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Extreme Makeover

New Birth Regeneration Transformation

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2018-08-06

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Author: Thomas Bevers
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ILLUSTRATION

Makeover shows have become very popular. Whether it is a home, a car, or a person, it seems people love to see things transformed. 

Have you ever thought about how you would change yourself?  Maybe a tummy tuck, or hair plugs, or a nose job, or cellulite suction, or dental work?

The difference can be profound. Ugly can be made beautiful. But for how long?

Live in a house and soon it will return to its previous state of disrepair.  Put enough miles on a car and it will end up in the scrap yard.  And no amount of cosmetic surgery will overcome bad eating and lifestyle habits. 

APPLICATION

By contrast, when the Holy Spirit changes us, His changes are permanent.  As we read in 2 Corinthians 5:17, we become a "new creation."  That means what we became is not susceptible to decay, disrepair, destruction, or dilapidation. 

The stale is made fresh and it stays fresh. 

The unattractive becomes beautiful and it stays beautiful

The undesirable becomes wanted and is always wanted

The worthless becomes more precious than gold and it will always be precious.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

21 Year Old Gives 21 Gifts to Others

Regeneration Servanthood Maturity

Source: “Woman celebrates 21st birthday by performing 21 acts of kindness” BY TAMMY CHILDRESS, posted: Tuesday, May 5, 2015, BRISTOL HERALD COURIER

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-07

Scripture: Hebrews 13:2

Author: TAMMY CHILDRESS / Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

In today’s culture, 21st birthdays are all about big parties, big gifts and legal drinking, right? Wrong—that is, if your name is Alexa Sexton. Alexa was a self-professed “spoiled princess” who came to faith and was baptized shortly after turning twenty. Soon she found that all her priorities were changing. It was no longer all about how others could serve Alexa, but how Alexa could serve others.

As her 21st birthday drew nearer on the horizon, Alexa decided she wanted to celebrate her transition into adulthood in a way that reflected her new heart for service. “I didn’t want to go out partying and not remember becoming an adult. I wanted to impact people by kindness.”

So, to celebrate her adulthood, Alexa spent her 21st birthday performing 21 acts of kindness to both strangers and loved ones alike. First, she had a special gift for her mother. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.”

She then spent the next nine hours blessing folks in her hometown of Bristol, TN:

“One act of kindness that I loved the most was when we went into the ICU at Bristol Regional Hospital to take food to the people in the waiting rooms. One of the people in there was a pastor. I felt like God put him there at just the right time,” Sexton said. “Because after we left the food for the visitors we were going to all of the floors to pray for the patients. We asked the pastor to join us and he was very excited to do so.”

One lady on the Reflections floor, cried and gave Sexton and her friends a hug. She told the group that her husband didn’t know who she was and that having someone pray for them meant the world to her.

“Taking breakfast to the firefighters at the Haynesfield fire department was another one of my favorite places,” Sexton said. “I chose that fire department because it’s by my subdivision, I just wanted to say thank you to them for all they do. It’s so much more rewarding when someone you come in contact with is impacted by your kindness toward them. It’s a much better feeling to give to someone else than it is for me to get what I think I might want,” she said.

It’s a tradition that Alexa plans to continue. But she wants everyone to be clear about the reason for her actions:

“I didn’t turn 21 and just “grow up,” she said. “I gave my life to God and He changed my heart. It was a 360 turnaround because of Him. I firmly believe that I was put on the earth for a purpose and a large part of that purpose is to inspire others to kindness that’s an awesome purpose.”

She said she didn’t want people to think she was doing this to draw attention to herself. Rather she was inspired by a Bible verse: Hebrews 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

“Every one of the 21 acts was done in his name,” Sexton said. “I always want that glory to go to him.”

APPLICATION

Like Alexa, we all get older. But that doesn't mean we all grow up! At least not to a state of maturity like this 21 year old.

Happy birthday, Alexa, this year and every year!

May we all be as “grown-up” as you are.

"This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13, NLT).

New Study, Religion Doesn't Make You Righteous

Religion Righteousness Regeneration

Source: 'Science Catches Up With The Bible: Study Shows Religion Doesn’t Make People Righteous" posted BELIEFNET, retrieved 10/18/14 AND "So Much For Religious People Being More Righteous" By Macrina Cooper-White, posted The Huffington Post, 9/17/14

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-20

Author: BeliefNet / Macrina Cooper-White / Illustration Ex
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ILLUSTRATION

Science is finally catching up to the Bible when it comes to the reality that "religion" does not make people more "righteous," says BELIEFNET, citing a study recently referenced the the HUFFINGTON POST:

Sure-to-be-controversial new research shows that religious and non-religious people are equally likely to misbehave. The only difference between the groups is that religious people show stronger emotional reactions to moral and immoral deeds. …

For the study, a team of researchers, led by psychologist Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Hofmannof the University of Cologne in Cologne, Germany, recruited 1,252 men and women between the ages of 18 and 68. The study participants, all of whom were from the U.S. or Canada, completed an initial survey to indicate their level of religiosity -- from "not at all" to "very much." The survey also showed where the men and women fell on the political spectrum, from "very liberal" to "very conservative."

The subjects then received surveys via text message several times a day over the course of several days asking them to report on their behavior, both good and bad, among other things.

What did the researchers find? Religious and non-religious people alike reported experiencing around the same number of moral acts. Furthermore, no difference was found between liberals and conservatives. People reported committing good deeds more often than bad ones, and reported hearing about bad deeds more often than good ones.

Ultimately, their conclusion was that religion did not play a significant role in the behavioral habits of the participants.

APPLICATION

The flaws in this kind of thinking are myriad. For starters, religious vs. non-religious persons will certainly define good and bad deeds and behavior quite differently. While the religious might report the use of foul language or feelings of lust, etc. as bad behavior, the non-religious might think nothing of it all.

But for all the flaws, the bottom-line conclusion is both true and biblical: Good behavior is not what makes a person righteous! It is relationship, NOT behavior, which defines moral justification--relationship with the Person of Jesus Christ.

As so aptly summarized on BELIEFNET:

Science is just now catching up with timeless truths revealed in the Bible, which illustrate that human nature is inherently flawed. It is only after we trade our nature with the infallible nature of God that we have the ability to experience true righteousness. … Religion can exist on the surface, it can masquerade at church functions, pray lofty pious prayers in public, but only relationship demonstrates the sincere walk of a person truly following God.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Lesson From A Tea Bag

Regeneration Sanctification Object Lessons

Contributed By: Rusty McCormick | Date Posted: 2014-07-22

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:14 ; John 15:4

Author: Pastor Duane Sheriff
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Destructive Grace

Grace Love (Divine) Regeneration

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-10-10

Scripture: Ephesians 2:1

Author: Justin Buzzard
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The Beating Christmas Heart

Christmas Jesus' Love Regeneration

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-01

Author: George Adams
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The World Celebrated A Full Tomb

Resurrection Easter

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2019-10-06

Author: Howard Harden
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Living In Glass Houses

Criticism Golden Rule

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-09-15

Scripture: Matthew 7:12

Author: Charles Panati
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Giving Quotes Part 2

Giving Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-09-19

Author: Various
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Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-16

Author: Various
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