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Category: Trials

Good To The Last Drop

Topic: Devotion                                                                                                    Printer Friendly
Source: “A Woman Chugged a Bottle of Liquor Because She Couldn’t Take It on the Plane” by Helen Regan, TIME, August 14, 2015
Link to Source: Click here to view source
Author: Illustration Exchange

ILLUSTRATION

A Chinese woman, surnamed Zhao, while making a connection at the Beijing airport, was told by security that she could not take an expensive bottle of cognac in her carry-on. Since it was too late to access her checked-in luggage, it appeared she had no choice but to leave it behind.

But Zhao was determined not to let a $200 dollar bottle of Remy Martin XO Excellence go to waste, so she drank the entire bottle! Now she faced a new problem. Too drunk to stand, cognacsecurity–out of concern for her own safety–could not allow her to board. Instead, unable to continue her journey, she was escorted in a wheelchair to a room where she slept until a family member was able to come and pick her up.

APPLICATION

Some things become so important to us that we have trouble letting them go. Instead, to our own detriment, we cling to them. Of course, we’re not just referring to expensive cognac.

There is a moment in time when virtually everything we hold dear must be relinquished if we are to continue moving forward on our journey. Otherwise, we undermine our own spiritual health and contentment.

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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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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 Power of Doing Something

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Topic: Evil
Scripture: Romans 12:21
Source: Illustration Exchange
Author: Albert Einstein / Mitchell Dillon

“The wold is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

[Albert Einstein 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity. He is regarded as the father of modern physics.]

Application:

Albert Einstein’s words were spoken at a time when evil seemed to have an upper hand in the world. Communism and Fascism marched across much of Europe, while the rest of the world was left to choose how to respond.

The same struggle continues today. By God’s design, there continues to be enough evil in the world to test those who have it in their power to do good. And by God’s design, there continues to be enough good in the world to overcome those who have it in their hearts to do evil.

So, the question is this: Will those who love good do what is in their power to do to overcome evil? God does not place the fate of the world in the hands of evil men, but in the hands of those who can and must do something to stop them.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ (Romans 12:21).

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The Power of Doing Something

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Topic: Apathy 
Scripture: Romans 12:21
Source: Illustration Exchange
Author: Albert Einstein / Mitchell Dillon 

“The wold is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

Albert Einstein

Application:

Albert Einstein played a strategic role in a time when evil seemed to have an upper hand in the world. Communism and Fascism marched across much of Europe, while the rest of the world was left to choose how to respond.

The same struggle continues today. By God’s design, there has always been enough evil in the world to test those who were good, and there has always been enough good in the world to overcome those who were evil.

So, the question is this: will those who love good do what is in their power to do to overcome evil? God has never placed the fate of the world in the hands of evil men, but in the hands of those who can and must do something to stop them.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ (Romans 12:21).

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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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Zoom Out!

Printer Friendly Topic: Perspective
Author: Mitchell Dillon
Scripture: Romans 8:18
Source: Illustration Exchange

The next time life seems confusing and you feel that you’ve lost your bearings, ZOOM OUT! That’s what I did on Google Maps the other day and it worked like a charm. There I was, staring at a location on the map, a mite confused. So I clicked on “zoom out” and the broader perspective made all the difference. Understanding where you are in relationship to other key landmarks will do that for you.

Application:

So, the next time you find yourself a bit disoriented in your circumstances, step back and drink in a broader view. Resist the temptation to focus on where you’re stuck. Think about the broader context of your life. Think of how God has always provided for you. Think of how He has proved Himself faithful to you, again and again. Place your current moment in the context of the blessings of the rest of your life.

And realize that in Christ you have been granted an even greater capacity to zoom out. In light of God’s promises, you have been given the ability to zoom out until eternity itself comes into view. From this vantage point your earthly concerns are finally placed in their proper perspective. When eternity is your point of reference, your earthly problems become pretty small. From here it becomes easy to see that God has provided you with more for which to be thankful than to regret, more you don’t know about than you do, and more to come than has ever been.

As the Apostle Paul put it, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

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