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The Love That Waited

Second Coming Faithfulness Perseverance

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Contributed By: Luke Holmes | Date Posted: 2021-05-15

Scripture: John 14:3 ; Jeremiah 31:3

Author: Luke Holmes
2

ILLUSTRATION

Lots of people say “till death do us part” when they get married. But few get a chance to prove it as Clara Gantt did.  In 1948 she married Joseph Gantt, and not long after that, he was deployed with the US Army to Korea to fight in the Korean War.  US Army First Class Sergeant Joseph Gantt was captured and thought to be killed in action in 1950. But his body was never found, and his death was never confirmed by the North Koreans.  

His wife, Clara, waited for decades for her husband to come back. She regularly went to meetings with government officials seeking information about what had happened. Clara even bought a house and had it professionally landscaped so all Joseph would have to do when he came home was go fishing.

She was ninety-four years old when his remains were finally brought home for a military funeral with full honors. It wasn’t the homecoming she dreamed of, but she finally knew his fate. Clara told a reporter who interviewed her, “He told me if anything happened to him, he wanted me to remarry. And I told him ‘No, no.’ Here I am, still his wife, and I’m going to remain his wife until the day the Lord calls me home.”

She continued to love him till the end, even though it was decades in the making. 

APPLICATION

As believers, we are the Bride of Christ, waiting for His return.  He doesn't expect us to build Him a home but has called us to be faithful and patiently wait until He takes us home.  While Mrs. Clara Gantt's long wait ended with sorrow and disappointment, the patience of the believer will be rewarded with eternal jubilation.  


"My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:2-3). 

"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8).  

God Loves Us First, We Love Him Last

God's Love God's Patience Ingratitude

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-05-06

Scripture: 1 John 4:10 ; Romans 5:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

In the blockbuster movie Forest Gump, there’s a beautiful picture of God's love.  It’s seen in the relationship between Forest and Jenny.  From childhood, Forest loves Jenny.  But Jenny is too enamored by worldly things and looks past Forest in her search for fulfillment.  Jenny strikes out in search of fame and success but finds disappointment and heartache instead.  All the while, Forest waits for her to come home to him. 

Forest loved Jenny first, before everything else.  But Jenny failed to appreciate his devotion until the very end of her life.  Although Forest picked Jenny first, she picked him last. 

Fortunately, Forest's love for Jenny was so selfless that he did not resent her for doing so.  

APPLICATION

In the same way, our first choice in life isn’t God.  Enamored by the world, we look past Him to all of the things that we are sure will bring us lasting happiness.  

But while we're doing all of that, God waits patiently for us.  We pursue everything that life has to offer before we were willing to look to the One who gave us life.  And even though He gave His life for us, we hold our life back from Him.  

But after the idols we preferred fail us, God is still there, patiently waiting and willing to be picked last. 

And that's what we do.  At the end of ourselves, and despite ourselves, we reluctantly turn to the One who loved us from the beginning.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10, NIV). 

"But God has shown us how much he loves us--it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!" (Romans 5:8, GNT). 

Grace Is Just Too Easy

Grace Salvation Skepticism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-04-22

Scripture: Romans 6:23 ; John 3:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Those who work hard to earn their salvation often respond to the message of grace with, “If that were true, if it really were a free gift with no strings attached, I’d accept it and then do whatever I wanted.”

What such a response reveals is that serving God isn't what they don't really want to be doing; they're only doing it to appease God.  

Of course, such a reaction fails to comprehend the nature of the gift itself.  The gift isn't a license to do whatever we want but a deposit of love that brings with it a whole new set of desires.  Those who receive this gift are energized by the presence of the Holy Spirit to love God as freely as they have been loved by God.  The gift of eternal life isn't replacing legalism with license, it's replacing legalism with love. 

APPLICATION

The lack of self-awareness among those who feel this way is truly astounding.  Without realizing it, they are freely admitting that without the threat of God’s judgment, they would lack the motivation to please God.  They are of the opinion that they need fear in order to keep them from going off the rails.  What they don't realize is that God doesn't want their fear, He wants their love.  

Just doing what we want isn’t love.  Serving God after receiving salvation as a gift is love. 

"Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again'" (John 3:3). 

Forever Dependent

Dependence on God Humility Gratitude

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-03-28

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Darkness Will Come To Light

Deceived/Deception Evil Cultural Trends

Contributed By: Jeff Lines | Date Posted: 2021-03-28

Scripture: John 3:19 ; Hebrews 4:13

Author: Jeff Lines
5

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What If God Canceled Us?

Forgiveness Politics God's Love

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2021-03-28

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:9 ; Hebrews 7:25

Author: Neal Pollard
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Nothing is Impossible

God's Power Faith Perseverance

Contributed By: Walter Simmons | Date Posted: 2021-03-27

Scripture: 1 Kings 18:46 ; Acts 8:39

Author: Walter Simmons
1

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A New Perspective

Perspective Teachability Patience

Contributed By: James Augustine | Date Posted: 2021-02-22

Scripture: Psalms 8:1 ; Psalms 8:4

Author: James Augustine
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Runner's Cause Of Death: Struck By An Airplane

Repentance Justice Death

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2021-02-22

Scripture: Luke 13:3

Author: Neal Pollard
2

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The Carrot And The Stick

Motivation Fear Love (Uncondtional)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-12-20

Scripture: 1 John 4:18 ; 1 John 4:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
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