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Don't Turn Your Back on the Manger

Spirituality Christmas Circumstances

Source: “Photographer Visits Famous Landmarks, Faces The Wrong Direction,” as published on SadandUseless.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-12-13

Scripture: Luke 2:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
10

ILLUSTRATION

SAD AND USELESS, a "humor in the news" blog site, reports: 

Photographer Oliver Curtis has spent several years going to famous tourism objects and landmarks and pointing his camera in the opposite direction, therefore purposefully capturing the famous landmarks without the actual landmark.

*The above pic is The Great Wall of China, looking the other way. Follow the "Link to Source" above for reverse pics of The Wailing Wall, The Mona Lisa, Stonehenge, and many more. 

APPLICATION

The locations of the world’s most famous landmarks are pretty mundane without the presence of the landmark itself. So why would anyone want to turn their back on a landmark? Who is interested in a world of the mundane, the ordinary, absent of any obvious object of import or significance?

That same question could be asked of those who live their lives without God. To turn your back on God is to reject the One who adds true meaning and significance to an otherwise meaningless life. 

But when we allow God His proper place in our lives, spectacular things happen, even in the midst of the ordinary. 

In fact, it is the ordinary that provides the backdrop for the truly important landmarks of life—things like the New Birth, a rededication, a moment of grace, or an act of forgiveness. 

The spectacular can and does happen anywhere—even among the ordinary—even in a stable—even in a feeding trough. Turn your back on the "babe" and the manger scene is just another barn.

"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12). 

Intrinsically Good

Fruit of the Spirit Character Spirituality

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2016-10-14

Scripture: Romans 12:9 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:13

Author: Thomas Bevers / Illustration Exchange
3

ILLUSTRATION

Is a gun good or evil? Isn't it true that it's just a molded piece of steel that in and of itself is neither good or evil? But it does have the potential to be used for either good or evil. The same gun can be used to take a life or to save a life. It can be used to commit a crime or to stop a crime. It can be used to harm or to protect. In either case, it's the same gun, but what makes the difference is the hand in which the gun is held.

APPLICATION

In Romans 12:9 we are told to, "Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." The word "good" is a translation of the Greek word "agothos." According to Strong's it means, "intrinsically good, good in nature, good whether it be seen to be so or not" (see also BAG p. 3).  Here, this word is used of the Christian virtues. Things like the fruits of the Spirit are good because they are intrinsically good, not because of the person who holds them. They are good because God is good and they come to us from His hand. 

Donning True Beauty

Gratitude Circumstances Spirituality

Source: MIX 96.9

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-21

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

ILLUSTRATION

Despite being mistakenly declared the winner of the 2015 Miss Universe contest, having the crown placed on her heard, and accepting the adulation of the crowd for almost four minutes, Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, had to give it all back. In arguably the most awkward moment in beauty contest history, the host, Steve Harvey, came on stage as Miss Colombia was about to begin her victory walk, to apologize to the audience for mistakenly announcing the wrong winner.

In a brief interview as she exited the stage, Miss Gutierrez thanked her supporters and said, "Everything happens for a reason. So I'm happy. I'm happy for all of what I did for becoming this … I'm so happy. Thank you for all. Thank you for voting for me."

Follow this link to view the gracious departing response of Miss Colombia.

APPLICATION

If you tuned in to see a beauty contest you weren't disappointed. That's because more than seeing the 80 most beautiful women in the world, you witnessed the inner beauty of one very disappointed contestant by the gracious way she responded to being de-crowned. It just goes to show that no matter what has just happened, real beauty dons the crown of a grateful attitude!

Additional Application:

Few things in life are as disappointing as falling just short of a lifetime goal. But something far worse happened to Miss Colombia. She actually seem to achieve her dream, only to have it snatched away moments later. But rather than respond as one might expect, in anger or in bitterness, she expressed nothing but gratitude for the opportunity and the support, winning an outpouring of love and respect from around the world. Miss Ariadna Gutierrez showed the world that it isn't what happens to us, but how we respond that really matters.

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT).

Everything Has A Time Limit

Reward Spirituality Object Lessons

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-10-29

Scripture: Matthew 6:19

Author: Mitchell Dillon
6

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Balancing The Truth with The Spirit

Word of God Truth Spirituality

Contributed By: Jimmy Kiker | Date Posted: 2015-08-19

Scripture: John 4:24 ; 1 Corinthians 2:14

Author: W. Graham Scroggie / Jimmy Kiker
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Making Use of the Spirit of Power

Holy Spirit Spirituality Fruit of the Spirit

Contributed By: David Bell | Date Posted: 2015-05-20

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:7

Author: David Bell
6

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The Necessity of the New Birth

New Birth Spirituality Fruitfulness

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2015-05-20

Scripture: John 3:7 ; John 3:5

Author: Stephen Kingsley
1

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God's Masterpiece

Servanthood God's Provision Spirituality

Contributed By: Jim Augustine | Date Posted: 2015-04-25

Scripture: Ephesians 2:10

Author: Unknown
3

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In The Next Thirty Seconds

Productivity Ministry Spirituality

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2014-09-06

Scripture: John 6:63

Author: Larry Lewis
2

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A Slow Decline

Church Health/Growth Church/Body of Christ Spirituality

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2014-09-03

Scripture: Matthew 16:18

Author: John Ortberg
4

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