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Looking at the Issue from All Angles

Cultural Trends Divisiveness Gospel

Source: By Nicole C. Mullen, for Our Daily Bread Video Devotions, ODB.org, retrieved 6/13/22

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-06-13

Scripture: Ephesians 4:2 ; Ephesians 4:3

Author: Nicole C. Mullen
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ILLUSTRATION

In a video made for Our Daily Bread, Nicole Mullen shares the following devotional.*

You may have heard of the metaphor of looking at an issue from all angels. I think of it like this:

You know, if there were four of us and we were looking at an elephant, all from the front, our description of him would, or could, be similar.  You know, though one might describe, you know, his trunk, another his tusks, somebody else his legs, someone else his eyes, but for the most part we would be describing the front of him and we could all attest to the others' narrative, because we have witnessed the same sight. 

Now, if the four of us were to spread out and I stood behind him, you stayed in front, and the other two on the sides of him, then our descriptions would change according to what we've seen and experienced. We would be describing different parts of the same elephant.
 
Now, I have to be careful not to discredit my neighbor's description, because they had not seen the creature from my vantage point. But if i choose to lean in and learn from their experience, then my view of the elephant grows and so does my knowledge and my wisdom.

*Click here to link to the full video.

APPLICATION

“When it comes to cultural diversity,” says, ODB.org, “we’re all going to have different experiences. In order to show the love of Christ we need to listen and respect each other, and do as Paul says in Ephesians 4:2–3”: 

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (NIV).


ALTERNATIVE APPLICATION:

When introducing the Gospel message to the world, the Lord was careful to give us the same story from several different vantage points. Like the four witness Nicole spoke of, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all looking at the elephant — the Gospel account — from a different perspectives. It’s not until we look at the Gospel from all angles that we get the fullness of its message. 

And the Survey Says - Christians Don't Witness As They Should

Witness Boldness Gospel

Source: "Most Open to Spiritual Conversations, Few Christians Speaking," by Aaron Earls, Feb 22, 2022

Link to Source: Click here to view source

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

Scripture: Acts 10:42 ; 1 Corinthians 9:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

An Evangelism Explosion survey of 1002 Americans conducted by Lifeway Research in December 2021 found an alarming disparity between unbelievers’ openness to talking about spiritual things and Christians’ willingness to actually speak about them.*

Some key takeaways from the survey are as follows:

  • 71% say that it is very important to have hope in their life
  • 74% say that it is very important to have peace in their life
  • 66% say that it is very important to have purpose and fulfillment in their life 
  • 55% say that it is very important to have certainty they will go heaven or have eternal life
  • 61% say their interest in spiritual matters hasn’t changed compared to before COVID-19, but 32% are more interested
  • 66% say they are open or very open to having a conversation about the Christian faith with a friend
  • 52% say they are open or very open to having a conversation about the Christian faith with a stranger
  • 65% say they are open or very open to talking with a friend about having a relationship with God
  • 53% say they are open or very open to talking with a stranger about having a relationship with God
  • 71% say when meeting someone new,  they are open or very open to hearing their life story
  • 69% want to hear why someone thinks their faith helps with a core human need
  • 4 out of 10 (40%) say they wouldn’t think about faith on their own if a friend or family member didn’t bring it up
  • 51% are curious as to why some people are devoted to their faith
  • 6 out of 10 (60%) say that many of their friends who claim to be Christians rarely talk about their faith


“This study reveals that most Americans are open to talking about faith,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research.

But the sad, sorry realization is that the conversation is simply not happening as often as it ought. 

Why is that? Can we blame cancel culture? The current war on Christianity? Closed mindedness on the part of the masses? New restrictions on religious liberty?

“It really isn’t about religious liberty, people not wanting to hear, or religion being off-limits. The reason conversations are not happening about the Christian faith is that Christians are not bringing it up.”

“Now, perhaps more than ever, people are open to conversations about faith [A whopping 32% of respondents said that since COVID, they are MORE open to talking about spiritual things], yet few Christians actually take the opportunity to engage in personal evangelism,” says Dr. John B. Sorensen, President and CEO of Evangelism Explosion International. 

At a time when “one in 5 religiously unaffiliated Americans (20%) say they are more interested in spiritual matters,” it is heartbreaking to find that some 60% report that their “friends who claim to be Christians rarely talk about their faith.”

 

 

*About 38% of respondents were identified as already having some measure of Christian belief.

APPLICATION

It’s hard to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” when we can’t seem to open our mouths to speak to our neighbors and friends. How can we close our lips when he has “commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42).

“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (I Cor. 9:16 ESV)

Lean Your Whole Weight On Jesus

Believe Faith Gospel

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-10-19

Scripture: Romans 10:9

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

John Paton, a missionary to a remote group of natives, was having a difficult time translating certain passages of the Bible into their language.  It seemed that this particular group had no word for "believe."  Then one day, one of the natives flopped into a chair, stretched out and propped his legs up on another chair.

He then expressed how good it felt to "lean his whole weight on" those chairs. The missionary quickly wrote the expression down.  

APPLICATION

When we believe in the promise of eternal life, we "lean our whole weight on" Jesus.  To believe in the Gospel message is to transfer the full weight of our confidence and concerns to the finished work of Christ--to rest completely in the substitutionary work of Christ.  

"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).

The Half-Life Of Facts

Truth Cultural Trends Gospel

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-11-27

Scripture: Isaiah 40:8 ; Matthew 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Christians Feel "The Bern"

Gospel Witness Apologetics

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-13

Scripture: John 3:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Perpetual Mouse Trap

Gospel God's Promises Eternal Life

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-04-28

Scripture: Matthew 28:20

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Just One Book

Bible Gospel Salvation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-04-28

Scripture: Matthew 7:13 ; Ephesians 4:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
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God’s Mural

Trials Hope Gospel

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-01-02

Scripture: Revelation 21:4 ; 2 Corinthians 4:17

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Gifts That Increase In Value

Christmas Value (True Worth) Gospel

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-26

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:15

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Man Homeless Outside His Own Home

Gospel Salvation Spiritual Blindness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-23

Scripture: John 14:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
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