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Category: Salvation (page 1 of 2)

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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Surprised Woman Finds Giant Gem in Crater of Diamonds

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Topic: Salvation
Scripture: Matthew 13:44; 1 John 5:11
Source: “Woman Finds 8.52 Carat Diamond at AR’s Crater of Diamonds State Park” by staff writers, NWA (Northwest Arkansas), posted NWAHomepage.com, 6/26/15
Author: Illustration Exchange

MURFREESBORO, AR – An 8.52-carat white diamond was found Wednesday (June 24) by Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park, according to park officials. Clear white and icicle shaped, this gem is the fifth largest diamond found by a park visitor since the state park was established at Arkansas’s diamond site in 1972. Twenty minutes into her search, she found the diamond in a couple scoops she had dug from a small mound of dirt. … She named her gem the Esperanza Diamond, both her niece’s name and the Spanish word for “hope.” At this time, Oskarson plans to keep the gem.

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said, “Ms. Oskarson and her boyfriend Travis Dillon saw the Crater of Diamonds State Park on an Arkansas highway map while in the nearby town of Hot Springs and decided to visit the park. And what a lucky first visit it was for her!”

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When Life Calls For A Transfusion

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Author: InfoPlease.com / Illustration Exchange
Scripture: 1 John 4:16
Source: “Blood Types” published InfoPlease.com, retrieved 5/9/15

If you ever find yourself, either by virtue of illness or injury, in need of a blood transfusion, you’d better hope your local blood bank has a good supply of a compatible blood type.

According to INFO PLEASE:

Human blood is grouped into four types: A, B, AB, and O. Each letter refers to a kind of antigen, or protein, on the surface of red blood cells. For example, the surface of red blood cells in Type A blood has antigens known as A-antigens.

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Relax or Die

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Topic: Sabbath
Scripture: Mark 2:27; Hebrews 12:29; Romans 2:12; Matthew 11:28-29; 1 Corinthians 3:12-13; Galatians 3:24
Source: “‘They Were So Pure,’ Father Says of 7 Kids Killed in Fire” by Michael Balsamo ASSOCIATED PRESS, posted On ABCNews.go.com, March 22, 2015
Author: Illustration Exchange

A Brooklyn father came home to his worst nightmare to find that a house fire had killed seven of his eight children and critically burned his wife and surviving child. The house, itself, was a total loss.

The cause of the fire was determined to be the use of a malfunctioning hot plate. It sparked a fire which rapidly spread up the stairs, trapping the children in their bedrooms.

The Sassoon family, members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, moved to Brooklyn less than two years prior. The father escorted the remains of his children back to Israel for burial.

Why, you might ask, was the hotplate left on while the family was sleeping?

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Standing In For Tom Cruise

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Topic: Salvation
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 2:17
Source: “Standing In” by Bryson Smith, as published on Perspective.org.au, Perspective Vol8 No4, 2001, from an article published in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, Sunday Life Section, Sept 17, 2000
Author: Bryson Smith 

“I [once] read an interesting article … all about movie stand-ins,” says Bryson Smith. “They’re the people who replace movie stars in scenes that are dangerous or just uncomfortable. Like Glenn Duhigg, an ex-lawyer who worked as the stand-in for Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2.”

As Duhigg himself recalls:

It sounds very glamorous saying you’re the stand-in for Tom Cruise but I don’t think many people realize the long hours and constant demands that deflate your ego very quickly. The days are long. Whatever scene Tom was in, I would be the one standing there, being him sometimes for ages as the crew set up the shot – getting the lighting just right and the props just so. I’d be standing there for hours out in the weather, getting drenched in the rain or sun stroke out in the heat. And then Tom would just walk on the set from his air-conditioned caravan or out of his beautiful sports car once the scene was ready.” As one of the other stand-ins said, “I realized very quickly the difference between being a star and being a stand-in.”

[Bryson Smith is a member of the ministry team at Dubbo Presbyterian Church, an evangelical church in rural Australia.]

Application:

“But you see,” says Smith, “on the cross, Jesus Christ was our stand-in. He endured the discomfort, the pain, the punishment from God, all in our place. He accepted God’s anger on himself instead of us. He was our stand-in.

“Amazing that he would do that, because really he’s the important one. You wouldn’t expect Tom Cruise to stand-in for that bloke Glenn Duhigg. No, no. Tom’s the important one! And yet, even though Jesus is the important one, a divine king come to earth, yet he stood in for us.”

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

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Police Dole Out Gifts Not Tickets

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Topic: Christmas
Scripture: Isaiah 9:6
Source: “These Drivers Thought They Were Getting Tickets. Instead, Police Gave Them Christmas Gifts” by Kate Abbey-Lambertz, posted HUFFINGTON POST, 12/12/14
Author: Kate Abbey-Lambertz / Illustration Exchange

“Getting pulled over by a police officer can make a good day bad and a bad day worse. Unless, of course, he helps you with your Christmas shopping instead of writing you a ticket,” reports the HUFFINGTON POST:

In a video released Tuesday, the police department in Lowell, Michigan, did just that.* Over two days in November, Officer Scot VanSolkema stopped unsuspecting drivers for minor infractions, like illegally tinted windows, that the department might normally let slide, according to Today.

After he pulled them over, VanSolkema made small talk and sneakily asked drivers what they or their kids wanted for Christmas. Meanwhile, a group of helpers were standing by at a nearby store. As soon as they heard a driver’s Christmas wish, they’d race to find, buy, wrap and deliver it to VanSolkema.

Instead of tickets, the officer handed over gifts, like a new TV and an electric scooter. Drivers had reactions that turned from irritation into confusion before melting into joy, and, in some cases, hugs.

*Click link to source above to view the video.

Application:

Isn’t it sad that those who have been tasked with the job of “keeping the peace” usually evoke such a sense of fear and dread within us? There’s no doubt that those Lowell, Michigan, citizens were convinced that the officer approaching their car was there to drop the hammer and nail them on one infraction or another.

Some of that stems from our own sense of guilt and shame. We’re just sure that we must have done something wrong! And some of it stems from an expectation that those who are charged with keeping the law take some sort of perverted delight in catching us when we break it.

But on this day, all expectations were shattered. It’s important to note that the officer pulled over the drivers for legitimate reasons (illegal tinting or a burned out turn signal). Yet he chose to look right past the driver’s guilt to the driver’s need for those yet unfulfilled gifts on their Christmas lists.

This is exactly the way our gracious God chooses to deal with us each and every day!

While many of us see Him as the great “law keeper” in the sky, just waiting to nail us on one thing or another, the reality is exactly the opposite. He’s the great keeper of the peace Who has Himself already satisfied all the requirements of the Law, so that He can look right past our guilt to our need. And the best part is HE is our gift!

It shatters our expectations. It’s confusing. But let the reality sink in, then just melt into the joy!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

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Sign Away Your Soul for WiFi

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Topic: Listening To God
Scripture: Ephesians 2:8-9; Luke 22:20
Source: “Londoners accidentally pay for free Wi-Fi with a firstborn, because no one reads anymore” by Rachel Feltman, posted WASHINGTON POST, September 29, 2014
Author: Rachel Feltman / Illustration Exchange

The WASHINGTON POST reports on a recent study of how flippantly people regard the terms and conditions of even the most basic of contracts:

In an experiment sponsored by security firm F-Secure, an open Wi-Fi network was set up in a busy public area. When people connected, they were presented with lengthy terms and conditions.

But to see just how little attention we pay when checking that agreement box, F-Secure included a “Herod clause” — one that offered up free Wi-Fi in exchange for the company’s permanent ownership of the user’s firstborn child.

A company would probably have trouble getting you to hand over your pride and joy (even if you were technically contractually obligated), so don’t panic. But this hapless agreement to terms is pretty common: A 2011 survey found that 58 percent of adults would rather read an instruction manual … than go through online terms and conditions. Even the phone book was a more palatable read for 12 percent of those surveyed. …

This new study isn’t the first of its kind: On April Fool’s Day in 2010, a host of U.K. shoppers were tricked into signing away their immortal souls.

Application:

Did you know that the term The New Testament actually means The New Contract? That being said, how much attention have you given to the terms and conditions of God’s contract with you?

When it comes to a relationship with God, far too many of us would rather read the phone book than read the Bible, wherein we’d discover that no amount of religiosity, morality, or good deeds are sufficient to gain an eternal relationship with God.

No, we must come to God on His terms: “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). These are the terms of His contract, the new covenant in His blood (Luke 22:20).

Ignore these terms and conditions and you actually could end up signing away your immortal soul.

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Wall Street Ethics

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Topic: Salvation
Scripture: Romans 3:10
Source: WHY BE GOOD?: SEEKING OUR BEST SELVES IN A CHALLENGING WORLD by Byron L. Sherwin, p.30
Author: Illustration Exchange

Byron Sherwin, in his book WHY BE GOOD, sarcastically recalls, “Once I was browsing in a bookstore when I saw a huge volume with an intriguing title: WALL STREET ETHICS. I opened it eagerly only to find that each of its hundreds of pages was blank.”

When we read this at IE, we were skeptical. So we did a little research and it turned out the book is real. It’s entitled THE COMPLETE BOOK OF WALL STREET ETHICS by Jay L. Walker and was published by William Morrow & Co., April 1987.

Writes one reviewer, “If you are not familiar with this book, it is a joke, and a pretty good one. The pages are all blank. … Today, [after so many new Wall Street scandals], it probably needs to be updated with a new edition with more blank pages.”

Application:

How would a book that recorded all of the things that you have done to earn your place in heaven read? The only possible answer is that its pages would all be blank. Not only that, but no matter how hard you tried, all of the updated editions would only add more blank pages. That’s because nothing that we do with the motive of self-justification will ever be acceptable to God. Rather, earning the prize of heaven requires a righteousness that is perfect, not only in every action, but in every motive behind every action. It requires the righteousness of Christ.

“As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous–not even one” (Romans 3:10, NLT).

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ISIS Destroying the Language of Jesus

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Topic: Incarnation
Scripture: Romans 12:21; Psalm 118:1; Psalm 100:5; Luke 6:27
Source: “ISIS: Destroying the Language of Jesus? ARAMAIC IS UNDER THREAT AS ISIS INVADES NORTHERN IRAQ” By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff, Posted Newser.com, Aug 15, 2014
Author: Illustration Exchange

NEWSER reports that, “Islamic militants may have an unexpected victim in northern Iraq: an ancient collection of dialects and languages that’s been around for over 3,000 years … called Aramaic.”

It was the language of ancient Babylon and the first Persian Empire. It is, today, the native language of some 200,000 modern Iraqi Christians who have been systematically slaughtered, tortured, and driven into exile. Interestingly, it was a predominant language of the common man throughout Judea and the surrounding area during the last century BC. In fact, it was the language of Jesus himself, spoken as he hung on the cross, crying out to God, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

“The threat to the Christian Neo-Aramaic-speaking population of northern Iraq is very great,” says [one] linguist. “Since each village has a different dialect, if the inhabitants of the villages are uprooted and thrown together in refugee camps or scattered in diaspora communities around the world, the dialects will inevitably die.”

Before ISIS invaded, reports NEWSER, “the best hope for Aramaic’s survival [according to FOREIGN POLICY] was in northern Iraq.” Now, it suggests, we may witness “the deliberate extinction of a language and culture, unfolding in real time.”

NEWSER reporter Neal Colgrass frets that ISIS may indeed be “destroying the language of Jesus.”

Application:

Actually, in the ancient Palestine of Jesus’ day, there were three languages that were routinely spoken. Hebrew (which became a dead language until revived in modern times), Koine Greek (which has been replaced by contemporary Greek), and Aramaic (which is now being threatened with extinction by ISIS).

But ISIS can never threaten the most important language employed by Christ–the language of God’s agape love.

In communicating His message to the world, Jesus went beyond mere words. By willingly going to the cross to pay for the sins of the world, Jesus became the incarnate expression of God’s love.

Even then, hatred, violence and persecution attempted to silence the message of God’s love by killing its messenger. But the brutality of those who crucified Christ only served to fulfill God’s plan. Evil couldn’t stomp out love. Hate only served to accelerate its spread. Instead of being “overcome by evil,” love overcame “evil with good” (Romans 12:21). God’s love, we are assured in Scripture, “endures forever” (Psalm 118:1).

Indeed, the language of Jesus–God’s agape love–cannot be destroyed.

“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

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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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The Final Escape

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Topic: Resurrection
Scripture: Romans 7:24-25
Source: “Final Escape,” Episode 8, Season 1, 1985 (Remake of the original from 21 February 1964)
Author: Illustration Exchange

The famed TV producer of the eerie and bizarre, Alfred Hitchcock, hosted his own hit TV show of a generation ago. One episode in 1987 (a remake of the original 1964 story)  told the tale of a murderous woman who, once condemned to prison, vowed she’d never be held captive and would surely find a way out.

She studied her surroundings and soon took note of a gravedigger, whose job it was to cart away deceased inmates for burial in the plots just beyond the prison confines. He was old and moved slowly, as his eyesight was badly impaired by cataracts. She approached him one day to bribe him into helping her escape.

Her plan was simple: When the death bell tolled, heralding the death of another inmate, she would make her way to the morgue and climb into the coffin with the deceased. He (the gravedigger) would then wheel the coffin to the plot, bury it in a shallow grave, then come back after dark to release her. All this in exchange for the money to have the cataract surgery to restore his sight. The old man agreed, and together they waited for their opportunity.

Time passed, when suddenly the woman heard the death toll. To her ears, it was the sound of freedom bells chiming.  The scheme went just as planned. She waited an appropriate amount of time, slinked her way to the basement, and slipped quietly into the morgue. She felt her way through the dark room to the coffin laid out on the cart. Opening the lid, she crawled inside and pulled the lid shut.

Soon she felt the cart moving. She could almost taste her freedom. Moments later she felt the thud as the coffin was lowered into the ground. She heard the dirt as it hit the lid. Then silence. She waited in anticipation. Minutes turned to hours with no relief. Panicked, she struck a match, surveying the situation. To her utter horror, she discovered that she was face to face with … the gravedigger!

Application:

Hitchcock’s murderous inmate had foolishly placed her life in the hands of an unreliable deliverer–one with no more power over the grave than she.

So, in whose trust have you placed your hope of deliverance? Buddha? Mohammed? Above all else, make sure that when you strike your match your deliverer isn’t in the grave with you!

“Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25).

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Standing In For Tom Cruise

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Author: Bryson Smith
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 2:17
Source: “Standing In” by Bryson Smith, as published on Perspective.org.au, Perspective Vol8 No4, 2001, from an article published in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, Sunday Life Section, Sept 17, 2000

“I [once] read an interesting article … all about movie stand-ins,” says Bryson Smith. “They’re the people who replace movie stars in scenes that are dangerous or just uncomfortable. Like Glenn Duhigg, an ex-lawyer who worked as the stand-in for Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2.”

As Duhigg himself recalls:

It sounds very glamorous saying you’re the stand-in for Tom Cruise but I don’t think many people realize the long hours and constant demands that deflate your ego very quickly. The days are long. Whatever scene Tom was in, I would be the one standing there, being him sometimes for ages as the crew set up the shot – getting the lighting just right and the props just so. I’d be standing there for hours out in the weather, getting drenched in the rain or sun stroke out in the heat. And then Tom would just walk on the set from his air-conditioned caravan or out of his beautiful sports car once the scene was ready.” As one of the other stand-ins said, “I realized very quickly the difference between being a star and being a stand-in.”

[Bryson Smith is a member of the ministry team at Dubbo Presbyterian Church, an evangelical church in rural Australia.]

Application:

“But you see,” says Smith, “on the cross, Jesus Christ was our stand-in. He endured the discomfort, the pain, the punishment from God, all in our place. He accepted God’s anger on himself instead of us. He was our stand-in.

“Amazing that he would do that, because really he’s the important one. You wouldn’t expect Tom Cruise to stand-in for that bloke Glenn Duhigg. No, no. Tom’s the important one! And yet, even though Jesus is the important one, a divine king come to earth, yet he stood in for us.”

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

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Check Point Ahead, Turn Now

Printer Friendly Topic: Evangelism
Scripture: Matthew 3:2
Source: “Parma resident ticketed for sign warning of drunken driving checkpoint” by Maura Zurick, Northeast Ohio Media Group, published on Cleveland.com, 6/16/14
Author: Illustration Exchange

PARMA, Ohio- Doug ‘Deo’ Odolecki stood on a street corner Friday night with sign warning drivers about an upcoming drunken-driving checkpoint, but two words on the sign cost him a citation and an upcoming trial.

The sign written on a piece of white poster board simply read, “Check point ahead! Turn now!”

Police had no problem with the sign itself advising of the upcoming checkpoint. In fact, Ohio law requires that the police advise the public of the exact location, date and even start and stop times of an upcoming checkpoint at least one week in advance, and then again a few hours prior.

Their problem was with the sign’s instruction to “Turn now!” That, they said, was interference with police business and resulted in Odolecki receiving a violation.

Application:

God’s final checkpoint is just ahead. Yet many are speeding toward it completely unaware. For those who already know what lies ahead, there’s just one question: Where’s your white poster board? Where’s your warning to them to turn now?

“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).

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An Unlikely Rescue

Printer Friendly Topic: Adversity
Author: Walter A Maier / Illustration Exchange
Scripture: Romans 10:9
Source: Decision Magazine

A shipwrecked man managed to reach an uninhabited island. There, to protect himself against the elements and to safeguard the few possessions he had salvaged, he painstakingly built a little hut from which he constantly and prayerfully scanned the horizon for the approach of a ship.

Returning one evening after a search for food, he was terrified to find the hut completely enveloped in flames. Yet by divine mercy this hard affliction was changed into a mighty advantage. Early the following morning he awoke to find a ship anchored off the island. When the captain stepped ashore, he explained, “We saw your smoke signal and came.”

Everything the marooned man owned had to be destroyed for him to be rescued!

Application:

The process of experiencing salvation can be very similar. Confession and repentance feel like giving up things that are precious to us. But the reality is all we give up is being shipwrecked, marooned and impoverished.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

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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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