Sermon Illustrations

D.L. Moody’s Thoughts Before His Death Illustrate an Important Habit--Begin with the End in Mind

Steven Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, states that one of those habits is to “Begin with the end in mind”; for the final days and hours of a man are often some of the most telling. Such was the case with one of Christianity’s greatest heroes.

The date was Thursday, December 21, 1899. After cutting short a Kansas City crusade and returning home in ill health, D.L. Moody told his family, “I’m not discouraged. I want to live as long as I am useful, but when my work is done I want to be up and off.” The next day Moody awakened after a restless night and in careful, measured words he said, “Earth recedes, Heaven opens before me!” His son, Will, concluded his father was dreaming. “No, this is no dream, son. It is beautiful. If this is death, it is sweet. There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go.”

When a man knows the end is near - only the important surfaces. The trivial is bypassed. The unnecessary is forgotten. Only that which is vital remains. So, if you and I would know Christ, let us ponder His final days. He knew the end was near. He had read the last chapter before it was written. He had heard the final chorus before it was sung. As a result, each step was calculated, every act was carefully undertaken. In looking once more at the events leading up to the Cross, let us consider what we are told in Matthew 26:47-56.

From a sermon by Joseph McGaha, Angels On Call, 12/11/2009

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