Sermon Illustrations

*The closer we get to Jesus, the more we will see a change in our lives.

*Jonah Jones had a terrible childhood. Jonah’s parents were drug traffickers who introduced him to cocaine when he was 8-years-old. Unbelievable! -- but true. Worse than that, Jonah’s stepfather raped him. His mother abused him both emotionally and physically. When the couple had parties for customers, Jonah said, “People could rape me, beat me, or do whatever they wanted. I was the party favor.” From grade school through young adulthood, he worked in the family business, which each month brought tons of cocaine into the United States.

*But one day, Jonah’s car broke down near a church. He stepped in to use the phone, but was ushered into the sanctuary. He sat through the music; then, the pastor began to speak. Jonah later wrote, “As the preacher talked, it was like he knew who I was. I started perspiring. By the time I got up to the front to pray, I knew God was real. I had found a Savior who was just. I knew that if I would pray, He would take away my sin. He would make me new!”

*After getting saved, Jonah broke with his family and began to run. He stopped in a rescue mission in Shreveport. There, he found help with his drug habit and emotional wounds. Jonah and another recovering addict began to write songs about the hope they found in Jesus Christ. Jonah also decided to pursue a degree in counseling. He joined a Baptist church, where he met his wife.

*Jonah said: “It doesn’t matter how bad you think you are. There is help and there is hope. God is full of mercy and grace.”

*How foolish we would be not to follow Him. Thank God it’s not too late for us! Start right now! -- Or renew your commitment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus.

*Article from “Bridges” a 1997 Tabloid published by the Louisiana Baptist Convention

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