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Of Sinful Selves and Crushed Pretzels

Beatitudes Sanctification Object Lessons

Contributed By: Vincent Putnam | Date Posted: 2023-11-20

Scripture: Matthew 5:13 ; Galatians 2:20

Author: Vincent Putnam
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ILLUSTRATION

Hand out a small ziplock bag with two pretzel sticks covered in salt.  Explain how a pretzel is just a salt delivery device and that a pretzel without salt is pretty sad and worthless.  Have the congregation take out one pretzel stick, then tell them, throughout the remainder of the message, to rub salt off the pretzel everytime they feel convicted of a sin. 

Then walk through the 10 Commandments, traditional numbering: 1. Prioritizing other things over God; 2. Using His name as an expletive; 3. Failing to take a day of rest and reconnection with God; 4. Failing to honor your parents; 5. Harboring hatred and bitterness; 6. Looking lustfully at someone who is not your spouse; 7. Taking something that is not yours or failing to be generous; 8. Talking about others instead of to them; 9. & 10. Being envious of what God has given other people, or failing to be grateful for what God has given you.

If they're honest, no one should have any salt left on their pretzel.  Jesus asks the question, "If salt loses it saltiness, how can it be made salty again?"  Then he answers His own question by saying, "It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."  Tell people to put the now worthless, saltless pretzel stick back in the bag by itself, zip it up and do what Jesus says to do with it.  Throw it down and stomp on it. 

APPLICATION

That broken worthless pretzel is a picture of what it means to be broken and sinful people.  It is a picture of what it means to be poor in spirit or having nothing to offer God in terms of righteousness.  Salt cannot be made salty again. 

Take your broken, sinful flesh and throw it away.  Bury it six feet deep.

Then realize this: Jesus says that the poor in spirit are blessed and that "theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."  Our sinful flesh is unsalvageable, but Jesus makes us a new creation, covered in His righteousness. Now hold up the second unmolested pretzel covered in salt. 

Paul says in Gal 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."  So burying that worthless pretzel is a daily activity.  Everyday we crucify our flesh and live by the righteousness of Christ.

Stay With It

Faithfulness Spiritual Health Sanctification

Source: Dignity Health

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Marcelle Smith | Date Posted: 2023-06-15

Scripture: Colossians 1:23 ; Colossians 3:5

Author: Marcelle Smith
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ILLUSTRATION

If you have ever had a bacterial infection, you’ve probably been prescribed antibiotics to treat it. Antibiotics are medicines that treat bacterial infections by either killing the bacteria or making it more difficult for them to grow and multiply. Illnesses that can be treated by antibiotics include respiratory tract infections such as whooping cough and pneumonia, as well as skin infections. 

You’ll also remember your doctor telling you that it’s important to take ALL of the antibiotics, even after our symptoms have gone away. They tell us to do this because taking them regularly until the prescription is complete helps ensure that all of the illness-causing bacteria are killed or prevented from multiplying. Even if our symptoms go away, the bacteria may still be present in our body. If we stop treatment before the antibiotic treatment is over, the remaining bacteria can continue to multiply. If these bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics, they can potentially do even more harm. It may take us longer to recover from our illness and our physician may have to prescribe more medication.

 

APPLICATION

While our salvation is the ultimate cure for our sin nature, it is our sanctification — our daily walk in Christ — that brings us ongoing spiritual health.

"But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation — if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant" (Colossians 1:22-23, NIV).

"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5, ESV).

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:3-11, NIV).

Our Deepest Need

Salvation Spiritual Growth Sanctification

Source: Yahoo! Life

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Marcelle Smith | Date Posted: 2023-03-04

Scripture: Ephesians 3:18

Author: Marcelle Smith
3

ILLUSTRATION

Lookout Mountain rises 2,000 feet above sea level, offering views of the Cumberland Plateau, the Tennessee River, and the surrounding mountains and valleys. While that is the most familiar and popular natural wonder of this area of America, what is deeper inside is more impressive. 

1,120 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain is our country’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall - Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls opened to the public in 1929. The historic landmark, which welcomes more than half a million guests annually, offers 3 tiers of tours, all of which start off in a glass elevator that takes tourists 260 feet into the heart of the cave. From there, tourists explore the natural beauty at the place selected by the tourist.

 

APPLICATION

In a higher and holier sense, this hidden wonder speaks to what Jesus is saying to His listeners then, now, and always. Our spiritual growth is related to the pace and depth we desire to have in our relationship with Him and His Word.

Jesus wants the bottom of the ocean-deep relationship with us. Our relationship with Him is limited only by 1) how deep we ourselves will delve; and 2) by how deep we'll allow Him to penetrate our hearts and lives. He is a gentleman. He will walk and talk with us only as much as we want Him to walk and talk with us.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV).

Have You Had Your Water Quota Today?

Renewal Salvation Sanctification

Contributed By: Marcelle Smith | Date Posted: 2023-03-04

Scripture: John 4:14 ; John 4:10

Author: Marcelle Smith
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When Your Gage Reads "E"

Filled With The Spirit New Birth Sanctification

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2021-10-27

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 13:5 ; Romans 8:10

Author: Thomas Bevers
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Where Your Treasure Is

Stewardship Priorities Sanctification

Contributed By: Kikeh Anthony | Date Posted: 2021-07-24

Scripture: Matthew 6:21 ; Acts 14:15

Author: Kikeh Anthony - Application by I.E.
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Suffering Makes Us Glow

Suffering Sanctification Testimony

Contributed By: Shane Waldron | Date Posted: 2020-09-13

Scripture: Psalms 34:5 ; Romans 8:28

Author: Shane Waldron
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Garage Sale Redemption

Redemption Sanctification Salvation

Contributed By: William Blosch | Date Posted: 2018-12-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:20 ; Romans 6:23

Author: William Blosch
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I'll Gum Sin Into Perdition!

Sanctification Sin Temptation

Contributed By: Ryan Strother | Date Posted: 2016-02-05

Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:22

Author: Ryan Strother
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The History of Booze in Space

Communion Sanctification Rememberance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-01-27

Scripture: Luke 22:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
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