In 1773, the young pastor of a poor church in Wainsgate, England, was called to a large and influential church in London. John Fawcett was a powerful preacher and writer, and these skills had brought him this opportunity. But as the wagons were being loaded with the Fawcetts' few belongings, their people came for a tearful farewell. During the good-byes, Mary Fawcett cried, "John, I cannot bear to leave!" "Nor can I," he replied. "We shall remain here with our people." The wagons were unloaded, and John Fawcett spent his entire 54-year ministry in Wainsgate. Out of that Fawcett wrote, "Blest Be the Tie that Binds."
The tie that binds! Friend, our tie that binds is to the love of the eternal God!
Manuel, age 8, was trying to explain about falling in love. He said: "I think you're supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn't supposed to be so painful." - Well, for God it was very painful!
A Spanish Philosopher said "It is sad not to be loved, but it is much sadder not to be able to love."
Billions of people today cannot love! The divorce rate is going through the roof. People are self-interested. Its there own needs above all others. Selfish love, even at the expense of their own children.
The Good news is You can be loved and love at the same time and its found in this verse John 3:16.
The Wonder of Love and Kisses
The story goes that some time ago a man punished his three-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under their Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and exclaimed, "This is for you, Daddy!" He was so embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but then his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty. He yelled, "Don't you know when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside?" The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and whimpered, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty, I blew kisses into the box. And they're all for you, Daddy." The father was crushed as he put his arms around his little girl to beg forgiveness. It is told that this man kept that gold box by his bed for years, and whenever he was discouraged he would take out another imaginary kiss and remember the child who had lovingly blew it in there. In a real sense we too were given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses. They came from our children, our friends, families, and from God. What greater or more precious of a possession as a gift could any soul possess as their own?
WHEN LOVE FORGETS SELF
William Gladstone was announcing the death of Princess Alice to the House of Commons and he told this touching story. The little daughter of the Princess was seriously ill with diphtheria. The doctors told the princess not to kiss her little daughter and endanger her life by breathing the child's breath. Once when the child was struggling to breathe, the mother, forgetting herself entirely, took the little one into her arms to keep her from choking to death. Rasping and struggling for her life, the child said, "Momma, kiss me!" Without thinking of herself the mother tenderly kissed her daughter. She got diphtheria and some days thereafter she went to be forever with the Lord.
Real love knows no danger. Real love doesn't count the cost.
For 36 years Jeno and his wife delighted in one another. But one day Jeno suffered a stroke. For weeks he lay in the hospital, slipping in and out of a coma. Day and night his wife sat at his side. One evening, she put her head on his hand and fell asleep. Jeno awoke during the night and seeing his wife, picked up an envelope and pencil and scribbled these words: "Softly, I will leave you, for my heart would break if you should wake and see me go. So I leave you. Long before you miss me. Long before your arms can beg me stay for one more hour, one more day. After all of the years, I can't stand the tears to fall, so I leave you softly."
To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world
God could have loved anything. What did He choose to love? The world! He is not talking about "sod" but souls! The world of mankind. God so chose to love us!
The ancient Hebrew was a true aristocrat. Study the times and you see that out in a hurry. They looked down with disgust at all gentiles and they called them "dogs." In contrast, God's love is not limited. When John wrote this, he wrote to inform us all that God loves the world - not just the Jews! He loves the WHOLE world! That is something Jewish readers stumbled over here. Who could comprehend a holy God loving gentiles? And some gentiles wonder how God could love the Jews. Well, He loves the world! He loves sinners everywhere.
His love never belongs just to one nation. Not just to the nice people. And not just those who love Him. He loves the whole world including the unlovable and the unlovely! He loves the lonely with no one else to love of them. He loves the one who loves God and He loves the one who never thinks of God! He loves everyone from every tribe and every nation. God loves the whole world! When we send missionary dollars to the world, we send God's message of love. We are sending the message of John 3:16.
He loves the world of sinful men. As the Bible says, "the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one." One writer explained it as, "Like a sunken vessel in a putrid stream, submerged under the tide of evil." Descriptive, and yet every evil person in the lap of the evil one, God loves!
Now, let me help you understand what it means to say He "loves" the world. Does God's love for the world diminish His love for you? If you can see and someone else is blind, if the blind begins to see, does that diminish our own capacity to see? No – we share it alike.
"In due time Christ died for us!" I appreciate learning that in due time Christ died for ME! I am just one little person in a big city! Strolling down the streets of Hong Kong, I realized how I am as nothing compared to so many people of Hong Kong. Think of all of China! So how can God have enough love left over to care so much about me? We wonder because we understand God's love in the light of our own! I've done it myself - people "fall in love!" Is that impressive? Then what happens if they "fall out?" If you depend on just your feelings to fuel your love, what happens when you don't feel much?
None of us can love a MULTITUDE with the same intensity that we love our own children. No patriot loves his COUNTRY like he loves his daughter. I love this whole valley of people but I don't love this city like I love my wife. The problem is, we don't understand God's love because we look at it like our own.
The wonder of the love of God is this: Stretch your imagination and imagine billions! Every single soul is loved like there is no one else. Our awesome Lord is moved in the depths of His heart for all the multitudes. Yet consider that when He was dying on the cross for the whole world, He stopped and helped a man next to Him to get to Heaven. See? He loves the whole world as if there were only one person in our world. With this truth, we can go to a person and say, "I want to tell you something so important and so great, "God loves you." That's the kind of love God has for you, like you are the only one. Would Jesus suffer the cross just for you alone? Yes! It is you who He loves!
It is somewhat like the story of a very wealthy young man who had all that a person could want--materially. However, he was born with a deformity which left him with a very ugly face. Because of this one flaw he would stay in his house and walk around in his garden, which was closed in by a high wall.
However, in the evening he would leave his walled-in garden and walk down the seashore. One night he heard beautiful music. He hid himself in the shadows, and there he saw a young girl playing a violin. Each night he would leave his house, walk down to the seashore and listen to the young lady play the beautiful music. However, because of his ugliness he would hide in the shadows, hoping not to be seen.
Later, the young man told his servant, "Take this money and give it to the lady with the violin, in order that she may go to the best school of music in Europe and master the beautiful music." After years of study, she returned home and was taken to the house of the man who paid for her education. He was standing in his garden. The gate was opened for her and she came up behind him, threw her arms around his waist and cried, "I love you! I love you!"
He said, "No, it's impossible for you to love me." All the more she cried, "I love you." The young man turned around and said, "How can you love me when you see much ugliness in my face?"
She replied, "You see, sir, I'm blind."
LETTER TO A WIFE FROM THE BATTLEFIELD
"I have no misgivings about or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged and my courage does not falter. I know how American civilization leans upon the triumph of the government. I know how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down the joys of this life to help maintain this government and to help pay that debt. Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with many cables that nothing but Omnipotence can break. And yet my love of country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield. The memory of all those blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crowding over me, and I feel most grateful to God and you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the future years, when God willing, we might have loved and lived together, and watched our boys grow up around us to honorable manhood. If I do not return my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield it will whimper your name."
Major Sullivan Ballou, of the Union Army, to his wife Sarah. One week later, Major Ballou was killed at the first battle of Bull Run.
`that He gave
A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.
I was hungry and you formed a humanities club
And discussed my hunger.... Thank you.
I was imprisoned and you crept off
Quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.
I was naked and in your mind you debated
The morality of my appearance.
I was sick and you knelt
And thanked God for my health.
I was homeless and you preached to me
Of the shelter of the love of God.
I was lonely and you left me alone
To pray for me.
You seem so holy; so close to God;
But I'm still very hungry, and lonely, and cold....
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
In The Grace of Giving, Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and enjoyed the friendship of George Washington. In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman, an evil-minded sort who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor. One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor.
"No, Peter," General Washington said. "I cannot grant you the life of your friend."
"My friend!" exclaimed the old preacher. "He's the bitterest enemy I have."
"What?" cried Washington. "You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in different light. I'll grant your pardon." And he did.
Peter Miller took Michael Wittman back home to Ephrata—no longer an enemy but a friend.
- Lynn Jost
THE LOVE OF CHRIST
Near Mobile, Alabama there was a railroad bridge that spanned a big bayou. The date was September 22, 1993. It was a foggy morning just before 3:00 a.m. when a tugboat accidentally pushed a barge into the bayou. The drifting barge slammed into the bridge.
In the darkness no one could see the extent of the damage, but someone on the tugboat radioed the Coast Guard to inform them. Moments later an Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited, reached the bridge. The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Miami.
Unaware of the damage, the train crossed the bridge at 70 mph. There were 210 passengers on board. As the weight of the train crossed the damaged support, the bridge gave away. Three locomotive units and the first four of the train's 8 passenger cars fell into the alligator infested bayou. The darkness and fog was thickened by fire and smoke.
The tugboat operator immediately called in a frantic message to the Coast Guard. It was so far back in the swamp, emergency vehicles were only able to get within 6 miles of the site on land. Helicopters were called in to help rescue the survivors. Many people made it, but 47 people drowned or died in the flames and went out into eternity.
There were many heroes that morning. One was Michael Dopheide. He was a young man who had just finished college, and was heading to Florida after a visit with his sister in California. Jolted awake, he heard the screaming and cries all around him. He ran down the aisle to an emergency exit, and as the water was rising he removed the glass, and jumped into the swampy waters that were 25 ft deep. Treading water, he coaxed people to jump the six feet down into the bayou. Those who couldn't swim he helped to a metal girder 10' ft away. The thirty people he helped save included one two year old, an elderly lady, and a 11 year old girl with cerebral palsy named Andrea. Her parents, Geray and Mary Jane Chancey, were traveling home with their little girl. As they were waiting to get out, the car shifted and filled with water. They desperately pushed little Andrea out through the window to the hands of waiting rescuers.
This was their last act of love for their daughter. Instead of getting out themselves, they chose to give their lives to save their child. This is the same kind of love Jesus had when He chose to die on the cross for You!
Jesus said in (John 10:18) No man taketh it (his life) from me, but I lay it down of myself..." He chose to die for our sins, and now He offers to us Eternal Life!
`His only begotten Son
A little boy quoting this said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only FORGOTTEN Son." Funny kid! But when you think about it, God did turn His back on His Son. It's like He FORGOT Him that He might REMEMBER you! When our son died, we were an ocean away. It grieved us that we were not there to hold his hand. When God's Son died, the person of the Father was separated by an ocean of our sin, and the Father, holy and separate from sin could not go there to rescue Jesus!
A missionary preached this text to natives who never heard it before. They asked, "Is it true? Is it really true?" He kept affirming that it was. They asked, "And how can you speak of such love without tears?"
A man was taking pictures for two years compiling a book of photographs at the Vietnam War Memorial and one morning as he went there and none seemed to be around he noticed a new little memorial and it had two flags: an American flag and a Greek flag, and there was a picture of a soldier and a three word inscription. As he was taking the pictures a man said, "Excuse me sir do you like it?" And the photographer said, "I do." He said, "I'm glad, that's my boy!" And then the photographer read those three words again, "ONLY ONE SON."
You see God has only one son, and He gave him for you. All the blood and agony and hell of that cross was for you. Why? . . . To keep you from dying forever.
See, right now, we are perishing like that verse says in John 3:16. We're perishing because we're sinners with a death penalty. But it changes, that verse says, when I "believe in Him." That means, not just something you do with your head but with all your heart. When you pin all your hopes on Jesus, like a drowning man with a life-guard. When a man or woman hits this truth, it does something to your heart. God's looking at the cross where His son died for you and He says, "What do you think of that? That's my Boy."
"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (John 8:34).
Someone who has slipped into here tonight has had your brush with the occult: Toehold, Foothold, Stronghold in your life. And so if the familiar spirits have entered your body, they will tell you this is fine for somebody else but not for you. You have gone too far! I want to tell you about a word that I read in the Bible. It's the word – "whosover". Whosoever! Whoever!
"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." (John 12:46).
That can be me and that can be you. So the spirits will resist and they will insist, "No! You have no power to believe! You have no will of your own! You belong to the devil!" That's a lie!!!! What did Jesus tell the liars, the big shot religious leaders of His day?
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44). The devil is a LIAR!
"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Mat. 23:12).
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:21).
"Whosoever"! – "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!" (Rom. 10:13).
"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." (1 John 5:1).
John 3:16 – "whosoever"! And just so we would not miss the point, the Lord gave us verse 15.
"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. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:15-19).
"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." (Luke 18:17).
"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:27).
We don't need to talk to devils when it's time to talk to Jesus. But if we did we might say, "Devil! Jesus said: 'Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God'" (Luke 12:8). And so I'm right now just calling upon Jesus! Right now, I'm believing in Jesus! And right now, I confess Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord!
Take heed! Jesus said:
"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (Mat. 10:32-33).
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." (Mark 8:35).
When I was in school we liked to see the annual. But the key point in looking first of all was to see my own picture and my name.
You know, we're all like that. When our name is in something we're suddenly a whole lot more interested. It's that way in all the Bible. John 3:16 has probably the most dramatic answer in all the world to any questions we have about how God feels about us. God loved the world so much that He gave...He proved it...He acted on it...His one and only Son, the most valuable thing He could give. Why? So we who deserve to die can live forever instead.
"Does God love me?" – That question has been settled forever. All we have to do is to look at the cross!
Now, about putting your name in it--John 3:16. When I leave a blank, put your name in it. "God loved ______ so much that He gave His one and only Son so that if ______ would believe in Him then ______ will never die but will have eternal life." It says you have to believe in Him to have that happen. That's total trust...the kind that someone in a fire has in a fireman who comes to rescue him...the kind that a drowning person puts in a lifeguard. This is awesome love, this gift of God's Son, was all for you but you have to reach out and take the gift.
Something happens dramatically when you walk up to the cross of Jesus and say two words, "For me. This is for me, isn't it Jesus? Some of those sins you're dying for are mine." God's waiting right now to erase every sin you've ever done from His book...to add your name to His Book of Life; the one He will check when your heart finally stops and you stand before Him. But, it all begins when you put your name in what Jesus did on the cross for you and you make The Savior--Your Savior.
If you've never done that, and today you sense Jesus knocking on the door of your heart, would you please let me know that. When your name is in something it makes all the difference. Well, today may be your day to realize that what Jesus did was not generic. It was specifically for you.
Mr. Kline was discouraged and defeated and life was hardly worth living, that's mainly because there was no one who cared for him. One day he was walking past a church on a Sunday evening when the services were in progress. As the congregation sang, he caught the words of a familiar hymn, "Saved by grace alone, this is all my plea, Jesus died for all mankind and Jesus died for me." Mr. Kline's hearing was not so good, so when the congregation came to "Jesus died for all mankind," he thought they sang "Jesus died for old-man Kline!" That's pretty good confusion! So he went in to find out if that was really true! He said, "That's ME they're singing about!" So he stopped dead in his tracks and entered the small auditorium. There this one so discouraged and defeated heard the simple message of the Gospel as the preacher explained the truth. True - "Jesus died for all mankind" and in that death included Old man Kline.
`believeth in Him
What does the word "believeth" do? It excludes everybody who does not believe! Scripture does not teach the doctrine of universalism. That is to say, Jesus saved everyone so you just need to go tell them, "Hey, you are saved!" Then why bother? A lot of people teach this universalism but it never comes from God, that all roads lead to Heaven. It would be foolish to go to the mission field to try to explain that -- and the Bible does not teach that.
A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on "The Love of God." As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lighted a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say.
`should not perish
The perishing in context teaches means, "Should not face condemnation!" That's what we read in verse 18. This "perish" means to be forever out of the presence of God, never to be in His presence with His acceptance or approval! Divine condemnation and the exact opposite of everlasting life! When you "PERISH" you simply do not have everlasting life. You are cast into outer darkness. That's the difference.
MIRACLE ON THE RIVER KWAI
In Miracle on the River Kwai, the Scottish soldiers were forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad. It had degenerated to barbarous behavior.
But one afternoon something happened.
A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced, or else. When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot . . . It was obvious the officer meant what he had said. Then, finally, one man stepped forward. The officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the bloody corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. This time, no shovel was missing. Indeed, there had been a miscount at the first check point.
The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others! . . . The incident had a profound effect. . . The men began to treat each other like brothers.
When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors . . (and instead of attacking their captors) insisted: 'No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness.'
`but have everlasting life.
Whosoever - "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Mat. 16:25).
Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened.
LOVE IS COSTLY
She was lying on the ground. In her arms she held a tiny baby girl. As I put a cooked sweet potato into her outstretched hand, I wondered if she would live until morning. Her strength was almost gone, but her tired eyes acknowledged my gift.
The sweet potato could help so little—but it was all I had. Taking a bite she chewed it carefully. Then, placing her mouth over her baby's mouth, she forced the soft warm food into the tiny throat. Although the mother was starving, she used the entire potato to keep her baby alive. Exhausted from her effort, she dropped her head on the ground and closed her eyes. In a few minutes the baby was asleep. I later learned that during the night the mother's heart stopped, but her little girl lived. Love is a costly thing. God in His love for us (and for a lost world) "spared not His own Son" to tell the world of His love. Love is costly, but we must tell the world at any cost. Such love is costly. It costs parents and sons and daughters. It costs the missionary life itself. In his love for Christ the missionary often must give up all to make the Savior known. If you will let your love for Christ, cost you something, the great advance will be made together.
Amazing Grace how sweet that sound that saved a wretch like me.
Now if you still do not understand what makes GOD's grace amazing understand:
Sin made weeping endure for a night but it was Amazing Grace that brought joy in the morning
Sin made us fall short of the Glory of GOD but it is Amazing Grace that is able to keep us from falling
Sin made us accumulate a lot of debt but it is Amazing Grace that allow you to paid it in full
Sin made gotten us in much trouble, but it is Amazing Grace that said not guilty
Amazing Grace to walk on this earth for 33 years.
Sin put whips on his back but Amazing Grace allow us to be heal
Sin took him from judgment hall to judgment hall all batter and bruise, but Amazing Grace blot out our iniquity
Sin said crucify him and Amazing grace did not say a word to reject us!
Sin thought he was dead all day Friday, all day Saturday, but early one Sunday morning Amazing Grace rose with all power in his hand.
I can hear Amazing Grace saying, death where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory. Thank you, GOD for your Amazing Grace. For it is Grace that brought me this far and it is Grace that will bring me home.
SONG - "The Love of God."This has been much loved in the church for many years. But when you read it in sheet music, look for a little note down by the second stanza. You see the second stanza of "The Love of God" was written by an inmate in an insane asylum. After a poor soul died, they found the second stanza of the song scribbled on the wall of his cell.
Listen! "If we with ink the ocean fill, and were the sky a parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky. Oh love of God, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong, it shall forevermore endure the saints and angels song."
Who knows why some man was thrown into an insane asylum? But even there, shut away from the world's activities or earthly beauty, in his cell he felt the love of God so much that he had to write it down. God's presence was real!
When did you believe in the sufficiency of Jesus' death on the cross for you and say I'm the sinner who wants this Savior? Irene and I were married on August 17, 1973. But if someone were to ask if I was married and I said, "Oh, I hope so, I think so. Probably somewhere along the way." They'd probably say, "Buddy, if that's all you know about it, you probably aren't!" It's the same way with a relationship with Jesus Christ. We know if we asked Him to be our Savior!
A plant nursery displayed this sign: "The best time to plant a tree was ten years ago. The next best time is today." God has given us the most important Book ever written to help us to know Him for our good.
If you've ever checked your suitcase when you're about to take a plane trip, you know what they do. The agent determines your final destination, prints out an adhesive sticker, and puts it around the suitcase handle. Then you can know the bags will meet you at the other end of the trip. With the millions of bags the airlines handle daily, it's amazing that most go straight to the right destination. MOST of the time.
If you belong to Jesus Christ, God has placed a final destination sticker on you. And it says "Heaven." I am happy to report that, unlike human delivery systems, God's record is 100%! He delivers what is in His care to the final destination as He promised. He has never lost one that was entrusted to Him.
Jesus says, "I know the ones who are Mine. And I've put My final destination sticker on them. It reads 'eternal life.' No one is going to get them away from Me because I won't stop until I've delivered them safely home." Isn't that awesome?
Maybe you've missed that actual moment of commitment when before Jesus' cross you say, "For me, Jesus. What you did here is for me. So right now dear Jesus, I choose to give me to You."
I know I'm always inadequate explain this verse fully, but let's just quote it again – John 3:16.