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"I'll Love You Forever"

Salvation Love (Divine) Parenting

Source: RobertMunsch.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-02-16

Scripture: Jeremiah 31:3 ; John 3:16

Author: Neal Pollard
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ILLUSTRATION

We read I'll Love You Forever to our sons when they were growing up. We made up our own tune to the song, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

It's hard to remember those days in the rocking chair, reading it over and over to them, without getting tearful.

It turns out that many people can relate. The book's author, Robert Munsch, reports that it has sold 15,000,000 copies. His publisher didn't want to publish it because it didn't seem like a traditional children's book. 

If just reading the title gets you choked up with personal memories, you may not want to read the true story behind the book. Munsch says that the song came first:

I made that up after my wife and I had two babies born dead. The song 
was my song to my dead babies. For a long time I had it in my head and 
I couldn’t even sing it because every time I tried to sing it I cried. It was 
very strange having a song in my head that I couldn’t sing (ibid.).

He later built a story around the song, and the rest is history for millions of parents and their children. I imagine Gary, Dale, and Carl would tell you this is their favorite book from childhood. It's certainly ours.

APPLICATION

Isn't it interesting that such a beautiful, intense love story surrounds something so heartbreaking and tragic? Out of the author's pain and sorrow, this incredible, enduring legacy was created. Knowing the backstory only intensifies the power of the words in the book.

Have you ever looked at the story of the cross in that light? From the first page to the last, Scripture teaches us that God loves us, His children. He cares for us, protects us, and wants us to live with Him forever. 

But there is a backstory. In fact, it goes back to eternity. There, the Godhead made a plan to make sure we could live with Him forever. But it would require His Son dying for us in order to make it happen. Discovering that should melt our hearts. What love! It's a forever love, one that can make us the best we could ever be. 

Here is God's message throughout Scripture: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness" (Jeremiah 31:3). In other words, "I'll love you forever." 

Garage Sale Redemption

Redemption Sanctification Salvation

Contributed By: William Blosch | Date Posted: 2018-12-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:20 ; Romans 6:23

Author: William Blosch
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ILLUSTRATION

My son and daughter-in-law love to go to garage and estate sales. Most of the things they find would be classified as junk. The things they find in these sales are already on their way to the trash heap, but the owners set them out for others to sort through in hopes of making a little money from all that trash before it's taken away. 

When my son stumbles across something that catches his eye, he rescues it from impending doom, negotiates a price with the owner, takes it home, and then converts it into something of value. Some of the items that he has restored have taken on a whole new life. These previously condemned sale items become very attractive decorations, retro furniture, or artistic knickknacks. All they needed was for someone to see the value in them, make the purchase, and restore them to their previous beauty.

APPLICATION

Jesus did the same for us when He purchased us with His blood. Every one of us is already on the way to the eternal trash heap, but God sees the value in our worn out, damaged lives. He has chosen us, purchased us with Christ's shed blood, so that He can restore and transform us into something of infinite worth.

Without Christ, we are damaged goods and good for nothing, but we have been redeemed by a steep price. Because of this, and the infinite skill of the artist, the condemned sinner finds his true worth.

"You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20). 

A Day In The Life Of A Pastor

Jesus, Savior Salvation False Hope

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2018-05-15

Scripture: John 14:6

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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ILLUSTRATION

One of the essential responsibilities of the pastor is to visit the sick. Recently, I set out for the ICU to visit a man who was recovering from complications brought about by a heart attack. I arrived at the front desk only to be told by the nurse that he was upstairs for tests and wouldn't be down for a while, but that his daughter was in the room waiting for him to return. So I went in and introduced myself to her as the pastor of a church where her mother and father occasionally visit with friends.

She was thrilled to meet me and so appreciative that I would come to visit her dad. We hugged, then I assured her that there were a lot of people praying for her father. As we waited together we began to talk about the weather, grandchildren, how the Miami Heat were playing, etc. We were having a great time getting to know each other.

Finally, I asked her about a particular therapy I knew they had planned for her father. "My father isn't receiving that therapy," she said, tilting her head slightly and staring curiously at me.

"Oh, well...umm...," I fumbled, "I'm pretty sure that's what I was told."

Then she asked, "What was the last name of the man you came to visit today?"

Yikes! The receptionist had given me the room number of another man with the same first name as the man I was actually there to visit! Can you say AWKWARD! As I slinked out the door I profusely apologized for the misunderstanding.

APPLICATION

What is so interesting to me about this little mishap is the way it pointed out the significance of a shared relationship. We had connected over what we thought was a common relationship. Once that relationship was removed, the connection went with it.

Isn't that exactly what Jesus was warning us of when He said, "No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Without a relationship with Jesus, we have no connection with the Father.

Mitchell Dillon, founder of Illustration Exchange

The Hidden Door

Witness Salvation Jesus, Savior

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-04-21

Scripture: John 10:9

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Disaster On The East River

Easter Assurance Salvation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-03-31

Scripture: Ephesians 2:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Jesus is Still the Only Way

Jesus, Savior Salvation Worldly Mindset

Contributed By: Seth Dillon | Date Posted: 2018-02-12

Scripture: John 14:6 ; John 3:16

Author: Seth Dillon
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Jesus' Blood Was Shed For Me

Salvation Blood (of Jesus) Devotional Thoughts

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2018-02-01

Scripture: Luke 22:19 ; 1 Corinthians 10:16

Author: Thomas Bevers
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Give Me Immortality And That's An Order!

Eternal Life Salvation Seeker

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2018-01-04

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:10

Author: Rod Crowell
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Heaven Series--Surprise #8: The People We Won’t Find In Heaven

Heaven Series Salvation False Hope

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-12-24

Scripture: Matthew 7:13 ; Matthew 7:23

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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Were Lost Sailors Really Lost?

Salvation Blame Warnings

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2017-11-04

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:2 ; Luke 15:24

Author: Thomas Bevers
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