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Summary: In these verses we see God’s powerful love revealed in the actions of His Son, Jesus. This love lives on in our lives, as we serve others for Christ’s sake.

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“Powerful Love in Action”

Luke 6:17-26

February 15, 2004

Pain exists. Suffering is real. It takes many forms.

I received an email this week from a man in Moscow via our church website. He had seen our webpage on the internet and he reached out to us through email. His son suffered an accident at school many years ago. Corrosive chemicals had splashed into his young eyes. The resulting chemical burns left him blind. After many years, dollars, and unsuccessful treatments this father has found the means necessary to send him to one of the foremost ocular clinics in the world. It is located in Miami, Florida. He cannot afford to make the trip with his son; the young man will make the journey alone. He will fly into NYC, go through US Customs, have a brief layover, switch planes, fly to Miami, where he will have to make it from the airport to the clinic. Remember, he’s blind. He will have the assistance of his cane and nothing else. He doesn’t speak English. His father is desperately searching for someone to help guide his son from one plane to the next in New York. And someone to help get the boy from the airport to the clinic in Miami. This seems like a simple task to us, any one of us (if we lived there) could do it. All it would take on our part is a little bit of time. But it would mean everything in the world to this individual.

Pain exists. Suffering is real. It takes many forms.

Roger and Ellen had been married for 52 years. She recently lost her battle with cancer. Roger’s best friend is gone. The company he had grown so accustomed to is now absent. The opportunities for walks and talks with the woman he loved so dearly aren’t a possibility any longer. It hurts. No one comes to visit him. No one bothers to call. The sinking loneliness has left him numb. In the endless hours of solitude the darkness of despair has begun to take hold. Silence is his prison. All he needs is someone to talk to, someone to show they care. It seems like an easy thing to do, any one of us could make a visit or a phone call. All it would take on our part is a little bit of time. But it would mean everything in the world to this individual.

Pain exists. Suffering is real. It takes many forms.

Harold had a troubled life early on. He was a “wild child” his rebellion carried over into his adulthood. After repeated run-ins with the law and bouts with drug and alcohol abuse, he finally found himself at what they call “rock-bottom”. With the help of a few committed friends, an accountability program, and caring and understanding wife, Harold’s life took a turn for the better. When some of his new friends cared enough to point him toward the forgiveness found in Christ, Harold and his wife started attending church. They became members, and now, 5 years later, they are regulars in worship on Sunday. Harold likes the pastor, he enjoys the fellowship and friends found at church. Things are great. Then one day last month Harold’s doctor had bad news. Harold has an incurable liver and kidney disease. The precipitating cause? Years of alcohol abuse. How long does he have? 6 to 8 months. Harold is crushed, he blames himself. He plagues himself with “if only’s”… “If only I hadn’t been so stubborn.” “If only I would have only gotten off the bottle earlier.” “If only I had listened long ago, this would never have happened.” Harold had been told at church that he was forgiven, but now he doesn’t believe it. He is convinced God is punishing him now for his rebellion of the past. He knew it was too good to be true, he sinned and now it is time to pay. He needs to be reassured of the Gospel. He needs to be told, again and again, how much God loves him, how Christ already paid for all his sins, and rose from the dead as proof of victory. All he needs is someone with the patience and dedication to keep reassuring him of this forgiveness. All he needs is someone to share with him those life-giving words of salvation. All it would take on our part is a little bit of time. But it would make all the difference in the world to this individual.


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