Category Archives: Illustrations

Deep Pain

Healed

There never was such misery as mine,” said poor, sick Barbara as she tossed restlessly on the hospital bed. “I don’t think there ever was such pain!”

“Once,” was faintly whispered from the next bed.

Barbara paused for a minute, then in a still more impatient voice resumed her complaint: “Nobody knows what I feel. Nobody ever suffered more pain!”

“One,” was again whispered from the same direction.

“You mean yourself, poor thing, but―”

“Oh, not myself―not me!” exclaimed Lucie. She spoke so earnestly that her restless companion lay still for several seconds and stared at her.

“Oh, not myself―not me!” she repeated softly. There was a short pause and then the following words, spoken in the same low key, broke the midnight silence: “And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head…. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha… they gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall…. And they crucified Him…. And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads…. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying… My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:29-46).

The voice ceased, and for several minutes not a word was spoken. The night nurse came in and refilled the pitchers of water by both beds.

“Thank you, nurse,” said Lucie. “They gave Him gall for His meat, and in His thirst they gave Him vinegar to drink!”

“She is talking about Jesus Christ,” said Barbara, already beginning to toss restlessly from side to side again. “But,” she added, “talking about His sufferings can’t help ours―at least not mine.”

“But it lightens hers,” said the nurse. “I wonder how?”

“Hush!”

The gentle voice again took up the strain: “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).

“Healed! That’s a blessed word; I wish I was healed!”

Barbara was healed―healed in both body and soul. What the doctors and nurses with the Lord’s help accomplished for the healing of her body in the hospital, her quiet night talks with Lucie did for her soul. Before she was dismissed, well and strong again, Barbara was able to say with truth, “He was bruised for my iniquities: the chastisement of my peace was upon Him; and with His stripes I am healed”!

Adapted from He Giveth Life.

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A Murderer’s Hope

“Nothing but the Blood of Jesus”
Years ago a great conference of religions was held in Chicago. Practically every religion in the world was represented, and the delegates heard many great speeches and discussions.

A hush fell upon the great gathering…

During one of the sessions, Dr. Joseph Cook of Boston arose and said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I beg to introduce to you a woman with a great sorrow. Blood stains are on her hands, and nothing she has tried will remove them.

The blood is that of murder and nothing will take away the stain. She is desperate in her distress. Is there anything in your religions that will remove her sin and give her peace?”

A hush fell upon the great gathering as the speaker turned from one to another for an answer.

No one replied. Dr. Cook then cried out: “I will ask another!” Then he raised his eyes heavenward and called out: “O God, canst Thou tell this woman how to get rid of this awful sin?” He waited, as if listening for a reply. Suddenly he cried: “Listen! God speaks: ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin’ ” (1 John 1:7).

Not one in that great assembly made a single move. The representatives of eastern religions and western cults sat speechless. In the face of the guilty sinner’s need they were without remedy or hope. The gospel of Jesus Christ alone could meet the need.

That precious blood avails for you today.

What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me pure within?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Adapted from He Giveth Life.

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Not Ready To Go

The Lost Sheep Found
On the battlefield lay the wounded soldier. Around him were dead comrades who had fallen in the struggle, and he, weak with the loss of blood, feared his end was near.

“I am dying―dying, and I am not ready,” he cried.

He realized he was not fit to meet God. What could he do? To whom could he turn?

Then before his mind came the days of his childhood and the gospel preachings he used to go to with his mother. He remembered the Bible story about the good shepherd seeking the one lost sheep among the wild and barren mountains.

And then the scene changed and he was in his childhood home, reciting the poem he learned as a little boy:

“Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me!
Bless Thy little lamb tonight;
In the darkness be Thou near me,
Keep me safe till morning light.”

Lying on that lonely field, he began to repeat the words again. He also thought of the past years of forgetfulness of God, and how sinful his life had been.

The cry burst from his lips: “I am not His little lamb! I am a great big black sheep―a vile black sheep!”

He was both repentant and helpless. Who could help him in his great need?

Turning to the Saviour he prayed, “Oh, Shepherd, come―find, save this great big black sheep!”

God who always hears such cries gave him peace. Soon he sank into unconsciousness. Found alive, he was taken to a hospital, and in a few weeks sent home to his mother. How they rejoiced together as he told her how he, the lost sheep had been found by the Saviour, the Saviour she had loved so long.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

Adapted from He Giveth Life.

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A Ruler of the Jews

The Gospel Message
Christ’s words to a ruler of the Jews come ringing down through the ages: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

When Nicodemus in deep perplexity asked thoughtfully, “How can these things be?” Christ gave him the gospel message of good news in twenty-five words: “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” (John 3:16).

I ask: Have you entered into this? Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? If not, will you accept Him now? God’s Word says in John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Adapted from He Giveth Life.

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He Heard the Click of a Trigger

Pathan or Christian?
In India there lived a Kazi (a judge of a civil court) who was also a Pathan and a Muslim. Soon after trusting in Jesus Christ as his Savior, he went back to his frontier home in Afghanistan where he was entertained by his brother.

He heard the click of a trigger and turned just in time to let a bullet…

After a dinner in the brother’s house, the Kazi became ill. He suffered more and more until he realized that he had been poisoned. Seeking to escape certain death at his brother’s hands, he fled the house and ran down the road until he fell unconscious by the roadside. There he was found by friends and rescued.

Later a bullet whizzed by his head and he narrowly escaped death a second time. Still another time he heard the click of a trigger and turned just in time to let a bullet pass harmlessly by.

Yet when his brother fell into financial difficulty, the Kazi tried to help him. He succeeded in getting someone to go and help his brother. The ungrateful brother wrote: “You are not a true Pathan, for no Pathan would ever forgive what I have done to you. I disown you!”

The Kazi wrote back, “Whether or not I am a true Pathan, you must judge. But what I am, this book has made me,” and he sent his brother a copy of the Bible.

Hard and unforgiving though the Pathan was, yet he could not resist the patient love of his Christian brother. Soon he was reading the Bible and learning of God our Saviour “who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” All men―everywhere. Pathan or Indian, Hindu or Muslim, all are invited to come in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who promises that “him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

Adapted from He Giveth Life.

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She Couldn’t Pay

The New Heart
Emily Ortiz has a new heart. The headline in the paper told the whole story:

WOMAN WHO COULDN’T PAY
GETS NEW HEART ANYWAY!

Emily was not insured for a heart transplant, and the $150,000 cost of the operation was far beyond her means. Family and friends were frantically trying to raise money to pay for the operation, but life was slipping away. It began to seem hopeless.

The price is high, but it will have to be paid.

Then the hospital received a donor heart that seemed a good match for her, and Emily was wheeled into the operating room, “just in time” her husband said, and her life was saved by the new heart.

Hospitals are expensive. Years of training for doctors, nurses, and technicians, costly equipment, and expensive drugs, all add up. No matter how generous and altruistic the doctors and hospital may be, the price must be paid.

For Emily, who could not pay, the bills are being paid by others. Every kind of fund-raiser is being used, and many contributions have been made. The price is high, but it will have to be paid.

For all of us, too, there was a price to be paid. We, too, had bad hearts. We, too, needed new hearts and a new life. And we, too, had nothing with which to pay. Just like Emily, we could not pay.

But Jesus could. Jesus did. He came to earth for that very purpose: to die for us, that we might have a new life, a God-given life, a life that will live forever in God’s house in heaven. “When we were yet without strength…Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). He has paid all the price―that terrible price of death on the cross―and now all that we have to do is to receive it. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Adapted from The Old Old Story.

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Religion or Salvation

Religion or Salvation

Religion is what man does for God. Salvation is what God does for man.

“The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Religion depends on our behaving. Salvation depends on our believing.

Religion is what man does for God. 

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Religion is striving for a better attainment. Salvation is secured through a perfect atonement.

“Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Salvation is what God does for man.

Religion or salvation―which do you have?

 

Adapted from The Old Old Story.

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Facing Death

The Nurse’s Mistake
A young man lay in a hospital, racked with pain and impatient to be out again with his carefree friends. He had wanted to be an expert horseback rider and had fallen from his horse while riding. He had also decided that day to take a law course at the University, but now here he lay, and why, oh, why this pain in his leg?

Suddenly everything changed for him. A sober nurse quietly brought a folding screen into his ward and placed it carefully around his bed!

The screen! That meant he was expected to die…and soon! His world began to collapse around him. Horses and law courses were forgotten. He heard the hospital clock chime one. Perhaps before it chimed again he would be gone. Why hadn’t they told him before? He wasn’t ready to die. Perhaps before the hour was passed he would be face to face with God.

He hated the thought. Not that he had ever done anything that seemed very bad, but he just hadn’t got acquainted with God. He always figured there was plenty of time. Why had he kept at such a long distance from God?

His life began to pass before his eyes and he tried to see it as God would look at it. He shuddered. He hadn’t even kept the second commandment about loving his neighbor, let alone the first commandment about loving God with all his heart.

For the first time in his life he felt the crushing weight of his own sin, and groaned at the thought of meeting a holy God. Restlessly he tossed. His eyes roamed feverishly over the ceiling and walls. That ominous screen! The dread ticking of the clock near his bed!

Then the answer came. It was written on a little placard on the opposite wall. He could just see it above the screen:

“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). That was it! Jesus Christ, the Son of God somehow a fellow would be saved if he came to Him. Yes, the Cross! Christ had died, and in some way that meant pardon for sinners and rest for the soul.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, “there’s been a mistake…I am very sorry.” To her astonishment the patient sat bolt upright in bed and said… 

This time he didn’t stop to question it or argue it or put it off. He read the verse again: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor… and I will give you rest.”

Right out loud he said: “I will come! I do come! I come to Thee. Is it too late?”

The young man began smiling; he knew it wasn’t too late. He rested on the finished work of the Son of God, and he knew he was forgiven. He had never had such peace in his life. Now he was ready to die.

And yet, he wasn’t ready to die. He thought of his own brother and of his friends. Most of them cursed and scorned the name of God. Why hadn’t he come to Christ sooner while there was still time to tell them?

If he could only have one chance to shout this wonderful news from the housetops! He would give such a plea from a dying man that the whole world would wake up! If only…

Then the nurse came back.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, “there’s been a mistake. We placed the screen at the wrong bed. I am very sorry.”

To her astonishment the patient sat bolt upright in bed and said: “Sorry! Why, that’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life!”

Have YOU come to Christ for salvation? There may not be this extra time given to you. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Are you telling others of Christ as though it were their last chance? Today may be your last chance or theirs.

Adapted from The Old Old Story.

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Not Too Blind to See

Put My Finger There
Feeble and blind, the old man in a nursing home knew his life was slipping away. One great worry tormented his mind, the old, old question: What can I do to be saved? Poor man, what could he do to be saved? He could only lie there and fret because of his helplessness.

He had a little granddaughter who often came in to read to him, and one day she brought her Bible. She started reading the first chapter of the first epistle of John. She came to the seventh verse: “And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

“Then take my hand and put my finger there, I want to feel it.”

The old man sat up and stopped the little girl, saying eagerly, “Is that there, my dear?”

“Yes, Grandpa.”

“Then read it to me again; I never heard the like before.”

The little girl read again: “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

“You are quite sure that is really there?”

“Yes, quite sure!”

“Then take my hand and put my finger there, I want to feel it.”

So she took the old blind man’s hand and placed his bony finger on the verse. He said, “Now read it to me again.”

The little girl read softly, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Again he asked anxiously, “You are quite sure that is there?”

“Yes, Grandpa; quite sure!”

“Then, if anyone should ask how I died, tell them I died in the faith of these words: ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ ”

Peacefully, trustfully, the old man lay back on the pillow and, with his hand still on the wonderful verse he had just learned, he silently passed into the presence of Him whose blood “cleanseth us from all sin.”

Helpless, hopeless, unable to do anything to save himself, what relief it was to learn that the Lord Jesus had done it all for him.

It may seem to some that “that is all right for the poor old man; he couldn’t do anything else, but those who are strong and capable should work for their salvation should do something to earn it.”

Not so. Physical strength or mental ability has nothing to do with the salvation of a soul. The strongest and the wisest must come to the Lord Jesus Christ just as the old man did, simply believing in His work on the cross of Calvary and receiving all the benefit of that work. It was not “to as many as worked for it,” but “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12.

Adapted from The Old Old Story.

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