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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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ILLUSTRATION

Often times as a teenager, I would look at our family photos and complain that I looked terrible. My father would quickly reply, "If you want a better picture, bring a better face."

APPLICATION

I realized later in life that my father was trying to teach me something more than how to take a better picture. He wanted me to know that a poor attitude, whether anger, or upset, or bitterness comes through on our face. When this would happen, he would instruct me to wipe that look off of my face.  The problem wasn't with the camera but with my attitude. 

In life, the best way to be become a better person is to take on a better attitude. When we "put on Christ" we done ourselves with His character. His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control is expressed on our face.

When that happens, we will take better pictures!

"Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh" (Romans 13:14). 

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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ILLUSTRATION

When I was a kid I used to look at the "magic eye" in the newspaper. Remember that? The colorful image where you had to gaze at it long enough until a picture emerged. Problem was, I used to get so frustrated at the magic eye. I could never see the image. People would say, "There! See it? It's a duck!" Or, "See! Right there! It's a rocket ship." And all I could see was a green blurry shadow.

Years later I found out I was color blind. What most people don't realize about color blindness is that it is not the absence of colors for most people. Colorblind people just see the colors differently than everyone else. Hence, they could never see a magic eye because they are focussed on the wrong colors.

APPLICATION

The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to fix, "our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith" (Hebrews 12:2). Trouble is, we are fixated on our problems. We strain at our worries, our doubts, our imperfections and even our sins.  As these things capture and keep our gaze, we lose sight of Jesus.

To see Jesus in the blurry mess of life, we must focus our attention on Him. As we ponder His person, His victory, His promises to us, His faithfulness, etc., we begin to see Him in everything, even in the problems we face. 

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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Happiness Quotes

Happiness Quotes Happiness Perspective

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-08-05

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
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The $300 Hammer

Perspective Suffering Jesus' Suffering

Contributed By: Jeff Johnson | Date Posted: 2015-03-02

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12

Author: Jeff Johnson
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