An elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak. "A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast," he began, "when a fast-approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized."
The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.
“How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us. Our heavenly father sacrificed his only-begotten son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept his offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line he is throwing out to you in this service.” With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.
The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side. “That was a nice story,” politely stated one of them, “but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”
“Well, you've got a point there,” the old man replied glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face. He once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn't very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up his son for me. You see, I was that father and your pastor is my son's friend.” From the Sermon Illustration Library
God’s love is completely unconditional. There is nothing that will get in between his love for us. Even in our sinful state God loves us. His love for us is matchless, endless and boundless; yet it is quantified by the death of his only begotten. God loves us no matter who we are and what we've done. We are all God's creation and He loves us regardless of our status, sex, or ethnicity. He has no respect of person. God loves and shows us mercy. We exist under the banner of grace that is freely given. God loved us first and was made manifest in the giving of his son Jesus Christ.
God’s love towards us is our example of how we should/could love. By the empowerment of his Spirit, we produce fruits of love towards our fellow man. By these fruits we are recognized and identified as followers of The Way! We are marked and His seal is placed on upon us! By our fruits you shall know them!
Before you were created God loved you and He proved His love by providing a way of escape from eternal damnation and destruction. Creating man was a Good thing and even though the enemy of our souls has set out to prove otherwise, The Father has given His son to satisfy the requirement for salvation and intimacy with The Father. Blessed be the name of Jesus! The One who has set me free and has given me life more abundant!
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:26-31
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Psalm 8:1-9
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:15-16
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