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The Greatest of These is Love (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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January 27, 2022 5:00 am

The Greatest of These is Love (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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January 27, 2022 5:00 am

Dutch watchmaker Corrie ten Boom explains how she got involved in hiding Jews from the Nazis, how she survived years in a concentration camp, and how the Lord helped her forgive her captors. (Part 1 of 2)

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And you will find out that forgiveness is a tremendous joy. For it is a key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. I wonder if you've ever refused to forgive someone.

Maybe they deeply wounded you or you felt that to forgive them would be kind of excusing their behavior. Well, today on Focus on the Family, you'll hear the story of a Dutch woman who was empowered by God to give mercy, even in the face of unimaginable evil. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly, and I'm John Fuller. Well, our guest Corrie Tim Boom was born in 1892 to working class parents in the Netherlands. In the early 1940s, Corrie and her family risked their lives to help 800 Jewish people escape the Nazis and Corrie is the lone survivor of her family's incarceration in Hitler's concentration camps. Providentially, a clerical error led to Corrie's release from the camp just one week before all of the women in her age group were killed. After her release, Corrie began sharing her story of forgiveness, redemption, and God's willingness to heal even the most painful wounds. In fact, this story was shared with the world in a book called The Hiding Place, named after a small closet where Corrie was able to hide six people at a time in her home. That's right, and the book became a major feature film.

I remember seeing that back when it came out and a highly acclaimed Focus on the Family radio theater production as well. And what you're about to hear is a message that Corrie Tim Boom gave when she was 80 years old. In this, she is remarkably vibrant. I know you're going to be captivated by her words.

So please take advantage of this opportunity, sit back, relax, and enjoy this special presentation from Corrie Tim Boom on today's episode of Focus on the Family. Now, I have always been a watchmaker. I was the first licensed woman watchmaker in Holland. I repaired watches the whole day.

I had a jewelry store together with my dad, and I could sell good watches. When you came to me, I could tell you, now, when you buy this watch, it is so good that even if it makes a difference of two minutes in a month, you come back and I can change it. But then I thought later, I hope I have not boasted too much about my watch.

What must I do when it makes a difference of five minutes in a week? You know, I do not sell watches anymore, but I sell the gospel. And I'm so glad that when I tell very much about the great joy and love of the Lord, then I can never boast too much, for the reality is far and far greater than I can tell you and you can tell me. And I hope that when we come in heaven and we look back at this time, we will not be ashamed that we have so lived as beggars. And we are King's children, tremendous rich.

And that's why I am so glad that I can tell you a little bit what I experienced. You all have heard of that terrible time that we have had in Holland when the Germans came and the leader Adolf Hitler, and he intended to kill all the Jewish people. We started to save as many as we could. I had never planted, but God had planted, after some time I had a gang of eighty people, thirty teenager boys, twenty teenager girls, twenty men and ten women. And once we heard that in a Jewish orphanage in Amsterdam, all the babies had to be killed because they were Jewish babies. When we heard that, our boys said, we will save them and we will steal them. And they went to that orphanage and they stole all the hundred babies. You will say, how is it possible?

I will tell you a secret. You know, sometimes there came to us good Germans who were soldiers, who were in the army. And they said, we don't like to work any longer for Adolf Hitler.

We will not kill the Jewish people. Can you help us? And I always said, sure I will help you.

Just come in. And we gave them, of course, civil clothing and we took the uniforms. I have not go into details, but you understand how my boys stole the hundred babies. Hallelujah. One of my bravest boys was Pete Hartock. And Pete said that evening, I believe we do the most important work that exists. Just saving lives from the morning till the evening.

I don't want to go back to college. This is life. I said, Pete, I am so happy when I think of the babies that we have saved, but Peter is a work that is more important even than saving lives. And that is saving souls and tell the people about the Lord Jesus Christ.

And then Pete smiled. Pete said, I'm a Christian boy. I go to church, I read my Bible and I pray about telling people the gospel, telling them about Jesus. That is good business for my pastor. I said, Pete, every Christian is called to be the light of the world. And every Christian must be ready to tell the way of salvation to anyone who needs it.

And in your time, in your life, Pete, will come a time that you will see it the most important work for you to win souls for Jesus Christ and to show that the way of salvation by believing in Jesus and inviting him into your heart. Half a year later, Pete came into prison. And when he came into the cell, he heard that he had only one week to live.

And the day before he was shot, he wrote us a long letter. And he wrote, all the men and the boys in this cell are sentenced to death. And I am so glad that I could tell them that when they receive Jesus as their savior, that the Lord Jesus will make them children of God. And that when they go to be killed, that they go to the house of the Father with many mansions where Jesus is preparing a mansion for everyone who believes in him. And Pete wrote, I see now that the most important work for a Christian is to win souls for eternity.

Say, young people, I have a message for you from Pete Hutter. Don't wait till the last week of your life like he has done. But give your life today to the Lord and say, Lord, use me. Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to me. How you will say it, I don't mind. But tell the Lord that he may take you to use you as the light of the world, and then I can tell you he will use you. And my, when you really will be used to win souls for Jesus Christ once, when you enter the beautiful city and the saved all around you appear, many of them will tell you, it was you that invited me here.

Boy, that will be a joy. Then you will know that you have not lived in vain. Once there came a man to me and said, will you save my wife? She is arrested.

She has saved Jewish people and now she is in a police station. And there is one policeman who will run the risk to set her free if we pay him 600 guilders, but I have no money. I said, oh man, what does money say? Let's see, I have 200 guilders. Come back after an hour. And in that hour I asked all my friends, say, have you money?

Give it. It means to save the life of a good woman. When that man came back, I gave him 600 guilders. That man was a quisling, a betrayer. His wife was not at all in prison, but the Gestapo, the police of the enemy had said, find out if Corrita Boom saves Jewish people.

And he thought, I can do it and make some money and he made some money. He went home with 600 guilders, but five minutes later the Gestapo surrounded our house and we were all arrested. Later when I was in a concentration camp, there came a prisoner from my hometown and she said, say, do you know who has betrayed you?

I said, no. And then she told that it was that man and there came hatred in my heart. The man I had given my last penny. But I know from the Bible that hatred means murder in God's eyes. But I also know from the Bible what to do with your murder when we confess our sins, when we repent and ask forgiveness, then he takes such a sin and he casts it into the depths of the sea, forgiven and forgotten. That's what the Bible says. The Bible doesn't say it, but I believe he put a sign, no fishing allowed.

It's true. And do you know when I had repented of that sin, the Lord cleansed my heart with his blood and a heart cleansed by the blood of Jesus, he fills with the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is love. Love even for enemies. And instead that I hated that man, I loved him. And after a war, that man was sentenced to death because he had caused the death of many Dutch people. When I heard that, I wrote him, your betrayal has meant the death of my old father was 84 years old when they brought him into prison. After 10 days, he died. My sister who died after 10 months, terrible suffering.

My brother, he came out alive with a sick man and died through that sickness and his son never came back. I myself have suffered terribly in three different prisons, but I have forgiven you. And that is because Jesus is in my heart. And when Jesus tells you to love your enemies, he gives you the love that he demands from you. And I sent that man a New Testament and underlined the way of salvation. And that man wrote me that you could forgive me is such a great miracle that I have said, Jesus, when you give such a love in the heart of your followers, there's hope for me. And I have read in the Bible that you sent me that Jesus has died at the cross for the sins of the whole world. And I have brought my terrible sins to Jesus. And I know that they are forgiven. Your forgiveness has shown me what it means that there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

And that man was brought to death that same week, but he was reconciled with God and God had used me who had hated him to bring him to the Lord. The greatest of all is love. In 1 Corinthians 13, I believe that Paul describes God's love. There are two kinds of love, human love and God's love. Human love fails on the long run, but God's love never fails. And I believe that this love that is described here is the love of God, not only in the heart of the Father, but shattered, brought into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has given to us Romans 5. And when Paul uses the translation of Phillips, then he says, if I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blare and brass and crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge, but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yet even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing. This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience. It looks for a way of being constructive. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people.

On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails. Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope. It can outlast anything that is in fact the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. And in my life, all else had fallen. I stood in Vauxhall in a concentration camp Ravensbrück where 97,000 women were killed or died, also my sister. When I stood there on roll call, one of the guards used her time to demonstrate her cruelties.

I could hardly bear to see or to hear what had happened in front of me. But suddenly a skyline came and he started to sing in the sky and all the prisoners looked up. And when I looked up, I looked at the sky. And then I thought that Psalm 103 was written, As high is heaven over the earth, so far is God's love and mercy over all that fear Him. And suddenly I saw it, O love of God, how deep and great, far deeper than man's deepest hate. God sent that skylark three weeks daily, exactly through roll call time, to turn away our eyes from the cruelty of man unto the ocean of God's love. How can you and I understand God's love? At a cross, at a cross, where I first saw the light and the burden of my sins rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight.

When we look unto Jesus, we understand when we look at the cross what an ocean of love He has for you and me. I was questioned by a man in whose hands my life was. He was my judge. It was war time and if that man should say I had to be shot, I should have been shot. He asked me much about my spare time, about what my certificates and I told him all when he asked me about my misdeeds, I did not tell him all. He has known only of 8 jewels that I had saved and I hoped that there were more than 800. But when he asked me about my spare time, I told him about that work that I had with feeble-minded children and when I told that, the man said it was a nonsense. Hasn't it found more value to convert a normal person than an abnormal one? And then I said if you should know Jesus, you should know that He has a great love and concern for everyone who is in need.

It is possible that a poor feeble-minded child has more value in his loving eyes than you and I together. Then he was angry and he called a policeman and said bring her back to her cell. But the next day I was again brought to him and then he said I could not sleep this night. I had always to think of what you told about Jesus.

We have time enough for the questioning. First you must tell me what you know of Jesus. Boy, that was a chance. I said Jesus is a light. Come into this world that everyone who believes in Him does not remain in darkness. And I asked him is there darkness in your life?

That man said darkness, there is no light at all in my life. And I brought him the old, old story of Jesus and His love. After me Betsy, my sister, was questioned. With great joy she justified to her faith and she told about Jesus and then she said it is important to speak about Jesus.

It is more important to speak to Him. Do you allow me that I pray with you? And she said yes and she prayed with Him. The prisoner with the judge. Five times Betsy was questioned. Five times she prayed with that man. Betsy died in prison. But after the war I met that judge and he said to me I can never forget your sister's prayers. Through her and through my testimony God touched the heart of that man. And he became a friend instead of an enemy.

But he had to do his job. And suddenly he showed me papers found in my house. And to my horror I saw names, addresses and particulars that could mean my death sentence. And the death sentence of my family and my friends who were in prison. You will say how was it possible that such dangerous papers were found in your house?

But I must tell you that my teenagers have done a tremendous, courageous job. But they were not always careful. And so it happened that these terrible papers were found in my house. The judge said can you explain these papers?

I said no I can't. And I felt deep unhappy. But he knew how dangerous they were. And suddenly he turned, opened the door of the stove and he threw all the papers into the flames.

Oh my how happy I was. I should never have believed and you should have told me that I could be happy when I was in a prison of an enemy. But that moment when I saw the flames destroy these horrible papers, it was I think for the first time I understood Colossians 3.20 where it is written that Jesus has taken the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, has taken them out of the way and nailed them at the cross.

Say do you realize that there are dangerous papers for you? Do you realize that in heaven all our sins are written down? And we have all to come for the judgment day of God. And if we have refused Jesus Christ in his life the judgment day will be terrible for we will have to pay and to carry the punishment for our sins. But when we have found Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior in this life we have nothing to fear for we will find out that Jesus has taken all our sins and nailed them at the cross. Hallelujah, what a love, what a Savior. We're halfway through a classic presentation from Corrie Ten Boom and we're going to hear the conclusion of her message next time. John, I can't imagine the pain Corrie suffered spending almost a year in a concentration camp and it's one thing to survive that kind of trauma with your faith intact but it's quite another thing to be able to actually forgive the man that caused the imprisonment of your family and to share the Lord with your Nazi captors.

Wow, I think that's the epitome of the term radical faith. And we often say this John but it's worth repeating. Many people are trapped in the sin of unforgiveness. Yes, it is a sin. The Bible repeatedly warns us that God requires us to offer forgiveness to others. In fact in the New Testament book of Mark verse 11 25 Jesus said when you are praying first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against so that your father in heaven will forgive your sins too.

That's from the New Living Translation. And that is perhaps one of the more difficult aspects of the Christian walk as Corrie's testimony demonstrates. That's so true and boy if you're struggling with an issue of unforgiveness please give us a call. Our staff would count it a privilege to hear your story and pray with you. And if needed they can set up a free call back from one of our Caring Christian counselors. It would be an honor for us to help you in that way. That's a big part of our ministry here at Focus on the Family. And let me remind you that we are a non-profit organization and we rely on your contributions to help with the expenses including our amazing staff. And if you can make a donation of any amount today I'd like to send you a copy of the book by Corrie Tim Boom called The Hiding Place. It has a lot of fascinating details that we don't have time to include on this broadcast. And if you're not a reader I'd highly recommend that you visit our website to get the download of our radio theater production of Corrie's Story.

It's an immersive experience that you won't forget. So get in touch with us today. Our number is 800-AFAMILY 800-232-6459 or donate online and request that book The Hiding Place.

The links are in the episode notes. If you enjoyed today's program please plan to be with us next time and tell a friend to join you as well as Corrie Tim Boom continues her remarkable story. Now when I came in that prison we had to live with 700 prisoners in a room that was built for 200. It was terrible dirty and very soon our clothing were full of lice. Those lice have caused many sicknesses but in some way they have helped us for the gods would never come into our room. They were afraid to get lice from us. That was good. The Bible was a forbidden book but twice a day we had a Bible message in Baruch 28 and God had used for that angels and lice.

God can use everything. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team thanks for listening to this Focus on the Family podcast. Take a moment if you would please and leave a rating in your podcast app that will help others discover this great content. I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time as we continue the presentation and once more help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was convinced that nothing could change what was going on in our marriage and I didn't want to try anymore but my commitment to God helped me try one more time. We went to a Hope Restored marriage intensive and it was life changing. The counselors created the safest environment we could imagine so that let us really talk. We're on a much different course now and I believe we received a miracle that week. Leave your free consultation at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-17 06:32:23 / 2023-06-17 06:41:16 / 9

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