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The Missing Piece

Topic: Salvation                                                                                 Printer Friendly

Author: Illustration Exchange

ILLUSTRATION

Nothing is complete without Jesus. He is the “Author” and the “Completer,” the “Beginning” and the “End” (Hebrews 12:2, Revelation 22:13). Everything exists because of Him, and everything is missing something without Him; and not just missing something, but the central thing; the thing that supplies true meaning and purpose to all things.

That’s what the Bible means when it says of Jesus, “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen (Romans 11:36).

This applies to everything, the animate and the inanimate alike. Take for example the Old Testament Law. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). In other words, the OT Law is incomplete, it’s missing something without Jesus.

Sometimes when Jesus is missing it’s more evident than at other times. Take for example Exodus 31:15, where we read, “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the LORD. Anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.”

“Relax or die!” Isn’t that what God is saying here? We tend to focus on the long list of things the Law commands us to do, but what about the command to rest from all of our doing? It’s hard to say which of the two we fail at most miserably, our doing or our resting.

Nevertheless, “Anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death,” seems like a gross and bizarre overreaction on God’s part. In what universe does this punishment fit this crime? It makes sense that doing the wrong things should be a crime, but should failing to do nothing be a punishable offense? And so severly punished?

Clearly, there’s something missing.

missingpieceAPPLICATION

“Relax or die!” makes no sense without Jesus; with Jesus, it makes perfect sense.

That’s because Jesus IS the Sabbath rest we all so desperately need!  By fulfilling all of the commands of the Law and by offering His perfect life as a sacrifice for our sins, Jesus became our Sabbath rest.

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Puppy Love

Topic: Commitment                                                                                             Printer Friendly
Source: “I get rid of dogs as soon as they stop being cute puppies” by Shona Sibary, DAILY MAIL, Published: 16:30 EST, 27 August 2015
Link to Source: Click here to view source
Author: Illustration Exchange

ILLUSTRATION

Shoan Sibary has confessed to the DAILY MAIL, “I get rid of dogs as soon as they stop being cute puppies.”

Indeed, she has given away four dogs in four years.

puppy

 

 

 

 

She writes:

I’m a serial dogamist. In the early stages of the relationship I’m head over heels. I attend all the puppy classes. I don’t even begrudge picking up dog poo.

There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my new canine companion. But the moment things get complicated and they develop a problem, I don’t covet a dog-free existence like any other sane person might. Instead, I start wondering if there is another, more suitable dog out there.

Maybe one that is less bouncy, less barky, less inclined to moult everywhere. And so the new search begins and I cannot rest until I have found a replacement puppy to lie adoringly at my feet.

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Let The Ice-Cream Melt

Topic: Contentment                                                                              Printer Friendly
Source: “Scientists Discover Ice Cream That Doesn’t Melt” By LOUISE DEWAST, posted ABC News, LONDON — Aug 31, 2015, 8:13 AM ET
Link to Source: Click here to view source
Author: Illustration Exchange

Scientists from the Universities of Dundee and Edinburgh have formulated a new recipe for an ice cream that doesn’t melt. The recipe is the result of the discovery of a new protein,BsIA, that binds the air, fat and water in ice cream to make it more stable.

The new ice-cream could be available within three to five years, and it is anticipated to contain lower levels of saturated fats, fewer calories and a smoother consistency.

This advancement will also benefit manufacturers, allowing it to be more easily transported.
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Treated Like A Servant

Author: Gordon McDonald/Illustration Exchange Printer Friendly
Source: various
Contributor: Illustration Exchange

“You can tell whether you are becoming a servant by how you act when people treat you like one.”

[Gordon McDonald, Christian author, speaker, educator]

Application:

We don’t mind the idea of service so long as we have control over how and where we serve and feel that our efforts are recognized and appreciated. Good thing Jesus didn’t serve with these stipulations. He served in humiliation and affliction. He served while being rejected, despised and abused for His efforts. He served because it met our needs, not because it met His.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

(Free Sermon Illustration from Illustration Exchange)

Highlight Reels

Author: John Reed Printer Friendly
Source: Illustration Exchange
Scripture: Isaiah 43:25; Revelation 14:13

The world of sports provides a beautiful picture of God’s grace.  We see it when the sportscaster shows “highlight reels” of our favorite athletes from years gone by.  In the editing process, they extract the mistakes, the fumbles, the strike outs, the missed shots.  Instead, every time Michael Jordon or Larry Bird shoot the ball, they make the basket.  If all you knew about these legends was what you saw from a “highlight reel,” you’d think they never missed a shot!

Application:

This is a picture of how our lives will be remembered in eternity. By God’s grace, we are promised that our sins will not be remembered. God will edit them all out. In Isaiah 43:25 we read, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

So what’s left? A highlight reel filled with nothing but our greatest moments. And that’s what will be remembered in heaven–all the positive and loving things we’ve done. As the Apostle John wrote of the tribulation saints, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!'” (Revelation 14:13).

(Free Sermon Illustration from Illustration Exchange)

Hidden In The Apple Blossom

Author: Paul Chappell / Ilustration Exchange Printer Friendly
Contributor: Lynn Schuyler
Scripture: Mark 7:15; Romans 5:12; Jeremiah 17:9
Published: First Steps for New Christians

“If you find an apple with a worm hole, it does not mean that there is a worm inside the apple. It simply means that an insect laid an egg in the apple blossom.  Sometime later, the worm hatched in the heart of the apple, then ate its way out.”

Application:

Despite the appearance, the worm doesn’t work its way into the apple, it works it’s way out. And so it is with sin. It doesn’t work its way into our hearts, it works its way out. Although manifest much later through our words and actions, it was there all along, hidden in the very blossom of our human nature.

“There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man” (Mark 7:15, KJV).

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Of Morse Code and Easter Messages

Author: William Bennett / Illustration Exchange Printer Friendly
Scripture: Mattew 28:6
Source: THE AMERICAN PATRIOT’S ALMANAC: Daily Readings on America, by William Bennett, “JANUARY 6 Samuel Morse Starts a Communications Revolution”
Contributor: Illustration Exchange

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Daily Readings on America, January 6th:

As a young man, Samuel Morse set out to become a famous painter. His ambition was “to rival the genius of a Raphael, a Michelangelo, or a Titian.” He studied at the Royal Academy in London and won acclaim by painting portraits of men such as President James Monroe and the Marquis de Lafayette.

In 1832, onboard a ship crossing the ocean, Morse heard another passenger describe how electricity could pass instantly over any length of wire. He began to wonder: Could messages be sent over wires with electricity? He rushed back to his cabin, took out his drawing book, and began to sketch out his idea for a telegraph.

He knew little about electricity, but he learned as he went. He used a homemade battery and parts from an old clock to build his first models. He developed a code of long and short electrical impulses-“dots” and “dashes”-to represent letters. His invention raised the interest of Alfred Vail, a machinist who became his partner.

On January 6, 1838, the inventors were ready to test their device over two miles of wire at the Vail family ironworks in New Jersey. Vail’s father scribbled “A patient waiter is no loser” on a piece of paper and handed it to his son. “If you can send this and Mr. Morse can read it at the other end, I shall be convinced,” he said. A short time later, his words came out on the receiving end.

On May 24, 1844, an amazed crowd in the Supreme Court chambers in Washington, D.C., watched Samuel Morse demonstrate his telegraph by sending a message over a wire to Baltimore, 35 miles away. In Morse code, he tapped out a quote from the Bible: What hath God wrought!

Soon telegraph lines linked countries and continents, and the world entered the age of modern communication.

Application:

The diehard skeptic Mr. Vail, who penned his message saying, “If you can send this and Mr. Morse can read it, I shall be convinced” was indeed convinced. At the time, it was the greatest communication either sent or received.

On Easter morning, an infinitely more powerful message was sent and has since been received by millions upon millions. “He is not here; He is risen!” (Matthew 28:6). “Look what God has wrought!”

Won’t you allow yourself to be convinced? Place your faith and trust in God’s message of redemption communicated so clearly through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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