All pastors have their favorite stories. Here are a few of mine.
THE PRICE OF LOVE
The following story may be my all time favorite. I first heard it as a small boy on a Wednesday night in Royal Ambassadors. It made quite an impression on me. I hope you appreciate it as much as I have down through the years. When I first heard the story, the context was the Klondike gold rush in Alaska. Later, I researched it on the internet, and there the story has a different setting for the gold rush. The copy below appears to have originated with an evangelist named Doug Lowery.
After the Great Chicago fire, many people left that smoldering city. One former businessman journeyed to Australia and earned his fortune. Deciding to return to a rebuilt Chicago, he had his wealth turned into gold dust; and it was poured into pouches on a special money belt that he kept around his waist at all times.
While crossing the great expanse of ocean returning to America, the ship met with tragedy. As this wealthy man was getting into a lifeboat, he noticed in the distance a little girl about 10 years old beating the water and screaming. Without a moment’s hesitation, he jumped from the lifeboat and swam to her side. He gave no thought to his money belt. The ocean water seeped into the pouches and his gold dust was saturated- and took on great weight.
This man was strong, but he wasn’t strong enough to keep the little girl’s head above water and his own. He was thus faced with a decision. Would he release the exhausted girl and see her drown, or would he release his money belt and know that all of his gold would sink to the ocean’s floor?! With agony of heart, he undid his money belt.
In Romans 5:6-11, Paul states: "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."
This shows us clearly just what Jesus did for us. His was a much greater sacrifice than mere gold – He gave his life for us. Furthermore, Christ didn’t just save one drowning girl. He died for the sins of the whole world - in order that His death would save many multitudes. He gave His life - and He sacrificed something even more valuable than gold... His precious blood. (I Peter 1:18, 19)
Like most pastors, I have collected files full of such stories over the years. (The number is literally in the tens of thousands, and growing daily.) So, give me enough time to get them organized and uploaded, and then much more will be forthcoming on my website (and that's no story)! In the meantime, please check my blog (under the "My Ongoing Thoughts" tab above) where you will be able to find lots of illustrations.
Until I can get this tremendous volume of material indexed and uploaded, there are several great sources on the internet for stories for communicating. Two of the better are: www.preachingtoday.com, which is a publication of www.christianitytoday.com. Another is www.sermoncentral.com. While these are both excellent sources, they are subscription based, and thus charge an annual fee for full access to their respective collected resources.
Under the "My Favorite Web Links" tab above, you will be able to find numerous websites that specialize in illustrations, including stories, poems, jokes, quotes, and the like, much of which is free of charge and available for anyone to use.