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Posts Tagged ‘love’

The Pastor and His Son

Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at the church, the Pastor and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out Gospel Tracts.

This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside, as well as pouring down rain. The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, "OK, dad, I’m ready."  His Pastor dad asked, "Ready for what?"  "Dad, it’s time we gather our tracts together and go out." Dad responds, "Son, it’s very cold outside and it’s pouring down rain." The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, "But Dad, aren’t people still going to Hell, even though it’s raining?"  Dad answers, "Son, I am not going out in this weather." Despondently, the boy asks, "Dad, can I go? Please?"  His father hesitated for a moment then said, "Son, you can go. Here are the tracts, be careful son."  "Thanks Dad!"

And with that, he was off and out into the rain. This eleven year old boy walked the streets of the town going door to door and handing everybody he met in the street a Gospel Tract.

After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone-chilled wet and down to his VERY LAST TRACT. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a tract to, but the streets were totally deserted. Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to the front door and rang the door bell.. He rang the bell, but nobody answered…. He rang it again and again, but still no one answered.  He waited but still no answer. Finally, this eleven year old trooper turned to leave, but something stopped him…. Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch He rang again and this time the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She softly asked, "What can I do for you, son?" With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy said, "Ma’am, I’m sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that *JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU* and I came to give you my very last Gospel Tract which will tell you all about JESUS and His great LOVE."  With that, he handed her his last tract and turned to leave.  She called to him as he departed. "Thank you, son! And God Bless You!"

Well, the following Sunday morning in church Pastor Dad was in the pulpit.  As the service began, he asked, "Does anybody have testimony or want to say anything?  Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her feet.  As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her face, "No one in this church knows me. I’ve never been here before. You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband passed on some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world.  Last Sunday, being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live. So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my home…. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, then stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on that chair, so lonely and broken-hearted I was about to leap off, when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, "I’ll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away.." I waited and waited, but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder and more insistent, and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly. I thought to myself again, "Who on earth could this be?  Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me." I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder.  When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes, for there on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life. His SMILE, oh, I could never describe it to you!  The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long been dead, TO LEAP TO LIFE as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice,

"Ma’am, I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU."

Then he gave me this Gospel Tract that I now hold in my hand.  As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain, I closed my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel Tract. Then I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn’t be needing them any more. You see, I am now a Happy Child of the KING. Since the address of your church was on the back of this Gospel Tract, I have come here to personally say THANK YOU to God’s little angel who came just in the nick of time and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in hell."

There was not a dry eye in the church. And as shouts of praise and honour to THE KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated. He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably. Probably no church has had a more glorious moment, and probably this universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love and honour for his son… Except for One.

Our Father also allowed His Son to go out into a cold and dark world.. He received His Son back with joy unspeakable, and as all of heaven shouted praises and honour to The King, the Father sat His beloved Son on a throne far above all principality and power and every name that is named.

Remember, God’s message CAN make the difference in the life of someone close to you.

Do You Love Me?

One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise. Ah, the beauty of God’s creation is beyond description. As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work. As I sat there, I felt the Lord’s presence with me.

He asked me, “Do you love me?”

I answered, “Of course, God! You are my Lord and Saviour!”

Then He asked, “If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me?”

I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn’t be able to do — the things that I took for granted?

And I answered, “It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You.”

Then the Lord said, “If you were blind, would you still love my creation?” How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and His creation.

So I answered, “Its hard to think of it, but I would still love you.”

The Lord then asked me, “If you were deaf, would you still listen to my word?” How could I listen to anything being deaf?

Then I understood. Listening to God’s Word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts.

I answered, “It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your word.”

The Lord then asked, “If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?”

How could I praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks.

So I answered, “Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name.”

And the Lord asked, “Do you really love Me?”

With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly, “Yes Lord! I love You because You are the one and true God!”

I thought I had answered well, but God asked, “THEN WHY DO YOU SIN?”

I answered, “Because I am only human. I am not perfect.”

“THEN WHY IN TIMES OF PEACE DO YOU STRAY THE FURTHEST? WHY ONLY IN TIMES OF TROUBLE DO YOU PRAY IN EARNEST?”

{ No answers – only tears. }

The Lord continued: “Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully?”

The tears continued to roll down my cheeks.

“Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the good news? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in My Name?”

I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give.

“You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to turn away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idly by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all.”

“DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME ?”

I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this? My heart had cried out and the tears had flowed, I said, Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child.”

The Lord answered, “That is My Grace, My child.”

I asked, “Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do You love me so?”

The Lord answered, “Because you are My creation. You are my child. I will never abandon you. When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you. When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you. When you are down, I will encourage you. When you fall, I will raise you up. When you are tired, I will carry you. I will be with you till the end of days, and I will love you forever.”

Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold? How could I have hurt God as I had done?

I asked God, “How much do You love me?”

The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Saviour. And for the first time, I truly prayed.

Take some time today…
Pause.
Give thanks to God and praise HIM!

Learning To Love

When I arrived at 6 a.m. in the large hospital kitchen, Rose was already checking name tags on the trays against the patient roster. Stainless steel shelves held rows of breakfast trays which we would soon be serving.

"Hi, I’m Janet." I tried to sound cheerful, although I already knew Rose’s reputation for being impossible to work with. "I’m scheduled to work with you this week."

Rose, a middle-aged woman with graying hair, stopped what she was doing and peered over her reading glasses. I could tell from her expression she wasn’t pleased to see a student worker.

"What do you want me to do? Start the coffee?"

Rose sullenly nodded and went back to checking name tags. I filled the 40-cup pot with cold water and began making the coffee when Rose gruffly snapped, "That’s not the way to make coffee." She stepped in and took over. "I was just doing it the way our supervisor showed us to do it," I said in astonishment.

"The patients like the coffee better the way I do it," she replied curtly. Nothing I did pleased her. All morning her eagle eyes missed nothing and her sharp words stung. She literally trailed me around the kitchen. Later, after breakfast had been served and the dishes had been washed, I set up my share of trays for the next meal. Then I busied myself cleaning the sink. Certainly Rose couldn’t criticize the way I did that. When I turned around, there stood Rose, rearranging all of the trays I had just set up!

Totally exhausted, I trudged the six blocks home from the University of Minnesota Hospital late that June afternoon. As a third year university student working my way through school, I had never before encountered anyone like Rose. Fighting back tears, I wrestled with my dilemma alone in my room.

"Lord, what do you want me to do? I can’t take much more of Rose." I turned the possibilities over in my mind. Should I see if my supervisor would switch me to work with someone else? Scheduling was fairly flexible. On the other hand, I didn’t want to be a quitter. I knew my older co-workers were watching to see if my actions matched my words. The answer to my prayer caught me completely by surprise… I needed to love Rose.

Love her? No way! Tolerate, yes, but loving her was impossible. "Lord, I can’t love Rose. You’ll have to do it through me." Working with Rose the next morning, I ignored the barbs thrown in my direction and did things Rose’s way as much as possible to avoid friction. As I worked, I silently began to surround Rose with a warm
blanket of prayers. "Lord, help me love Rose. Lord, bless Rose." Over the next few days an amazing thing began to happen. As I prayed for this irritating woman, my focus shifted from what she was doing to me, and I started seeing Rose as the hurting person she was. The icy tension began to melt away.

Throughout the rest of the summer, we had numerous opportunities to work together. Each time she seemed genuinely happy to see me. As I worked with this lonely woman, I listened to her… something no one else had done. I learned that she was burdened by elderly parents who needed her care, her own health problems, and an alcoholic husband she was thinking of leaving. The days slipped by quickly as I finished the last several weeks of my summer job. Leaves were starting to turn yellow and red, and there was a cool, crispness in the air. I soon would be returning as a full-time university student.

One day, while I was working alone in one of the hospital kitchens, Rose entered the room. Instead of her blue uniform, she was wearing street clothes. I looked at her in surprise. "Aren’t you working today?"

"I got me another job and won’t be working here no more," she said as she walked over and gave me a quick hug. "I just came to say good-bye." Then she turned abruptly and walked out the door. Although I never saw Rose again, I still remember her vividly. That summer I learned a lesson I’ve never forgotten. The world is full of people like Rose… irritating, demanding, unlovable – yet hurting inside. I’ve found that love is the best way to turn an enemy into a friend.

"Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked."
Luke 6:35 (NLT)

– Author Unknown