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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). 

The Lost Cause

Grace Forgiveness God's Patience

Source: “Sammy Luciano, Martin County man, arrested for 34th time after driving a stolen car at 110 mph” By Scott Sutto, ABC ACTION NEWS, Feburary 22, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-05-14

Scripture: Matthew 18:21

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

A Palm City man has been arrested for the 34th time! Scott Sutto, with ABC ACTION NEWS, reports:

On Sunday, Martin County deputies said they caught Sammy Luciano, 39, driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen in Okeechobee County.

Just after 4 a.m., deputies spotted the vehicle with Luciano driving recklessly at speeds of more than 110 mph.

... Luciano has an extensive criminal history for crimes such as burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, robbery, fleeing and eluding, battery on a law enforcement officer, violation of probation, possession of drugs, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, and causing serious injury or death by failing to stop. This time he was charged with felony drunk driving, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and resisting arrest.

He has now posed for a mug shoot 34 times!

APPLICATION

What do you do with a man who has posed for his mug shoot 34 times, and counting? Is it time for the system to give up on Mr. Lucianio, to consider him a lost cause, to lock him up and throw away the key? Before you register your “Amen,” reflect on how many times you’ve broken God’s moral laws.  Are you a repeat offender?  Has God ever given up on you?

“Then Peter came to him and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? "No, not seven times," Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-22, NLT).

The Poor Farmer and the Banker

Forgiveness God's Patience Sin Nature

Source: "Straightening Out the Self Centered Church" - Commentary on Titus

Contributed By: Jason Grubbs | Date Posted: 2013-07-01

Scripture: Titus 2:8 ; Matthew 18:26

Author: John Benton
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ILLUSTRATION

A poor farmer went to his banker and said, "I've got some good news and some bad news."  Which one do you want to hear first?

The banker replied, "Well let's get the bad news over with first."  
 
The farmer said, "Ok, I've had a bad year and I can't pay the mortgage I owe you on my house."  The banker was pretty disgruntled.
 
The farmer said, "And, I've had such a bad year that I can't repay any of the money I borrowed for my new machinery either."  The banker was even more troubled.
 
The farmer added, "And, the money I borrowed to buy seeds and fertilizer, I have had such a bad year, that I can't pay you for any of that either."
 
The banker said, "That's terrible. I sure could use some good news now.  So, what's the good news?"
 
The farmer said, "The good news is that I still intend to do business with you."

APPLICATION

Aren't you glad that despite your total spiritual bankruptcy, God still wants to do business with you?

“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt" (Matthew 18:26-27).

God's Relentless Pursuit of Man

Disobedience God's Patience Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-23

Scripture: Genesis 3:9 ; Nehemiah 9:17

Author: John Chrysostom
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Just a Common Lump of Clay

God's Patience Spiritual Growth Glorification

Contributed By: Bill Stright | Date Posted: 2012-05-17

Scripture: Isaiah 64:8

Author: Bill Stright
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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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The Lifetime Pass That Was Never Used

God's Promises Faith Blessings/Blessedness

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2019-10-11

Scripture: Proverbs 16:20 ; Matthew 7:24

Author: Howard Harden
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A Picture of Pure Love

Love for God God's Love New Birth

Contributed By: DEAN KAHLICH | Date Posted: 2019-05-19

Scripture: John 3:16 ; 1 John 4:19

Author: DEAN KAHLICH
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The Generous Thief

God's Promises Death Resurrection

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2019-05-01

Scripture: John 11:25 ; Job 1:21

Author: Stephen Kingsley
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Drawn to the Well

Legalism Calling God's Love

Contributed By: Gabriel Carnes | Date Posted: 2019-03-29

Scripture: John 4:14 ; John 10:27

Author: Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch
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