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Happy Death Day!

Spiritual Growth Trials Circumstances

Source: Contextiving.org

Link to Source: Click here to view source

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

Scripture: James 1:2 ; Romans 7:24

Author: Major Dalton
3

ILLUSTRATION

Virtually everything we learn, we learn through repetition. Athletes master their field through repetition and call it practice. Students learn complicated formulas and facts through repetition and call it review. Aspiring musicians learn a new instrument through repetition and call it lessons. Virtually everything we know, we learn through repetition.

The film “Happy Death Day” is a cinematic thriller that follows a young college woman named Tree Gelbman. Tree is a self-absorbed material girl. She ignores those who are beneath her. She rejects those who don’t meet her strict social standards. But that all changes after she is murdered on her 21st birthday.

Now, normally, death would bring an end to personal self-development and rehabilitation of flawed character traits. But in Hollywood, death can actually be a catalyst for change.

Tree begins a cycle of reliving the day of her death over and over again. Think horror version of “Groundhog Day.” To break the cycle, she must solve her own murder. But no matter what she does, each day’s reiteration climaxes the same way. Her death.

Ironically each day’s death brings her closer to real life.

APPLICATION

Virtually everything we know, we learned through repetition. And if this is true of academics, athletics, and the arts, why would our most valuable life insights come any other way?

Do you ever feel like you’re living the same tragic day over and over again? You wish things would get better or change but it seems you are starring in your own horror story. Is there anything good that can come from these days?

Sometimes, while we are waiting for our circumstances to change, we change.

Dying daily changed Tree. She began to notice people she had previously ignored. She realizes that too much of her life was committed to impressing others. She came to terms with the loss of her mother and the broken relationship with her father.  When "you relive the same day over and over again,” she confides in a friend, “you kind of start to see who you really are.”

The Apostle Paul wondered aloud who would break the cycle of death in his life: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). In the verse that follows he answered his own question: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

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

ILLUSTRATION

A practical illustration of feeding on the word of God:

Make a Bible out of fondant icing and marzipan.  Try to make it look like your own Bible.  I have a small brown leather-look Bible, so I used a block of marzipan and made the cover out of chocolate fondant icing.  I had a whole pile of Bibles - illustrating the many types available to suit each person and their need. the fondant one was on the top of the pile and the congregation assumed it was a real Bible. 

I then explained the importance of reading the Bible, as important as feeding ourselves every day.  I picked the fondant bible up and emphasized how good the Bible is - kind of delicious, before taking a large bite out of it - to the sound of gasps and then laughs.  

It really got the point home.  A word of advice though - you need to take a break from speaking after biting the Bible, although the delay in returning to speaking gave the congregation time to take it in...

APPLICATION

The Bible is satisfying, it feeds our souls.  We need a regular diet of it - not an occasional snack. 

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalm 119:103). 

Man Robs Bank To Get Away From Wife

Marriage Consequences Spiritual Growth

Source: “Man who robbed bank to get away from wife sentenced to home confinement, community service,” Posted June 13, 2017, By AP WIRE

Link to Source: Click here to view source

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

Scripture: Proverbs 21:9 ; James 1:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
9

ILLUSTRATION

KANSAS CITY, Kan. Associate Press reports: 

A 71-year-old man who said he robbed a Kansas City, Kansas, bank so he could get away from his wife blamed his actions on depression.

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced Lawrence John Ripple to six months of home confinement and 50 hours of community service.

Ripple went to the Bank of Labor — a block from the Kansas City, Kansas, police headquarters — last September and gave a note to a teller saying he had a gun and demanding money. After he was given money, Ripple waited for police.

Court records indicate Ripple wrote the robbery note in front of his wife and told her he would rather be in jail than at home.

APPLICATION

“Better to live on a corner of the roof (or in prison!) than share a house with a quarrelsome wife” (Proverbs 21:9).

Who hasn't attempted to avoid facing their problems? But the real lesson here might be the punishment meted out to Mr. Ripple, and how well it fit the crime. But rather than allow him to escape his dysfunctional home life, the judge sentenced him to six months of home confinement! Perfect!!  

Sometimes God puts us in circumstances we can't change to force an inner change in us.  It's not that the punishment fits the crime as much as the challenge fits our need to grow and mature as a believer. 

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" (James 1:2-3).

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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Eating Opens the Appetite

Spiritual Growth Worship Word of God

Contributed By: Shawn Nichols | Date Posted: 2016-04-26

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:2 ; Matthew 5:6

Author: Shawn Nichols
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Personalizing Your Spiritual Diet

Spiritual Growth Communion Word of God

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-02-13

Scripture: John 6:51

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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What Difference Does Prayer Make?

Prayer Expectations Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-01-04

Scripture: Matthew 6:33

Author: Mitchell Dillon
8

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