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Pursuing Unity in a Divided World

Unity Divisiveness Perspective

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Contributed By: Chris Huff | Date Posted: 2024-01-10

Scripture: Ephesians 1:10 ; Ephesians 2:14

Author: Chris Huff
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ILLUSTRATION

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a lot of division in the world today. People are divided over religion, and religious practices. People are divided over politics, and political opinions. People are even divided over whether this dress is white and gold or black and blue.

The Dress

Remember that from a few years back? When this picture first showed up on the internet, the internet was divided over what colors this dress was. How many of you see a gold and white dress? How many of you see a blue and black dress? Isn’t that weird?

But in truth, the dress really was black and blue, so there was a right answer. But because of the lighting conditions of the picture, many people perceived the colors differently.

APPLICATION

Now, some of the things we divide over are silly, but some are warranted, because there really is a right and wrong. It’s evil to cry out, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. In other words, we shouldn’t pretend everything about today’s culture is okay, celebrating what’s immoral for the sake of peace, when there are real evils in the world.

Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. And sometimes that means our own families will be against us because of our faith in Christ. There’s division.

And yet, because Jesus came, the Bible promises that God tears down the walls of hostility so that we can have peace with one another, not only in eternity, but today, as we rest in Jesus.

"And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth" (Ephesians 1:10, NLT).

"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2:14, NIV).

A New Perspective

Perspective Teachability Patience

Source: A personal experience

Contributed By: James Augustine | Date Posted: 2021-02-22

Scripture: Psalms 8:1 ; Psalms 8:4

Author: James Augustine
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ILLUSTRATION

When my oldest daughter was 15 months old, my wife and I were at a youth convention during the summer. As she was walking back to the dormitory with our little girl in tow, Anna kept stopping and laying down on the sidewalk. Mom would heave her back up on her feet and walk a few more feet, only to have Anna lay down once again on the cement. Starting to feel a bit frustrated, Mom stopped and looked at her daughter. She then got down on the ground with Anna and looked up and saw the most amazing display of stars in the summer night sky that she had ever seen.

APPLICATION

So often in life, we are in such a hurry to get where we're going that we fail to stop and take the time to appreciate what is around us. And sometimes, if we just stop and take a different perspective on things, we might just see something beautiful...like another person's point of view, or a beautiful display of love and affection.

So don't be in such a hurry. Take time to appreciate where you are and what's happening around you.

The Man In The Iron Mask

Affliction Spiritual Growth Perspective

Contributed By: Shane Waldron | Date Posted: 2020-12-15

Scripture: Isaiah 46:10 ; Isaiah 48:3

Author: Shane Waldron
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ILLUSTRATION

The film The Man in the Iron Mask tells the story of a man who is locked in a prison in 17th century France. He is also forced to wear a huge iron mask to hide his face. The man in the iron mask is Philippe, the twin brother of the king. Philippe is forced to wear the mask to hide his identity, so he won’t be a threat to the king’s reign. 

The Kingdom of France faces bankruptcy from King Louis XIV's wars against the Dutch, even as the citizens live in poverty. As the country moves toward revolution, Louis spends his time seducing countless women. 

But a group of men (The Three Musketeers) help Philippe escape from prison, abduct the king, and replace him with his twin brother. Philippe goes on to rule France as king without anyone knowing, becoming one of the greatest kings in the history of the nation. 

In the middle of the story, when Philippe is wearing that iron mask and languishing in prison, he doesn’t know why this is happening to him. He doesn’t even know that he’s the twin brother of the king. And he doesn’t know if he will ever be released. By contrast, the author of the screenplay knew that Philippe's suffering would prepare him to be a great king. 

APPLICATION

The difference between our perspective and Jesus’ perspective is like the difference between a story’s characters, and its author. The characters experience the story as it unfolds, without knowing the end. The author experiences the story as a whole. He knows the beginning, the middle, the end - all at once. And he knows how what is happening in the middle of the story is preparing the characters for the end.  

When we suffer, we can feel like Philippe. We don’t know why this is happening to us. We have no idea when it is going to end, or how it could possibly do us any good. 

But Jesus is the author of our story. He knows how it ends because He has an eternal perspective. He knows how our suffering is refining us in the furnace of affliction.  Jesus sees how it is building our character, and preparing us for what is to come. 

"Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please'" (Isaiah 46:9-10). 

Bring A Better Face

Attitude Christlikeness Perspective

Contributed By: Kevin Truett | Date Posted: 2019-10-17

Scripture: Ephesians 4:31 ; Romans 13:14

Author: Kevin Truett
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Fix Your Eyes On Jesus

Perspective Trials Jesus, Good Shepherd

Contributed By: Rob Tucker | Date Posted: 2018-01-08

Scripture: Hebrews 12:2

Author: Rob Tucker
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Walk A Mile In My Hospital Shoes

Compassion Perspective Leadership

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

Scripture: Matthew 7:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
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God Is Watching You

God's Omnipresence Perspective Motivation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-11-18

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:17 ; Hebrews 4:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Expanding Souls Encounter An Expanding Christ

Perspective Spiritual Growth Jesus' Lordship

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2016-05-01

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:18

Author: C. S. Lewis
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God's Perspective

God's Judgment God's Love Perspective

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

Scripture: John 3:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Snodgrass's Muff

Guilt Perspective Perseverance

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2015-08-10

Scripture: Philippians 3:13

Author: Neal Pollard
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