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Step Down From Your Pedestal

Confession Humility Jesus' Preeminence

Source: Martin Luther

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Contributed By: Vince Putnam | Date Posted: 2023-03-17

Scripture: John 3:30 ; 1 Corinthians 3:4

Author: Vince Putnam


"I desire above all things that my name should be
concealed, and that none be called by the name of
Lutheran; but of Christian.  What is Luther?  My
doctrine is not mine, but Christ's. I was not crucified
for any. How comes it to pass, that I, who am but
a filthy, stinking bag of worms; that any of the
sons of God should be denominated from my name?
Away with these schismatical names!  Let us be
denominated from Christ, from whom alone we
have our doctrine." — Martin Luther

As Luther wrote on the topic of naming a church after him, he suggested that the church would have to be named "filthy, stinking bag of worms," because that is what he was. 

Inevitably Luther's followers did name a church after him, against his wishes. I guess they thought that "Lutheran Church" had a better ring to it than "Filthy, Stinking, Bag of Worms Church."


Luther understood that he was a poor example of righteousness, and therefore was not worthy of being the namesake of a church or movement. 

He considered himself an example of nothing more than a sinner saved by God's grace. Jesus alone is our model of righteouness. Jesus alone is our example of what is truly good. Jesus alone is the one who saves. 

Anyone else placed upon a pedestal will be knocked off. So we might as well follow Luther's example and step on down ourselves. Confessing our sins and our brokeness to others makes us examples of God's Grace. In doing so, we take ourselves off the pedastol, and place Jesus in His rightful place upon it.

"He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30, ESV).

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:14, ESV).

"For when one says, “I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere human beings?" (1 Corinthians 3:4, NIV).

Who Doesn't Love A Belly Rub?

Submission Humility Comfort

Source: “Expert reveals why dogs love belly rubs and what it actually means when they roll over” by Nia Dalton, published, retrieved 4/22/22

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-05-20

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 16:19 ; 1 Peter 5:5

Author: Illustration Exchange


Almost every dog does it! At the first hint of a potential belly rub, they immediately roll over, splay their legs, and wait for the incoming pats of perfection leading to belly blissfulness.

But what is REALLY happening here? Do all dogs universally love belly rubs? Is this purely about gratification? Or is something else going on here?

Dog behaviourist and trainer, Adem Fehmi, explains that, at its core, this posture is actually not so much an invitation to affection, but rather an act of submission.

"Us humans often see this as an invitation to stroke a dog’s belly, as if the dog is 'asking' us by assuming this position.” But actually, he explains, "The behaviour of rolling over and exposing their belly often starts from submission, as this stance is a submissive position in dog body language.”

Now, that doesn’t mean most dogs don’t love a good belly rub. I mean, who doesn’t?!

Yet, what starts as an act of submission results in the reception of affection, affirmation, comfort, and consolation. Thus, the response becomes both an act of submission AND a learned response and reflexive action in anticipation of the comfort, affection, pleasure to come.



Dogs are man’s best friends on so many levels. We can learn so much from them. We can even learn what our relationship with our Heavenly Father should look like.

God’s desire is to reach down and touch us, to love on us, to affirm us, to comfort and console us. But before we can rightly receive any of those blessings, we must first posture ourselves into a position of submission. 

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV).

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble’” (James 4:6, NIV).

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud  but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5-6, NIV).

“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification” (Romans 6:16-19, ESV).

Determined to Run

Endurance Humility Purpose

Source: Various, including, "Jim Thorpe American Athlete"

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-03-09

Scripture: Hebrews 12:1

Author: Illustration Exchange


Jim Thorpe, born May 28, 1888, in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma, has been acclaimed as one of the most accomplished “all-around” athletes in history.  In fact, in 1950 he was selected by American sportswriters and broadcasters as the greatest American athlete of the early 20th century. 

He was predominantly of American Indian descent and attended Indian schools growing up.  Financially poor and underprivileged by any standards, he was every bit rich in athletic prowess.  He played it all – baseball, football, basketball, boxing, lacrosse, swimming, hockey, and most famously, track and field. 

Strong as a bull and fast as lightning, Thorpe competed in the Stockholm Olympics of 1912 in both the Pentathlon and the Decathlon.  But just before he was set to take the field he discovered someone had stolen his shoes. Undeterred, he searched for another pair. 

What he found was not a "pair," but rather two different sized, different styled shoes discarded in a trash can. To make the larger of the two shoes fit, he had to wear extra socks. 

Dressed in his pauperish, mismatched replacements, he humbly took to the field and won Gold Medals in both competitions.


God has set a race before you.  He’s challenged you to ready yourself.  Even so, unexpected obstacles can (and will) present themselves.  It will take tenacity, courage, creativity, and maybe even a good dose of humility to stay the course.

What is YOUR excuse for not running with endurance the race which God has set before you?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us …” Heb 12:1 (ESV

Forever Dependent

Dependence on God Humility Gratitude

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-03-28

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9

Author: Illustration Exchange

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My Contribution

Humility Success Quotes Praise

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2019-10-16

Scripture: Philippians 4:13

Author: Thomas Bevers

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What Job Knew

Humility Trust (In God) Suffering

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2018-09-08

Scripture: Job 19:25 ; Job 40:1

Author: Corey Sawyers

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The Man Who Is Willing To Serve Unnoticed

Calling Spiritual Gifts Humility

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-05-26

Scripture: Matthew 23:11

Author: Illustration Exchange

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A Pencil In God's Hand

Witness Humility Stewardship

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2017-05-03

Scripture: John 3:30

Author: Mother Teresa

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What Stan Lee Did For Superheroes

Weakness Power Humility

Contributed By: Da Al | Date Posted: 2017-03-17

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:10

Author: Alex Hodgson / Illustration Exchange

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What's Your Biggest Weakness?

Weakness Salvation Humility

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-10-14

Scripture: 1 John 1:8 ; 1 John 1:9

Author: Illustration Exchange

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