Sermon Illustrations

Making God-Hugs Possible! (10.12.05--Sacrifice!--Matthew 19:21)

Does God place limits on how far He wants us to go when it comes to committing to His will? If His will is our sacrifice, can there be any limits? Is our God reasonable when it comes to our ability to forbear or to bear?

God, of course, transcends our reason because we cannot even begin to understand His wisdom. Sometimes we just need to commit and leave the rest up to Him, trusting that whatever happens, we will endure. It’s like when my father would put a list of chores in front of me on a Saturday morning. At first glance it looked pretty bleak for a young man anxious to get in his needed “free” time on a weekend. It may have even looked like I might not “survive” the chores that day. Yet, I had to trust that my father would not give me more than I could bear. There just was no other way. Ultimately, I had to trust in my father’s judgement and simply do the work. Now, as I look back at those days, I can see that what my father was really looking for was my willingness to do the work no matter what. The fact that the work was accomplished was secondary.

Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Their conviction resulted in untold sufferings for themselves and their families. Of the 56 men, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army. Another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the war. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty.

At the battle of Yorktown, the British General Cornwallis had taken over Thomas Nelson’s home for his headquarters. Nelson quietly ordered General George Washington to open fire on the Nelson home. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and...

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