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Category: Forgiveness

Overcoming Evil With Good in Charleston, SC

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Topic: Forgiveness
Scripture: Romans 12:21; 1 Corinthians 13:8, 13; Matthew 5:44-45; 1 Peter 3:9
Source: “Chris Singleton Opens Up About Losing Mother In Charleston Mass Shooting” by Maxwell Strachan, Posted HUFFINGTON POST, 06/19/2015
Author: Illustration Exchange

“Chris Singleton, whose mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, died during the shooting rampage in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday [6/17/15], delivered a powerful message to the world on Thursday evening: No matter how much hate there is in the world, it’s no match for love,” reports the HUFFINGTON POST.

Singleton is a 2nd year baseball player at Charleston Southern University, a faith-based school affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. His coach and teammates stood beside him as he addressed reporters just hours after learning of his mother’s murder. “Love is stronger than hate,” said Singleton. “So if we just love the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be anywhere close to where the love is.”

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Even Missing Words Matter

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Topic: Grace
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-9
Source: Fowler Bible Collection
Author: Larry Kuhl

In 1631, Robert Barker and Martin Lucus, the royal printers of London, published what was supposed to be a reprint of the King James Bible but instead it became known as “The Wicked Bible,” due to a simple elimination of a three letter word. It seems that in publishing  Exodus 20:14 the printers left out the word “not” from  the seventh commandment, making the text read: “Thou shalt commit adultery”. Unfortunately this mistake was only discovered after the Bibles were released for sale!

This error cost these two respected publishers their license, a large fine, as well as their reputation.  An order immediately went out from the King to have all of these publications destroyed. Only twelve copies are known to have survived.

Application:

Like the “The Wicked Bible,” sometimes we say or do things we regret. Nevertheless, once our sins have been published, they can’t be retracted. Words and deeds matter. Even missing words and deeds can make a big difference.

Thank God for the grace and forgiveness that is ours in Jesus Christ, Who took our sins, small and great, on Himself as He hung on the cross, that we may become the “righteousness of God in Him.”

What a blessed life we have in Christ!  God doesn’t take our license away when we mess up! He generously gives us another opportunity to begin again, and again, and again. Grace always prevails with our God.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

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Light to See Clearly

Printer Friendly Topic: Light
Author: Stephen Kingsley
Scripture: Isaiah 1:18
Source: Illustration Exchange

I used to work in the carpet cleaning business and enjoyed success selling our pet urine removal process. I carried a high powered black light in my van and upon smelling pet odor, would ask if the homeowner would like to see the extent of the damage. Being composed of proteins, urine glows under a black light. With the lights out and shades drawn, the homeowner would follow me through their house.

Usually, there were far more spots of dried urine than the owner expected and often it could be seen on drapes, stereo speakers, the back of the couch, and splattered on walls. The reactions were often quite dramatic. One lady said, “I don’t care what it costs, just clean it up!” Another said, “I’ll never be comfortable in my home again.”

Application:

The black light didn’t cause the problem, it only revealed it. The offense was there all the time, causing a bit of a stink, but when the extent of the problem could actually be seen, most people were ready to do something about it.

We live in sin to the extent we get comfortable with it, but when the light of God’s righteous law shines upon our lives, we can see our offenses for what they really are.

It would have been cruel for me to show homeowners their problem without being able to help them. God shows us our violations of his holiness so we will accept his help. He too is in the cleaning business. By the blood of Christ our sins can be washed away and the gift of eternal life secured.

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool” (Isaiah 1:18, NLT).

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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).

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