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Taste Them Again For The First Time

Experiencing God First Love Repentance

Source: Various

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-09-29

Scripture: Revelation 2:4 ; Psalms 34:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

ILLUSTRATION

There have been some pretty memorable commercial catch phrases for cereals over the years. Among them is the 1990s ad campaign for Kellogg's Corn Flakes: "Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Taste them again for the first time."

It's genius, really--a call to go back to relive the pleasure, the delight, the satisfaction of a product which may have lost its luster in your mind, and its place in your pantry.

APPLICATION

When it comes to your spiritual life, have you lost the pleasure, the delight, the satisfaction you once found in the Savior? Has walking with Him lost its luster? Has He lost His place in your heart?

Jesus calls you to return to your first love--to "taste" Him again, as though for the first time.

"Taste and see as if for the first time! that the LORD is good" (Psalm 34:8).

"But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent" (Revelation 2:4-5, NASB).

Keeping the Torch Lit

Passion First Love Endurance

Source: FAN THE FLAME: LIVING OUT YOUR FIRST LOVE FOR CHRIST by Joseph Stowell, p. 32

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-03-09

Scripture: Revelation 2:1

Author: Joseph Stowell
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ILLUSTRATION

“The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique.* The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit.” 

Joseph Stowell is a teaching pastor, writer, and speaker. He has served as president of both Moody Bible Institute and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. He has authored several books and is a major contributor to several respected Christian journals and magazines.

*Lampadedromia was a torch relay race which was, at least in part, the inspiration for the modern Olympic torch-lighting relay ritual first instituted in Berlin, 1936.

APPLICATION

Stowell concludes, “I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him.”

It's one thing to finish, it's quite another to finish with your torch still lit. This requires faithfulness, not just in action, but in intimate relationship with Christ. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent'” (Revelation 12:1-7).

Illustration Exchange

Can Dry Prayer Signal Growth?

Prayer Spiritual Growth First Love

Source: Henri Nouwen and Thomas Green, as quoted by Philip Yancey in his book, REACHING FOR THE INVISIBLE GOD, pp. 186-87

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-09-19

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Author: Henri Nouwen and Thomas Green
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ILLUSTRATION

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)."After sixty-three years of life and thirty-eight years of priesthood, my prayer seems as dead as a rock … The truth is that I do not feel much, if anything, when I pray. There are no warm emotions, bodily sensations, or mental visions. … The words darkness and dryness seem to best describe my prayer today …. Are the darkness and dryness of my prayer signs of God's absence, or are they signs of a presence deeper and wider than my senses can contain? Is the death of my prayer the end of my intimacy with God or the beginning of new communion, beyond words, emotions, and bodily sensations?"

Henri J. M. Nouwen was trained as a Roman Catholic priest and a psychologist, attending Yale, Harvard, and Notre Dame. He has authored over twenty books, including “Genesee Diary,” “The Wounded Healer,” and “The Road to Daybreak.” He is a modern day contemplative whose devotional influence has been felt extensively throughout evangelical Christianity.

APPLICATION

"Henri Nouwen wrote those words during the final year of his life. … Nouwen might have taken encouragement from the conclusions of Thomas Green, a specialist in prayer and the spiritual director of a seminary in the Philippines. Dryness, says Green, is the normal outcome of a life of prayer. Drawing a parallel with human love, Green charts out three stages in a healthy prayer life.

In the courtship period, we get to know God; in the honeymoon period we move from knowing to loving; in the long years of day-by-day married life, we move from loving to truly loving. As any married person can tell you, the final stage of mature love involves more tedium than romance, and the same applies to a relationship with God. Thus a season of dryness in prayer may signify growth, not failure, says Green." - as quoted by Philip Yancey

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Thomas H. Green, S.J., (1932–2009), received his training in philosophy and theology at Bellarmine College and Woodstock College and earned advanced degrees in education and physics from Fordham University, and a doctorate in the philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame. He was an internationally recognized teacher, mentor, and author, best known for his classic works on prayer, including Opening to God, When the Well Runs Dry, and Weeds Among the Wheat.

Ordinary No More

Resurrection Love for God Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2019-10-16

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:41

Author: Mitchell Dillon
6

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A Picture of Pure Love

Love for God God's Love New Birth

Contributed By: DEAN KAHLICH | Date Posted: 2019-05-19

Scripture: John 3:16 ; 1 John 4:19

Author: DEAN KAHLICH
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The Incredible Seashell Rooster

Love for God Jesus' Sacrifice Human Worth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2019-01-30

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:15 ; Hebrews 12:2

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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The Dignity of Work

Work Commitment Dedication

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-12-31

Scripture: Genesis 2:15 ; Colossians 3:23

Author: Charles Krieg
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Feeding on the Word of God

Bible Devotion Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Jane Drew | Date Posted: 2017-10-28

Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:3 ; Ezekiel 3:3

Author: Jane Drew
4

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A Lesson In Stacking Priorities

Priorities Love for God Success

Contributed By: Jason Sommerfeldt | Date Posted: 2017-10-07

Scripture: Matthew 22:37 ; Matthew 6:33

Author: Jason Sommerfeldt
4

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Eating Daily

Devotion Word of God Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2017-04-12

Scripture: John 6:58 ; Acts 2:46

Author: Thomas Bevers
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