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A Powerful Rest

Rest Sabbath Listening

Source: Whisper

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Rob Tucker | Date Posted: 2018-09-19

Scripture: Matthew 11:28 ; Mark 2:27

Author: Mark Batterson, Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

"One of the most universally recognized pieces of music of all times is Beethoven's 5th Symphony. You know the one: dun dun dun dunnnnn...dun dun dun dunnnnnn. You know the song, but what you may not know is that the song starts with an 8th note of rest. A song that begins with a rest! As strange as that is, it creates a uniquely powerful melody.

The strategic 8th note rest continues through the entire song."

APPLICATION

A rest is a highly unusual way to begin a piece of music.  But realize that the Christian life also begins with a rest. Before God can make a beautiful symphony of our lives, we must first find complete rest in His Son.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). 

Illustration Exchange

Looking For Loopholes

Retribution Sabbath Faith

Source: BEYOND NEWS OF THE WEIRD by Shepherd, Kohut, and Sweet, p. 166-67

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2011-09-13

Scripture: Matthew 5:39

Author: Larry Lewis
4

ILLUSTRATION

“Before the start of the Persian gulf war,” reports Shepherd, Kohut and Sweet, “Israel’s Chief Rabbi Mordechi Eliyahu ruled that ultra-Orthodox Jewish men could break Jewish law forbidding men from shaving in case of an Iraqi chemical attack so gas masks could fit properly over their beards.  Eliyahu urged bearded men to carry scissors in their pocket in case they needed to shave quickly.”  They continued, that “although Jewish law regarding the Sabbath forbids even simple physical activities, such as turning on the radio, the threat of Iraqi missile attacks . . . sent Israel’s chief rabbis scrambling to the Scriptures for a loophole so Orthodox Jews could listen to the news for warnings.  The rabbis ruled that leaving the radio on during the Sabbath was permissible— provided it was on low volume."

“If there is a real alarm, you can turn up the volume, explained Religious Affairs Minister Avner Shaki, “but in a nonconventional manner, with a stick or with your elbow. Controlling the volume in a different manner still marks the Sabbath as different from the rest of the week.”

APPLICATION

This story begs the question, why would God give Israel Sabbath laws that make her vulnerable to the threat of attack? The answer is that these laws were never intended to operate outside the divine protection promised in the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 28-30). According to this contract, as long as Israel walked in faith and obedience, she need not fear her enemies.

How about you? How are you doing with the faith part of the journey of faith? Do you believe that God will take care of you so long as you obey and trust in HIm? Or, do you, out of fear and uncertainty, search for loopholes?

For example, when Jesus asks you to offer your enemy the "other" cheek, is that what you do? Or, do you look for a loophole that allows you to take matters into your own hands?

Rather than search for loopholes, we would all do better to search our hearts and make sure we are walking by faith. 

"But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:39).

Our Promises vs. God's Promises

God's Promises Youth Sermons God's Faithfulness

Contributed By: Chris Huff | Date Posted: 2021-12-13

Scripture: Galatians 3:16 ; Genesis 3:15

Author: Chris Huff
2

ILLUSTRATION

Several years ago, I was a youth minister at a church in Kentucky. I was only on staff at that church about a year and a half, but I learned a ton about ministry and people during that short time. One of the things that I learned was to over communicate everything and make sure you understand what people mean by their promises.

Our youth group was growing. I think one of the best things we did with the youth was encourage them to memorize Scripture. One of the ways we encouraged them was through group incentives. When they memorized so many verses as a group, they could pick which incentive they earned. So they earned things like lock-ins, pizza parties, and one time, they earned a trip to an amusement park.

In fact, a parent of one of the youth offered to pay for the trip to the amusement park for all the youth. And my wife and I were like, “That’s awesome! That’s so generous of you! Thank you so much!” So we got all the youth excited about memorizing Scripture, and they were bringing their friends to church, and we had a huge group of kids that were ready to go to the amusement park!

But then when it came time to go, and we told the parent how many tickets to buy, she was shocked. I guess she didn’t realize how many youth and their friends had been coming to youth group on Wednesday nights, and she clarified that she meant that she only wanted to pay for the youth who have been coming regularly on Sunday mornings. I mean, that was still generous of her, but at that point we had to figure out how we were going to pay for the other half of the youth to go, because we had promised them all a free trip to the amusement park!

APPLICATION

I learned from that incident to over-communicate. When we thought we could count on a huge, generous promise, when it was clarified, it wasn’t nearly as good as we had thought.

Now, that tends to happen with people. We make big promises, but sometimes we have to apologize and clarify what we meant by our promises.

But here’s the thing, God never needs to apologize. And when He clarifies His promises, they always get better rather than worse. So we can put all our hope in His promises, knowing that His promise will not disappoint.

In Genesis 3:15, God first promised that the "offspring of the woman" would bruise the head of the serpent. In Genesis 12:1-7, we learn that the offspring of Abraham would bless the whole world. And in Galatians 3:16, we learn that this "offspring" is Jesus. As per God's modus operandi, the promise just got better and better! 

We Obey What We Love

Grace Transformation Motivation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-11-21

Scripture: Galatians 3:3 ; 2 Corinthians 5:17

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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"Work Makes Free"

Grace False Hope Works Salvation

Contributed By: John Reed | Date Posted: 2021-11-01

Scripture: Ephesians 2:8

Author: Johnny V. Miller
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Grace Is Just Too Easy

Grace Salvation Skepticism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-04-22

Scripture: Romans 6:23 ; John 3:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Call Me Daddy

Dependence on God Maturity Grace

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-09-05

Scripture: Galatians 4:6

Author: Mitchell Dillon
7

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Be Perfect!

Grace Religion Works Salvation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-05-28

Scripture: Matthew 5:48

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

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Jesus' Burden Is Light

Rest Relationships Love (Uncondtional)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-02-02

Scripture: Matthew 11:29

Author: Illustration Exchange
9

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Simon the Leper

Forgiveness Grace Mercy

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2020-01-13

Scripture: Matthew 26:6

Author: Thomas Bevers
4

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