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Different Questions, Same Answer

Dependable Reliable Christlikeness

Source: GROWING STRONG IN THE SEASONS OF LIFE by Charles Swindoll, pp. 22-23

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-23

Scripture: Hebrews 13:8

Author: Chuck Swindoll
3

ILLUSTRATION

Chuck Swindoll poses several questions which he says are all different, yet share the same answer:

What will guard us against foolish extremes?
What characterizes those who are habitually successful in sports or sales or some skill?
What single quality in a business builds respect deeper than any other?
What brings security in relationships?
What makes us choose a particular brand name over all others?
What's needed most by parents in the home?
What draws you to the same restaurant time and again?
What do you want most from your paperboy…or milkman…or postman?
What will add more weight to your witness for Christ than anything else?

And, I might add, what one thing will most help you win tennis matches?

Dr. Charles R. Swindoll has served as pastor of some of our nation’s most prominent churches, chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, and Bible teacher on the internationally syndicated radio program Insight for Living. He has written more than thirty best-selling books, including STRENGTHENING YOUR GRIP, LAUGH AGAIN, THE GRACE AWAKENING, and the million-selling GREAT LIVES FROM GOD'S WORD series.

APPLICATION

The answer, he says:

CONSISTENCY. That's the answer to all the questions, and you know it's true. Steadiness. … In biblical terms, constancy is a subtle, supple thread woven into the fabric of scriptural truth.

Let our model be Jesus. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

Are You A Selfish Monkey

Selfishness Reliable Trustworthy

Source: "Study: Monkeys Shun Meanies" By Yue Wang, Published on TIME NewsFeed, March 12, 2013

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-03-19

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; James 3:14

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

Don't like selfish people? Well you're not alone. It turns out that Monkeys don't like them either. According to a study published in the journal NATURE COMMUNICATIONS this month (Mar '13), primates consistently avoid interactions with humans which "come off as selfish."

In the study, seven highly social and cooperative capuchin monkeys watched two actors interact. The two people either helped or refused to help the other open a jar with a toy inside. They then offered a free treat to the monkeys ... The capuchins showed no preferences between the two people when help was given but consistently turned down food from the person who was available to help others but declined to do so.

Kiley Hamlin, a developmental psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, explained that the monkeys perceived the refusal to help as a sign that the selfish subject was "dangerous." She based that opinion on the fact that wild capuchins greatly depend on cooperation with others of their kind for survival. Selfish monkeys are not dependable. Selfish monkeys cannot be trusted. Therefore, selfish monkeys are dangerous monkeys.

APPLICATION

We've all known some selfish monkeys. People who offer to teach Sunday School, but then don't show. People who offer to help you move, but only come to eat the donuts and chat by the truck. People who say they'll keep a secret, but then turn and tell all. People who seem to love your home, or your car more than they love you. People who say they only want the best for you, then throw you under the bus to get ahead themselves.

We find ourselves innately pulling away from such "friends"--even when they appear to be handing us a "free treat"--because we've come to view them as unreliable, undependable, untrustworthy. Dangerous.

We are commanded in Scripture to not be selfish, but to think of the interests and needs of others above our own (Philippians 2:3-4). Why? Because selfish people are dangerous people. "You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can't get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them" (James 4:1-2, NLT). Selfish people murder and covet and fight and quarrel. And where "jealousy and selfish ambition exist," says James, "there will be disorder and every vile practice (James 3:14-16, ESV).

Don't be a selfish monkey!

What's Your Favorite Pair Of Shoes?

Christlikeness

Source: preacherpollard.com

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Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2020-03-08

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:21 ; 1 Corinthians 11:1

Author: Neal Pollard
0

ILLUSTRATION

Growing up, I heard my dad preach a sermon comparing different types of shoes to various people’s religious attitudes. You can imagine the application of such shoe types as the slipper, the loafer, the work boot, the Sunday shoe, the combat boot, etc. It was a clever illustration to encourage everyone to live a faithful Christian life and avoid a mentality that hurts the church.

Do you have a favorite kind of shoe? I’d venture to guess that you even have a favorite pair or couple of pairs of shoes. Usually, you’ll find me either in a pair of cowboy boots or in a pair of running shoes. What goes into why you favor a pair of shoes? Quality? Style? Comfort?

APPLICATION

To make a spiritual point by referring to footwear is more ancient than my dad’s efforts to do so. No less than the apostle Paul referred to “having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15). Indirectly, Isaiah and Paul give attention to this very idea by complimenting the “beautiful feet” of those who bring good news of good things (Isa. 52:7; Rom. 10:15). 

You would think, to borrow dad’s analogy, that some “shoes,” figuratively, shouldn’t be adorned as part of our Christian armor. Flip-flops aren’t good (Jas. 1:8). Neither are skate shoes (Rom. 12:11; Col. 3:23). Camouflage boots can be a liability (Rom. 12:2). It would seem counterproductive for a preacher or teacher to favor tap dancing shoes (2 Tim. 4:3), since our responsibility is to stand firm (Eph. 6:11,13,14). 

Staying with the analogy, some shoes are excellent if used according to their design. Running shoes are essential to running the Christian race (1 Cor. 9:24,26; Heb. 12:1), but not to run in vain (Gal. 2:2; Phil. 2:16), run with sinners to sin (1 Pet. 4:4), or run after false teachers (Luke 17:23). Work boots can be misused in prioritizing occupation and career over the kingdom, but when used in the exercise of our talents and resources to grow the kingdom they are worn well (Mat. 5:16; 9:37-38). 

You get the idea, and you can no doubt add to the analogy with your own ideas. But, spiritually, what is your favorite pair of shoes? John the Baptist suggests that Jesus, like most all others of His day, wore sandals (Mark 1:7). John felt unworthy to even untie them. Yet, Peter, later on, would say “follow in His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). Jesus’ shoes carried Him to Samaria to minister to the woman at the well. They presumably walked on water. They took Him to Lazarus’ tomb. He doubtless wore them as He ascended the mountain to preach the greatest sermon ever delivered. Was He permitted to wear them as He carried His cross to Calvary? 

We aren’t qualified and worthy to be in His shoes, but, as the song suggests, we must be “trying to walk in the steps of the Savior.” Another hymn avers, “Where He leads me, I will follow.” Our favorite shoes should be the ones revealing the footsteps of Jesus. We follow Him and anyone can follow us (1 Cor. 11:1). They will help us walk in good works (Eph. 2:10), in a worthy manner (Eph. 4:1), in love (Eph. 5:2), and carefully (Eph. 5:15).

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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Temptation Quotes

Temptation Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Author: Various
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Good Friday Quotes

Good Friday Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
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Forgiveness Quotes

Forgiveness Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
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