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WHO MADE ME?
I love the story of the boy sitting on his father's lap as they were looking into a mirror. The boy said to his dad, "Dad, who made me?"
He said, "God made you, son."
He said, "Dad, who made you?"
He said, "God made me, son."
He said, "Dad, who made granddad?"
He said, "God made him, son."
He said, "Dad, who made great-granddad?" He said, "God made him, son. Why do you ask?"
The boy took one look back in the mirror and said, "Well, it just seems to me He's been doing a better job in recent years!"
Laugh as we might and should, the boy was right. God so starts at conception to develop a child that unborn children have detectable heartbeats at just 18 days.
(From a sermon by Larry Moyer, What Does God Say about the Sanctity of Life? 1/5/2011)
James H. Cook, Jr.
I heard of a couple who, as they were paying for groceries in the check-out line, were discussing their soon to be 50th wedding anniversary, when the young cashier interjected by saying, "I can’t imagine being married to same man for 5o years!"
The wife wisely replied, teaching the young girl a lesson at the same time, "Well, Honey, don’t get married until you can ."
MARRIAGE: PREPARATION IS KEY
"Promises are no substitute for preparation in marriage. Just because you say 'I Do' does not make you able. Just because you say 'I Do' does not make you capable. It only makes you accountable. And when you are accountable for something you are not capable of doing, you become miserable. Preparation is the key, not promises."
(Andy Stanley in sermon "New rules for Love, Sex and dating: If I were you.")
1 Corinthians 13:1-13:8
CYMBALA'S EASTER STORY
Jim Cymbala preaches at a church in the slums of New York. He tells the following story: It was Easter Sunday and I was so tired at the end of the day that I just went to the edge of the platform, pulled down my tie and sat down and draped my feet over the edge. It was a wonderful service with many people coming forward. The counselors were talking with these people.
As I was sitting there I looked up the middle aisle, and there in about the third row was a man who looked about fifty, disheveled, filthy. He looked up at me rather sheepishly, as if saying, “Could I talk to you?”
We have homeless people coming in all the time, asking for money or whatever. So as I sat there, I said to myself, though I am ashamed of it, “What a way to end a Sunday. I’ve had such a good time, preaching and ministering, and here’s a fellow probably wanting some money for more wine.”
He walked up. When he got within about five feet of me, I smelled a horrible smell like I’d never smelled in my life. It was so awful that when he got close, I would inhale by looking away, and then I’d talk to him, and then look away to inhale, because I couldn’t inhale facing him. I asked him, “What’s your name?”
“How long have you been on the street?”
“How old are you?”
“Thirty-two.” He looked fifty--hair matted; front teeth missing; wino; eyes slightly glazed.
“Where did you sleep last night, David?”
I keep in my back pocket a money clip that also holds some credit cards. I fumbled to pick one out thinking; I’ll give him some money. I won’t even get a volunteer. They are all busy talking with others. Usually we don’t give money to people. We take them to get something to eat.
I took the money out. David pushed his finger in front of me. He said, “I don’t want your money. I want this Jesus, the One you were talking about, because I’m not going to make it. I’m going to die on the street.”
I completely forgot about David, and I started to weep for myself. I was going to give a couple of dollars to someone God had sent to me. See how easy it is? I could make the excuse I was tired. There is no excuse. I was not seeing him the way God sees him. I was not feeling what God feels.
But oh, did that change! David just stood there. He didn’t know what was happening. I pleaded with God, “God, forgive me! Forgive me! Please forgive me. I am so sorry to represent You this way. I’m so sorry. Here I am with my message and my points, and You send somebody and I am not ready for it. Oh, God!”
Something came over me. Suddenly I started to weep deeper, and David began to weep. He fell against my chest as I was sitting there. He fell against my white shirt and tie, and I put my arms around him, and there we wept on each other. The smell of His person became a beautiful aroma. Here is what I thought the Lord made real to me: If you don’t love this smell, I...
Once at a fast-food restaurant, I took my burger back up to the counter, pointed to the picture on the overhead menu, and asked, Can I have one that looks like that?” The one I had was smushed, smudged, and generally unappealing.
At those places, I always get less than I ask for. And my reaction finally got the best of me.
Just once I’d like to get more than I ask for. Of course, I don’t know how I’d react if I did. Maybe dance a jig, or burst into song.
What about God? Do you ever get more than you ask for from God? What kind of reaction does that provoke in you?
Jack Benny was rather shy when he was young. One day at work he saw a young lady that greatly attracted his attention. But he was too shy to speak to her. So he went to the florist & ordered one red rose to be sent to her without any card enclosed. And every day he repeated that order.
Well, after 4 days of receiving one red rose each day, the young lady went to the florist & asked who was sending them. The florist told her that it was some guy who worked where she did by the name of Jack Benny. “Yeah,” she said, “I think I know who he is.”
So she searched Jack out & asked him why he was sending her those roses. He told her that he wanted to ask her out, & she accepted his invitation. And other dates followed that first one. But still, every day, she continued to receive one red rose.
Then Jack & Mary got engaged, & Mary figured that the red roses would stop. But still they came. Finally, they were married, & even on the honeymoon she continued to receive one red rose each day. But once the honeymoon was over, she figured that the roses would stop.
But month after month, then year after year, all their married life, every day without fail she received a red rose. Finally, Jack Benny died. But the very next day, here came another red rose. Thinking that maybe the florist somehow hadn’t heard, she called to tell him of Jack’s death & that he could now stop sending the roses.
He answered, “But you don’t understand. Before he died, Jack made all the arrangements. You’ll receive one red rose every day for the rest of your life.”
AGAPE LOVE, THE HIGHEST FORM OF LOVE, IS REFERENCED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 137 TIMES AS A VERB AND 116 TIMES AS A NOUN.
WHAT'S GOD GOT TO DO WITH IT?
If you “Google” the word love, and you have to be very careful doing this, you will find all sorts of websites,120,000,000 to be exact. Here are some examples that you will find:
I love Dogs.com
I love Cats.com (Although this one is a plea to spay or neuter)
I love Cheese. Com
I love Lucy.com
We love the Iraqi Information Minister.com
True Romance Dating Service.com
The Love Calculator.com On this site you type in your name and your mate...
LOVE IS ACTION
In his book, Dad, The Family Coach, Dave Simmons tells of an act of sacrificial love that occurred in a shopping mall. One day he took his eight year old Helen and five year old Brandon to the Cloverdale Mall. He needed to buy some tools in Sears.
When they pulled into the mall parking lot, there was a big sign that said, "Petting Zoo." Immediately the kids jumped up and asked, "Can we go, Daddy? Can we go? Please." Seeing that it would be not trouble at all, and concluding that it might even make his trip quicker, Dave said, "Sure," and handed both his kids a quarter. They bolted away as he headed for Sears.
A few minutes later he was making his way down the aisle when he spotted Helen slowly walking up behind him. She looked up at him and said, "Well, Daddy, it cost fifty cents. So, I gave Brandon my quarter." then she said the most beautiful thing of all. She repeated their family motto, "Love is action!"
What do you think he did? Not what you might think. Dave finished his shopping and then took Helen back to the petting zoo. They stood by the fence watching Brandon go crazy petting and feeding the animals. Helen stood with her hands and her chin resting on the fence just watching. Dave felt fifty cents in his pocket, almost burning a hole, but he never offered it, and she never asked for it. Helen was following through with the lesson.
Love is not just action. Love is sacrificial action. Love always pays a price. Love always costs something. Love is expensive. When you love, benefits accrue to another’s account. Love is for you, not for me. Love gives; it doesn’t grab.
One of the most memorable books I have ever read is A Severe Mercy. This is the story of Sheldon Vanauken and his wife Davy, who happened to be friends of C. S. Lewis. This couple was deeply in love and they sought to build the ideal marriage. They would only read books that the other wanted to read, and always tried to do everything together. But then a third person came along and interfered with this perfect relationship. That person was God. Davy began to get to know the Lord, and began to love Him. Sheldon became jealous, in his mind he didn’t want to share his wife with God. It was only after Davy’s premature death that Sheldon realized how foolish his attitude was. He also came to understand that the perfect marriage is not just when both partners love each other, but when both husband and wife love God even more than they love their spouse.