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Drawn to the Well

Legalism Calling God's Love

Source: The Shaping of Things to Come

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Contributed By: Gabriel Carnes | Date Posted: 2019-03-29

Scripture: John 4:14 ; John 10:27

Author: Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch
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ILLUSTRATION

In Alabama, any good farmer knows that to keep your cattle or horses from wandering off you’ve got to build a fence. That’s how we do it here, we build fences. But that is not how they do it in Australia… “In Australia, ranches (called stations) are so vast that fences are superfluous. Under these conditions, a farmer has to sink a bore and create a well, a precious water supply in the Outback. It is assumed that livestock, though they will stray, will never roam too far from the well, lest they die.  As long as there is a supply of clean water, the livestock will remain close by.” 

APPLICATION

The Good Sheperd doesn't build a fence around us to keep us from leaving. Instead, God provides us with a positive reason for why we should stay. He uses love, not law, to draw us to Himself.   

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27). 

"But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life" (John 4:14, NLT). 

The Law of Love

Legalism Love (Divine) Reconciliation

Source: “Austrian court bans people from smoking IN THEIR OWN HOMES” By Thomas Burrows for MailOnline, PUBLISHED: 08:14 EST, 1 December 2016

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-03-19

Scripture: Galatians 5:14

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Thomas Burrows, with the Daily Mail, reports:

The highest court in Austria has said a resident cannot smoke on his balcony or with the windows open during set hours as it is disturbing his neighbor’s sleep ... 

A university professor, living in the Austrian capital, had filed the case after complaining about the smell coming from the flat below.

The court heard how the resident below enjoyed a cigar on his balcony during the summer, typically between midnight and 2am.

In the winter, he tended to smoke with the windows open in his apartment.

... The country's highest court said the resident cannot smoke outside or with the windows open between 10pm and 6am.

In the summer, he is also prohibited from smoking during 'eating times' - between 8am and 10am, midday and 3pm, and 6pm and 8pm.

The decision could have far-reaching effects on the country. 

APPLICATION

It’s amazing that a single dispute between neighbors could find no solution until it reached the highest court in the land.  Shouldn’t two people be able to work something like this out?  And even if they need help from an authoritative third party, should an entire nation be forced to comply to a new set of laws because two people refused to accommodate one another?

There is no end to the need for new laws when the hearts involved are unyielding and selfish.  By contrast, the end of the law is the love of Christ.  When God’s love is the guiding principle, there is no need for any other principle. Laws aimed at enforcing compliance over such trivial disputes become unnecessary.  It’s God’s love, not mans laws, that brings peace.

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14).

Church Bans Fat People From Leading Worship

Grace Legalism Church Health/Growth

Source: “Church Apologizes, Asks Forgiveness for Banning Fat People From Worship Team,” by Leonardo Blair , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER, October 17, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-11-16

Scripture: James 5:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Leonardo Blair, with the Christian Post, reports:

An Oregon church which came under fire in recent weeks for instituting a ban on fat people as part of a slew of mandatory guidelines to be a part of the congregation's worship team, apologized for the ban on Saturday and begged forgiveness to anyone their rules may have offended.

... "We want the worship team to look the best they can! Remember that the way we look is of utmost importance," the guidelines to would-be worship team members at the Oregon church warned in the document declaring "no excessive weight."

"We are the first thing the congregation sees. People do judge by appearance. We never get a second chance to make that first impression. Please be sure that your style and clothing bring honor and glory to God, isn't excessive and doesn't draw unnecessary attention to yourself," it added.

The document further made it clear that in order to be a part of the worship team, members must be in "100% agreement" with the guidelines to allow the anointing to flow and encouraged those with a weight issue to go shed the extra pounds at the gym.

APPLICATION

If lack of discipline where the real concern of the leadership of this church, should weight have been the only consideration?  Isn't it true that some of the most gluttonous people among us are skinny? And we all hate them!

But seriously, the local church is supposed to be a place of grace and acceptance, where everyone is made to feel welcomed. It's our love, not how we look on stage, that should be the distinguishing mark of true fellowship in Christ.

This focus on appearance is symptomatic of a problem the plagues so many churches today. These churches seek to create an atmosphere of superficial right-ness.  In such a fellowhship, as long as you keep your sins out of view, you fit in.  As long as you look good, you're accepted as good.

Churches that create this kind of atmosphere don't really curtail sin, they just force it to go underground. The fellowship produced by such external compliance shouldn't be mistaken for the fellowship produced by the presence of God’s love and grace, where the stigmas associated with being flawed, and the fear of being exposed, are removed.

Do you feel safe enough in your church to go public with your struggles? Does your church obey the admonition of the Apostle James to “confess your sins to one another” and “prayer for one another,” so you can be “healed?" (James 5:16). 

The Homeland of the Bribe

Motivation Grace Legalism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-20

Scripture: 1 John 4:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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No Wedding License For You!

Marriage Love (Divine) Legalism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-16

Scripture: Ephesians 5:25

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Judging By The Wrong Standards

Judging Legalism Priorities

Contributed By: Geoff Follas | Date Posted: 2016-02-22

Scripture: Proverbs 4:23 ; Luke 6:45

Author: Geoff Follas
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Expect Starbucks to Give You Good Coffee, Not Good Religion

Christmas Witness Legalism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-12

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 5:12

Author: Loving Jesus
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Keep it Simple

Gospel Grace Legalism

Contributed By: Tobby Smith | Date Posted: 2015-11-15

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18 ; 2 Corinthians 11:3

Author: Tobby Smith
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The Rubberband vs The Zip Tie

Legalism Spiritual Growth Narrow Minded

Contributed By: Eric Hollar | Date Posted: 2015-05-12

Scripture: James 3:16

Author: Eric Hollar
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The Dangers of Bread

Legalism Witness Gospel

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-20

Author: Unknown
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