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Are You Being Fed?

Spiritual Health Spiritual Growth Spiritual Life

Contributed By: Bob Kombe | Date Posted: 2022-10-24

Scripture: John 6:35

Author: Bob Kombe
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ILLUSTRATION

One Sunday, my wife was driving us home from church and she said something that I found simple yet profound.

Without shifting her eyes from the road she said to me, “I feel like I’ve been really fed today. My Spirit feels strong.”

She then said, “You know, it's just common sense. our physical body needs physical food. But once we eat, we digest that food, and then we use the energy. So, that’s why we have to keep having meals in order to sustain our physical energy.”

She went on to say, “It’s exactly the same with our Spirit - our spirit is alive. It’s living - which means if you don’t feed your spirit - you will get weak. If you don’t feed your spirit - you cannot get stronger.”

APPLICATION

That interaction I had with my wife leads me to the question I want to ask you – how does your spirit feel in this moment? Do you feel spiritually alive? Do you feel spiritually energized and strong?

Or would you say your spirit feels weak? Are you weighed down with thoughts of worry, anger, anxiety, depression, or even loneliness? Are these things draining you of spiritual strength?

Could it be, that part of the reason your struggle may be so difficult is due to the fact that your spirit isn’t being fed? Perhaps you feel so drained because the real you isn’t being nourished!

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty" (John 6:35, NIV).  

The Obstacle Is The Way

Obstacles Spiritual Growth Perseverance

Source: “The Obstacle Is the Way” by Mark Batterson, a video devotional as posted by Our Daily Bread on YouTube, retrieved 7/5/22

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-07-05

Scripture: James 1:2

Author: Mark Batterson
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ILLUSTRATION

Pastor and author, Mark Batterson, shares a story of unbelievable odds and determination:

On January 19, 1844, a man named John C. Fremont attempted something that had never been done before: crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the dead of winter. Irving Stone describes it as "the longest seventy miles in the history of exploration." Those who tried to cross the mountains suffered snow blindness, hypothermia and near starvation. In the end, three men, Kit Carson, Broken Hand Fitzpatrick, and John C. Fremont made it over those mountains, and when they did, the last barrier to westward expansion was breached. The mountains were no longer impassable or impossible. I love the phrase that Irving Stone used to describe these men and this moment. It became the title of his book. He said, "The men matched the mountains." 

 

[Mark Batterson is an American pastor and author. Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C.]

APPLICATION

"Here's a thought," Batterson concludes, "the obstacle is not the enemy, the obstacle is the way!"

All of us face mountains, mountains of anxiety or addiction, mountains of depression or fear or shame. You can't let that mountain intimidate you. At some point, enough is enough. …

That mountain is going to make you a bigger person. You're going to have a testimony on the other side!

Indeed, the obstacle is not the enemy, The obstacle is the way!

The way to endurance! The way to spiritual growth and maturity! The way to completeness in Christ!

Be the man who matches the mountain. Conquer the obstacles to your own spiritual expansion. By the grace of God, the mountains you face are neither impassable nor impossible. They are the way!

"Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect [mature] and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).

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). 

Happy Death Day!

Spiritual Growth Trials Circumstances

Contributed By: Major Dalton | Date Posted: 2017-12-03

Scripture: James 1:2 ; Romans 7:24

Author: Major Dalton
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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
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Man Robs Bank To Get Away From Wife

Marriage Consequences Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-10-11

Scripture: Proverbs 21:9 ; James 1:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Peter Pan Christians

Maturity Love (Divine) Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Pat Sage | Date Posted: 2017-03-30

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:2 ; 1 Corinthians 13:

Author: Pat Sage
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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Spiritual Growth Sin Nature Fruitfulness

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2016-07-18

Scripture: Matthew 13:37 ; 1 Peter 1:23

Author: Stephen Kingsley
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Be The 2.7 Percent

Spiritual Health Spiritual Growth Maturity

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-06-07

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:5

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
17

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