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Nothing is Impossible

God's Power Faith Perseverance

Contributed By: Walter Simmons | Date Posted: 2021-03-27

Scripture: 1 Kings 18:46 ; Acts 8:39

Author: Walter Simmons
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ILLUSTRATION

Usian Bolt was born on August 21, 1986 in Sherwood Content, Jamaica. He grew up obsessed with sports, excelling in football and cricket.  At high school, his cricket coach encouraged him in athletics. It was a good decision. He first gained notice as a track prodigy at the 2002 world junior championships. Before a crowd of 36,000 in Jamaica's National Stadium in Kingston, Bolt, then just 15 years old, won a gold medal in the 200-meter race. He became the youngest male world junior champion in the history of sports.

By 2007, he was the fastest man in track and field history, setting his first 100-meter world record; and a year later, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, he rose to international fame.  In China, Bolt won titles in the men’s 100-meter sprint, the 200-meter, and 4x100-meter, setting new world records in all three events.

He has the title of being the fastest human who's ever lived based on known records. In 2009, at the World Athletics Championship in Berlin, he ran the 100-meter dash in 9.58 seconds, with an average speed was just over 23 mph and a top speed closer to 30 mph.

He amazed fellow athletics and fans alike, but he may be challenged by two runners from biblical days. The Bible tells the stories of Elijah and Philip as fast runners.

The story of Elijah is recorded in 1 Kings 18. “The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.” The Bible does not record how fast Elijah ran, but we do know that it was a miraculous speed.

King Ahab was riding in his chariot to stay ahead of the storm and it is believed that his top speed would have been 35 miles per hour. The distance from Carmel to Jezreel was about 20 miles and if Ahab was pushing his horses, then it is likely Elijah ran even faster than Usain Bolt’s world record and at a much longer distance.

The story of Philip and the eunuch is recorded in Acts 8.  “Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him anymore.” In a flash, Philip then appeared in Azotus preaching the good news. The distance was about 30 miles to the north. Estimating a flash is one second, a track and field judge might calculate his speed at 30 miles per second or 108,000 miles per hour. This was another miraculous speed. In the finite mind of man, Philip’s run and Elijah’s run would be completely impossible. But as the angel told Mary “... with God nothing will be impossible.” 

 

APPLICATION

As believers in Christ, we may not win a particular race or field event, but we can finish strong in God’s race.  Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  As a result, there was a crown waiting for him in heaven.  There will also be a crown in store for each one of us, should we run our race in the power of God's miraculous grace. 

If we run the race, keep the faith and allow the Lord to work through us, nothing is impossible.

The Hope Effect

Hope Word of God Faith

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-10-22

Scripture: Isaiah 40:31

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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ILLUSTRATION

I’ve recently been struggling with what the doctor tells me is Athlete’s Foot.  You know, at this point of my life, I am glad to be associated with the word athlete no matter how uncomfortable it may be. 

So I’ve been using this over the counter stuff and it works, but when I stop using it, the Athlete's Foot immediately returns. So, I went back to my doctor and told him, “You know, I need something more powerful to kick this thing.  I'd like to completely get rid of it.” 

He said, "Ok, I’m going to give you the most powerful drug on the market." 

After I got the prescription filled, I read the little paper that came with it. It contained a list of all of the weird things this drug might do to those who administer it. 

There, I also found the results of a controlled study.  Sixty percent of the people found the drug effective.  Of course, in a controlled study, there are those who are given a placebo, instead.  Forty-four percent of those who took the placebo also found it effective.

I was amazed to read that forty-four percent of the time the placebo did the job.  That’s almost as good as the actual medication!  As I considered those numbers, I thought to myself, that is an illustration of the power of hope!

APPLICATION

When we expect something to help us, it is incredible how helpful that can be all by itself.  Hope, even an empty hope, can change our lives for the better. 

Perhaps, the next time I see my doctor, I should tell him,  “Listen, just give me a prescription for the placebo.  It’s cheaper and it’s almost as effective!” 

Of course, the problem with this idea is that once we are aware that we are taking a placebo, it doesn't work! Right?  The Placebo Effect requires a genuine belief.  The medicine doesn't have to be genuine but the hope does.  Without a sincere belief, there is no Placebo Effect. 

This tells us that the Placebo Effect is really the Hope Effect.  And if hope is powerful without anything behind it, think of how much more powerful it will be when the words of God are behind it! 

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:31). 

Faith In A Dying Savior

Faith Good Friday Easter

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-04-28

Scripture: Luke 23:43

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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ILLUSTRATION

I have always been drawn to the thief on the cross and to Jesus' compassionate response to him. The thief knew he didn't deserve paradise, yet Jesus promised it to him simply because he asked. It's a beautiful picture of the simplicity of grace.

APPLICATION

This scene also provides us with perhaps the greatest example of faith in the pages of Scripture. Think about it. The thief placed his complete confidence in Jesus at His worst moment, while Christ was defeated and dying. How does a person put their confidence in a Messiah who is hanging condemned and forsaken on the cross right next to them?

This puts our own call to faith in perspective. How do we respond when life makes no sense and God seems distant and everything seems out of control? The thief believed in a dying Jesus. Can you, at those times, believe in a rising one?

"Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him, 'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise'" (Luke 23:42-43). 

Scrutinizing Seashells

Circumstances Faith God's Will

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-04-18

Scripture: Romans 11:33

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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The Lifetime Pass That Was Never Used

God's Promises Faith Blessings/Blessedness

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2019-10-11

Scripture: Proverbs 16:20 ; Matthew 7:24

Author: Howard Harden
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Devotional Crumbs

Word of God Bible Faith

Contributed By: Joe Ballard | Date Posted: 2018-07-19

Scripture: Matthew 15:26 ; Job 23:12

Author: Joe Ballard
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Go In Peace?

Poverty Faith Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-04-21

Scripture: James 2:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Crossing Over

God's Provision Faith God's Presence

Contributed By: Brian Erwin | Date Posted: 2017-11-27

Scripture: Genesis 28:15

Author: Brian Erwin
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The Wild Ride

Giving Faith Risk

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2017-10-27

Scripture: Matthew 6:30

Author: James Miller
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Be A Pest

Prayer Persistence Faith

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2017-08-11

Scripture: Matthew 15:28 ; Luke 18:1

Author: Charles Krieg
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