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Category: Experiencing God

The Sound of Pounding Footsteps

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Topic: Atheism
Scripture: Romans 10:15; 1 Peter 2:15
Source: As quoted in THE REAL FACE OF ATHEISM, revised and updated edition, by Ravi Zacharias, p. 135.
Author: Ravi Zacharias / Illustration Exchange

In a debate between social critic Dennis Prager and Oxford atheistic professor Jonathan Glover, Prager asked:

“If you, Professor Glover, were stranded at the midnight hour in a desolate Los Angeles street and if, as you stepped out of your car with fear and trembling, you were suddenly to hear the weight of pounding footsteps behind you, and you saw ten burly men who had just stepped out of a dwelling coming toward you, would it or would it not make a difference to you to know that they were coming from a Bible study?”

Application:

While atheists are loath to admit that the world needs what Christianity has to offer, they’d most assuredly prefer to be discovered in the wrong place, at the wrong time, by the “pounding footsteps” of young men who are followers of Christ.

Knowing Christ makes a difference–to everyone!

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15).

“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people” (1 Peter 2:15).

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Taste Them Again For The First Time

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Topic: First Love
Scripture: Revelation 2:4-5; Psalm 34:8
Source: Various
Author: Illustration Exchange

There have been some pretty memorable commercial catch phrases for cereals over the years. Among them is the 1990s ad campaign for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes: “Kellogg’s Corn Flakes – Taste them again for the first time.”

It’s genius, really–a call to go back to relive the pleasure, the delight, the satisfaction of a product which may have lost its luster in your mind, and its place in your pantry.

Application:

When it comes to your spiritual life, have you lost the pleasure, the delight, the satisfaction you once found in the Savior? Has walking with Him lost its luster? Has He lost His place in your heart?

Jesus calls you to return to your first love–to “taste” Him again, as though for the first time.

“Taste and see [as if for the first time!] that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).

“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent” (Revelation 2:4-5, NASB).

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The Anti-Loneliness Cafe

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Topic: Loneliness
Scripture: Revelation 3:20
Source: “Japan’s ‘anti-loneliness’ cafe goes viral” by Frances Cha, published CNN,Thu May 15, 2014
Author: Illustration Exchange

Hate to dine alone? Many people do. No worries. If you don’t have a date for dinner, you can now dine with a Moomin.

Wait, a what?!

Moomins, are a family of white, anime, hippo-like characters created by Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson. They’ve been around for decades, and have increased in popularity around the world, especially in anime-obsessed Japan, where Moomin House Cafes are catering to the solitary diner.

In a nod to the growing isolation of Japan’s workaholic labor force, giant, plush-toy Moomins are brought to the tables of solo diners in an effort to spare them the “awkward perils” of dining alone.

The original Moomin cafe opened in 2001, but pictures of diners “enjoying” the company of Moomins have recently gone viral, creating a huge surge in the cafe’s popularity. There are now three locations, with more on the horizon, if their “anti-loneliness” concept proves to be more than a passing fad.

Click here to see a diner with her Moomin companion.

Application:

Yes, Moomins are cute, but it seems a stretch to suggest they can quell the “awkward perils” of loneliness.

The truth is, even real people aren’t able to satisfy our need to be perfectly loved and fully accepted. For that we must seek the companionship of the only person who is actually capable of meeting these deeper, spiritual needs. To every lonely heart, Jesus says, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20, NLT).

A Moomin might fill an empty seat, but only Jesus can fill an empty heart. Open your heart to Him and you will never have to fear the “awkward perils” of loneliness again!

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Staying Where You Belong

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Topic: Ambition
Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6
Author: Joshua Noble
Source: Illustration Exchange

There is a story told of a young and ambitions lawyer who was moving up from a local district attorneys’ office to a large and prestigious law firm. His boss at the DA’s office was disappointed to see him go. He told the young lawyer that he belonged there; that he was great at his job; that there he had an opportunity to usher in a small amount of justice in a place where justice was rarely the outcome. The young lawyer replied, “I have worked too hard to stay where I belong.”

Application:

How many of us have chased big dreams, pouring our time, energy, and resources into reaching them, only to pass right by the place where God could use us and our talents the most?

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment” (I Timothy 6:6).

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Are You A Swimming Tongue?

Printer Friendly Topic: Experiencing God
Author: Illustration Exchange
Scripture: Psalm 34:8
Source: “Understanding Catfish Senses,” September 28, 2010, GameAndFishMag.com

“A catfish just 6 inches long has more than a quarter-million taste buds on its body. … The mouth and gill rakers are packed with taste buds, and the sensory organs cover the outside of the catfish as well – the whiskers, fins, back, belly, sides and even the tail. If you were a catfish, you could taste a slice of pizza just by sitting on it.‘Catfish’ says Dr. John Caprio of Louisiana State University, ‘are swimming tongues.’” – Game and Fish Magazine

Application:

As a catfish forages through the muck at the bottom of a pond, his mouth, his gills, his whiskers, his fins, his back, his belly, his sides, and even his tail are designed to sense the presence of the sustenance he seeks, just by brushing up against it.

The same is true of the believer. As we forage through life seeking greater communion with God, we are equipped with a comprehensive set of physical and spiritual sensory organs capable of sensing God’s presence—in the beauty of the night sky, in the sound of the rushing wind or pounding surf, in the soft touch of a child’s hand, in the promises of Scripture, or in the prayers of faithful friends. God can be found everywhere in His creation.

Like the catfish, be on alert for the true sustenance of life. Always be prepared to sense His presence, no matter how you might brush up against Him.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

 

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