day 1.org]