Illustration results for God's Forgiveness
Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
A video clip from the movie "Dead Man Walking" might give us a better understanding of what mercy really is.
In the video, Sister Helen Prejean sits with convicted killer Matthew Poncelet in his cell. When he confesses that he has indeed killed a man, Sister Prejean teaches him that he can become a child of God by asking for forgiveness of his sins and owning up to his responsibility—which he does, realizing that confession doesn’t negate what he’s done. The best he can do is wish the families peace. Poncelet is grateful for Sister Prejean’s compassion and love.* The video concludes with Poncelet telling Sister Prejean, "Thank you for loving me." (* Source: Videos That Teach, by Doug Fields and Eddie James)
For many people today the spiritual journey is filled with crushing burdens. I think of the character Rodrigo from the 1986 academy award winning movie The Mission. Rodrigo, played by Robert DeNiro, portrays a slave trader who kills his brother in a fit of rage. He’s filled with such terrible remorse and guilt that, to pay penance and get rid of his guilt he carries his armor through the jungle as a symbol of the crushing burden of his guilt.
Are you burdened like Rodrigo in your spiritual journey today? If so, I’ve got good news that you can lighten your load. It’s likely that many of us are carrying burdens today that don’t belong on the journey, burdens like the armor that Rodrigo was carrying on his journey. Today we’re going to look at how to lighten our load of four specific burdens that crush us in our spiritual journey.
GOT IT COMIN'
Clint Eastwood Westerns are great movies. One of his later movies is titled “Unforgiven.” In the movie, Eastwood plays the part of an aging gunfighter who lost his taste for killing many years before. He and his old partner, played by Morgan Freeman, are lured by the rumor of a bounty of gold being offered for the arrest of some cowboys who had disfigured a young prostitute. Despite some misgivings, they set out to hunt for these men, joined by a young partner who is eager to show he is as good a gunfighter as any man. When they find the men they are hunting, the young man, who had earlier bragged of killing five men, admits after the confrontation that the man he killed was his first. As he sits talking to Eastwood afterward, it is easy to see that the memory of watching the man die is haunting him. He sits with a bottle of whiskey, taking quick drinks to help him face the moment. As he tries to convince himself there was nothing wrong with what he did, Clint simply says, “Take a drink, kid.” No telling how many times the older gunman had faced the same memories with a bottle. The young man takes a drink, and says, “Well, I guess he had it coming for what he did,” still trying to justify the killing to himself. Clint just pauses and reflects for a long moment, and finally replies, “We all got it coming, kid.”
The scene is a reminder of the verse: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” When it comes to God’s justice, we all “got it coming.”
Citation: "Unforgiven", 1992.
Miss Anne was not able to give Helen Keller her sight. But she was able to lead her into an understanding of the world around her that she had never experienced before. As you watch the closing moments in the movie we began earlier, The Miracle Worker, think about how marvelous that moment must have been for this man healed of his blindness in
John 9. Think about the gratitude and love he must have felt toward the Lord as he considered the marvelous thing Jesus had d...
Do you remember the feelings of disappointment Dorothy and her friends had when the Great and Magnificent Wizard of Oz was exposed behind the curtain? Do you remember that scene? The Wizard spoke with much sound and fury, but seemed to have little substance once the curtain was pulled back. Did Jesus turn out to be that way? No way – no one pulled the curtain back on him. In fact, he ripped in right in two. When Christ died, the curtain in the temple separating the people from the Most Holy Place, which represented the presence of the Lord was torn from top to bottom. God and His eternal love and forgiveness were made accessible to man in Christ!
Jackie Chan movie. This man is very innovative in the way that he makes fight scenes. Instead of just using normal karate chops and the like, he will use common every day items and create unbelievable fight scenes with them. In one scene, he fights off dozens of men with a common every day step ladder. I suppose some would be unimpressed with his action scenes. But when I saw that, I couldn’t believe how he orchestrated the action. In a sense, that’s what’s so amazing about God! But a hundred times more! He creates salvation through the birth of a boy - something that we see every day. He decides to save the world and bring life - through all things - an instrument of death - a cross! You would expect God - a powerful God - to use power to save the world. You would expect God to try and impress us with powerful miracles to convert us. But instead, He uses weakness! He uses the staff of His Word! With this simple tool - words - God converts us! He gets us to put our hands over our mouths - crawl on our knees before Him - and turn in fear to HIM for forgiveness. When we see God take us out of this sinful world and plant us into HIS kingdom - it brings us out of our dens of self righteousness and into the light of his SON! That’s exciting! If that doesn’t at least bring some joy to your heart - you’d best pinch yourself - because you must be dead!
"They Shoot Horses Don’t They". The movie is about an actress who has a fallen career on the big screen during the 20’s. She enters a dance marathon hoping to win the jackpot and use the money to launch a new movie career. As the marathon draws closer to the end, she realizes that she and her partner have a good chance of winning. During one of the rest breaks, the promoter calls them into the office, and explains to them that the winner has to pay for the expenses of the dance out of the $750.00 prize money.
She sees life is not worth fighting any longer, because when she thought she was winning, she was losing. She gives up on life. The final scene of the movie shows her going round and round as if on a merry-go-round. She steps off and goes outside with her boy friend, hands him a gun and asks him to shoot her. As the viewer, you can feel her helplessness, but as a Christian you want her to live, to be redeemed. But the gun goes off. She falls to the ground. The police come and ask the boy friend why he shot her. He replies,"They shoot horses don’t they!!"
Video Clip: Dead Man Walking: From Videos that Teach -- Fields and James page 52
Can anyone, no matter what they have done, become a child of God?
The Movie: Drama R
Sister Helen Prejan (Susan Sarandon) is a nun who receives a desperate letter from a death row inmate, Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn), a convicted murderer trying to avoid the death penalty. As their relationship develops, Sister Prejean must come to terms with ministering to Poncelet as a fellow child of God despite the horrendous nature of his crimes, while at the same time ministering to the victim’s families.
This clip : Start 1:35:45 “That boy, Walter.” Stop 1:38:01
Sister Helen sits with convicted killer Matthew poncelet in his cell. When he confesses that he has indeed killed a man, sister Prejean teaches him that he can become a child of God by asking for forgiveness of his sins and owning up to his responsibility-which he does, realizi...
If some of you are like me, you’ve been waiting with a bit of anticipation for the final segment of J.R.R. Tolkiens, The Lord of the Rings, to be released to movie theatres some time in the near future. If you’ve been following the story on the screen or reading it from the pages of a book, you’ve been introduced to a rather unique character by the name of Gollum, who once possessed a ring forged by the evil Sardon, and now in the possession of Frodo Baggins, who knows that it ultimately must be destroyed in order to spare the world untold evil and destruction. The trouble is the ring has a history of driving those who possess it raving mad, a truth beginning to show itself in Frodo, but clearly witnessed in Gollum who appears totally consumed with the ring, calling it, as others owners have, “His precious.”
It’s really quite despicable to see a creature so absolutely driven and obsessed with something so evil. Perhaps it’s even more troubling when we recognize that this is us, every time our sinful human nature brings us to speak with a sharp and bitter tongue or act out our hateful or lustful desires which we’ve concluded to be more “precious” than the will of our God.
But I want you to keep that image of total consumption, of whole-hearted attention, of obsession in mind. Keep it there because as much as humanity is caught-up in sin, as negatively consumed and driven as Gollum was towards that symbol of evil; our God is positively consumed with us. In God’s eyes our lives are to be treated with the utmost care, so that even our deaths are a precious thing. “Precious in your sight, O Lord, is the death of your saints.”
Our God is not consumed with personal gain, but with ours. He’s not consumed with His own well-being, but with ours. He’s totally wrapped up in the troubles that confront us, death being the culmination of them all. He’s completely devoted to pouring out its remedy. Our life and that which threatens to destroy it completely in hell has our Lord’s whole-hearted attention. It’s His precious.
In the movie “The Color Purple” there is a character named “Sug Avery.” She grew up in preacher’s home; but fell into deep sin. She was the same kind of sinner as the woman in our text. Early in the movie we see her father rejecting her because that sin. He won’t even speak to her. Sug longs for his approval but she can’t pull herself out of the bondage. Her poor dad does not really know how to reach her. His legalistic approach has not worked. We see a lot of pain in Sug Avery and in her dad.
I’m going to close with a six-minute clip from that movie.
The scene opens in a field of purple lilacs. Sug is telling Celie (played by Woppie Goldberg) what motivates people to do the things they do. Pay close attention to what Sug is saying at the beginning of the clip.
The scene changes to a bar where Sug is the entertainer. Its Sunday morning, the bar is only a couple hundred feet from church where Sug grew up. You will see her dad, the preacher, conclude his sermon.
Look for that moment when God grants Sug repentance like woman well. Let’s watch.
 The clip begins toward end of the movie in the middle of Sug and Celie’s walk thru the purple field of flowers and ends right after Sug says to her father, “See, Daddy, even sinners have souls too.”
 The movie clip was shown at this point.