Abundant Life
Carring Each Others Burdens
Christian Living
Church Discipline
Hearing God
Judgment Day
Kingdom Of God
Making A Difference
Material Possessions
Peer Pressure
Second Coming
Self Esteem
Self Reliance
Wholehearted Devotion


Turned The Other Cheek

A successful Irish boxer was converted and became a preacher. He happened to be in a new town setting up his evangelistic tent when a couple of tough thugs noticed what he was doing. Knowing nothing of his background, they made a few insulting remarks. The Irishman merely turned and looked at them. Pressing his luck, one of the bullies took a swing and struck a glancing blow on one side of the ex-boxer's face. He shook it off and said nothing as he turned the other cheek. The fellow took another glancing blow on the other side. At that point the preacher swiftly took off his coat, rolled up his sleeves, and announced, "The Lord gave me not further instructions." Whop!

The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, p. 214.

God's Forgiveness

A cartoon in the New Yorker magazine showed an exasperated father saying to his prodigal son, "This is the fourth time we've killed the fatted calf." God does that over and over in our lifetime.

The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, p. 214.

God's Forgiveness

We are most like beasts when we kill. We are most like men when we judge. We are most like God when we forgive.

The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, p. 216.

Forgiveness Of Our Sins

In Reader's Digest, a contributor told of an Aunt Ruby and Uncle Arnie who had adopted a baby boy after five years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive. To their surprise, a short time after the adoption, Aunt Ruby discovered she was pregnant, and she later gave birth to a boy.

One day when the two boys were eight and nine years old, the teller of the story was visiting Aunt Ruby, and a woman in the neighborhood came to visit.

Observing the children at play, the woman asked, "Which boy is yours, Ruby?"

"Both of them," Aunt Ruby replied.

The caller persisted. "But I mean, which one is adopted?"

Aunt Ruby did not hesitate. In her finest hour, she looked straight at her guest and replied, "I've forgotten."

When we are adopted as God's children, we quickly come to cherish our heavenly Father's forgetfulness. For he chooses to forget our sins, to forget our wayward past, and to give us the full rights of sons or daughters. He treats us as if we had never sinned.

Forgetting sin, Forgiveness, God the Father, Salvation
Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 1:5; Heb. 8:12

Contemporary Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 13.

Forgiving Others

Leonardo da Vinci painted the fresco "The Last Supper" in a church in Milan. Two very interesting stories are associated with this painting.

At the time that Leonardo da Vinci painted "The Last Supper," he had an enemy who was a fellow painter. da Vinci had had a bitter argument with this man and despised him. When da Vinci painted the face of Judas Iscariot at the table with Jesus, he used the face of his enemy so that it would be present for ages as the man who betrayed Jesus. He took delight while painting this picture in knowing that others would actually notice the face of his enemy on Judas.

As he worked on the faces of the other disciples, he often tried to paint the face of Jesus, but couldn't make any progress. da Vinci felt frustrated and confused. In time he realized what was wrong. His hatred for the other painter was holding him back from finishing the face of Jesus. Only after making peace with his fellow painter and repainting the face of Judas was he able to paint the face of Jesus and complete his masterpiece.

One of the reasons we may have a hard time accepting the forgiveness of God is that we find it hard to forgive others. That's why Jesus said, "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" (Matt. 6:14,15). If you want your relationship with Jesus to be all that it should be, forgive your enemies and do all you can to demonstrate Christ's love to them.

Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks
Wayne Rice, Zonderzan, pp. 161-162.

Forgiving Others

John D. Rockefeller built the great Standard Oil Empire. Not surprisingly, Rockefeller was a man who demanded high performance from his company executives. One day, one of those executives made a two million-dollar mistake.

Word of the man's enormous error quickly spread throughout the executive offices, and the other men began to make themselves scarce. Afraid of Rockefeller's reaction, they didn’t even want to cross his path.

One man didn't have any choice, however, since he had an appointment with the boss. So he straightened his shoulders and tightened his belt and walked into Rockefeller's office.

As he approached the oil monarch's desk, Rockefeller looked up from the piece of paper on which he was writing.

"I guess you've heard about the two million dollar mistake our friend made," he said abruptly.

"Yes," the executive said, expecting Rockefeller to explode.

"Well, I've been sitting here listing all of our friend's good qualities on this sheet of paper, and I've discovered that in the past he has made us many more times the amount he lost for us today by his one mistake. His good points far outweigh this one human error. So I think we ought to forgive him, don't you?"

The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, p. 215-216.

Forgiving Others

Chris Carrier of Coral Gables, Florida, was abducted when he was 10 years old. His kidnapper, angry with the boy's family, burned him with cigarettes, stabbed him numerous times with an ice pick, then shot him in the head and left him to die in the Everglades. Remarkably, the boy survived, though he lost sight in one eye. No one was ever arrested.

Recently, a man confessed to the crime. Carrier, now a youth minister, went to see him.

He found David McAllister, a 77-year-old ex-convict, frail and blind, living in a North Miami Beach nursing home. Carrier began visiting often, reading to McAllister from the Bible and praying with him. His ministry opened the door for McAllister to make a profession of faith.

No arrest is forthcoming; after twenty-two years, the statute of limitations on the crime is long past. In Christian Reader (Jan/Feb 98), Carrier says, "While many people can't understand how I could forgive David McAllister, from my point of view I couldn't not forgive him. If I'd chosen to hate him all these years, or spent my life looking for revenge, then I wouldn't be the man I am today, the man my wife and children love, the man God has helped me to be."

Leadership Journal
Spring 1998, Vol.XIX, No. 2, p. 73

Forgiving Others

On Monday, December 8, 1997, tragedy struck Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. According to Roy Maynard in World magazine, a small group of students, who conducted a daily prayer meeting in a hallway near the administrative offices, finished their morning prayers and were about to head off to classes. Shortly after the final amen, it is alleged that a freshman named Michael, whom the prayer group leader had befriended earlier in the year, opened fire on the students with a .22-caliber automatic.

The group's leader, Ben Strong, called out, "Mike, what are you doing?" and walked toward him. After firing ten rounds, Michael finally dropped his gun. Ben Strong walked up and put his arms around the gunman, urging him to calm down.

Three students were killed in the shooting spree, and five were wounded, including one paralyzed.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, pastors and youth ministers were called in to counsel the students. According to one counselor, "The thing the kids are asking most is 'Why?' And all I can tell them is that what Satan means for evil, God can bring good out of. And it's already happening."

"The morning prayer meetings," writes Maynard, "usually attract 25 to 30 kids; on Tuesday morning, nearly half the school--more than 250 students-attended. A number of the youth ministers who have compared notes all say that they've led kids to Christ in the aftermath of the shooting."

Said Ben Strong, "God's the only one we can turn to in something like this, and a lot of people are turning to him. I believe God can bring revival out of this."

Whatever happens, one thing is sure: good can overcome evil. Fifteen-year-old Melissa Jenkins, paralyzed in the shootings, was one of the first victims to send a message to the assailant: "Tell Michael I forgive him."

Forgiveness, Goodness, Murder, Tragedy Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28; 12:21

Choice Contemporary Stories & Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 78.