Summary: UPDATED 6/1/01 A salvation sermon. Main Idea The greatest act of love ever shown was the cross and the empty tomb; everything else pales by comparison.
A Love that Will Never Let Go
Introduction: "Dearest Jimmy, No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie....P.S., And congratulations on willing the state lottery."
"Anyone who’s ever had a brush with the thing called love knows that this feeling so desired is also tough to pin down" writes Curt Degenhartt. He says, "There are so many kinds. We’ve got lusty love, companionate love, fraternal love, the kind of love you have for your grandparents, thrilling love, young love, self love, and love mixed in with a lot of pain-and many more. How can we survive a relationship with all these different forms of love floating around? If you can’t survive the change, you?d better learn, since relationships are filled with love that’s ever-changing." ("Love’s Ever-Changing Face"- Source: http://www.love-n-kisses.com)
Degenhartt was on target in his comment about human love. It seems that no matter how strong human love may be there is always the possibility that it will let go. What do we do then? love is one of most basic human needs... Abraham Maslow - a psychologist - placed the need to be loved and wanted just above our physical and safety needs in his famous hierarchy of needs. In order to be whole, we need to be loved! What would our lives be like without love? Is it possible to find a better kind of love? Yes, I believe it is! Is it possible to find a love that never changes? Yes, I believe it is!
In our world where so many misguided and distorted pictures of love exist, humanity still longs for a kind of love that will never let go...a love with permanence, characterized by unconditional acceptance. I know of only one place where that kind of love can be found. That place is the cross! The love that your soul is longing for is freely available at the cross. Why? Because Jesus, the Savior of the world shed his blood there for our sins to prove this love! Jesus told his disciples, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends."
I. THE CROSS IS A PLACE OF DEMONSTRATION (God demonstrated...)
a. Is it better to tell some one you love them or show someone? which is better?
b. Illustration: Oliver Cromwell and the soldier story
c. Jesus demonstrated His love for us by going to the cross! Because of his great sacrifice, the bell of judgment for our sins is silenced. The bible says He was bruised for our iniquities!
II. THE CROSS IS A PLACE OF LIBERATION (While we were yet sinners...)
a. Sin keeps us from experiencing God’s love in all its fullness. Our sins have separated us from God. We need to be set free from them.
b. What is sin? Disobedience...Rebellion...Neglect...Sin is when I choose me instead of God)
c. "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit," 1 Peter 3:18
III. THE CROSS IS A PLACE OF INVITATION (Christ died for us.)
a. "There is nothing you can to do make God love you more! There is nothing you can do to make God love you less! His love is Unconditional, Impartial, Everlasting, Infinite, Perfect!" - Richard C. Halverson.
b. The greatest act of love ever shown was the cross and the empty tomb; everything else pales by comparison.
c. God is inviting you today, personally to come to the cross where your sins can be forgiven...
Invitation: Today, God is calling you to trust Christ. His death and resurrection is for you. He wants you to have the love your soul is longing for. He invites you now to receive Christ personally in your own heart. The Bible says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." How do I know if I am hearing his voice you say? One time, I made a homemade kite. I used about a thousand yards of my grandmothers crochet thread for the string. I let that kite out as far as I could on that string. So far in fact, I could not even see it. But I knew it was there because I could feel itpulling on the line. If God is there speaking to your heart today, you know it. He is pulling on your strings of your heart. You may be experiencing a tugging of your heartstrings right now. Some have described it as a "want to." Don’t allow this moment to go by without saying yes to Jesus.