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No Cheap Gifts For Christmas

Christmas Sacrifice Selfless

Source: "Peanuts" comic strip

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-11-15

Scripture: John 3:16 ; Mark 10:45

Author: Charles Krieg
14

ILLUSTRATION

In an episode of the comic strip “Peanuts,” Charlie Brown cracks open his piggy bank. He says to Lucy, “Look, I’ve got $9.11 to spend on Christmas gifts.”  Lucy is not impressed as she says, “You can’t buy something for everyone with $9.11, Charlie Brown.” Charlie Brown says, “Oh yeah? Well I’m gonna try!” “Then” Lucy continues, “they’re sure gonna be cheap presents.”  Charlie  says with absolute conviction, “Nothing is cheap if it costs all that you have.”

APPLICATION

On the very first Christmas, God gave us all that He had: Himself, in the person of his Son, Jesus. Thirty-three years later Jesus would give us all that he had: his very life. Now it is our turn to give a gift to Jesus, and it should, likewise, cost all that you've got. 

Choosing Love Over A Throne

Romance Love (Divine) Selfless

Source: Abdication, by Christopher Warwick, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1986.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-02-12

Scripture: Philippians 2:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
12

ILLUSTRATION

Touted as one of the great love stories of all time, the affair of King Edward VIII of England and Mrs. Wallis Simpson of the United States, has long been the subject of fascination by romantics the world over.  Many have looked to their relationship as an example of selfless romantic love. After all, what could be more selfless, more romantic than a king who leaves his throne for the woman he loves? 

Unfortunately, Edward was, in fact, a womanizer with a penchant for married women.  Wallis was a married woman already once divorced.  While the King did end his relationships with the other married women in his life (there were two others at the time of his first meeting Mrs. Simpson), this can hardly be deemed "selfless" love.  Nevertheless, his infatuation with Mrs. Simpson was persistent.  Faced with the prospect of his entire government resigning over his scandalous affair, King Edward decided he would rather retain relationship with his mistress than with his government. 

With these words King Edward VIII, on December 10, 1936, abdicated his throne in favor of "love," saying: "I, Edward the Eighth, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Emperor of India, do hereby declare My irrevocable determination to renounce the Throne for Myself and for My descendants, and My desire that effect should be given to this Instrument of Abdication immediately."

Regardless of the backstory, hopeless romantics still cling to the image of selfless sacrifice--a king willing to give up all for his beloved.

APPLICATION

If a royal love story of selfless sacrifice is what you're yearning, you need look no further than the pages of Scripture. There you will read of the King of the Universe who likewise relinquished His throne for love.  Only, in those pages, you'll not read any scandalous backstory.  You'll only read of the One who loved so purely, so deeply, that He was willing to give up all to gain relationship--eternal relationship--with those He loved.

Our challenge is to love even as He did. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:3-8).

Deceased Charged A Termination Fee

Death Selfless Resurrection

Source: “Tales of Actual Legislation: Death and early-cancellation fees,” published TimesUnion.com by Casey Seiler, January 12, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-03-23

Scripture: Philippians 3:10 ; 2 Corinthians 4:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

Casey Seiler, Capitol Bureau Chief reporting for the Times Union, writes:

Targeting what’s described in a justification memo as an “unseemly demonstration of corporate greed” (as opposed to the seemly ones), Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther has introduced legislation that would bar service providers from charging early-cancelation fees if the reason for the cancelation is that the customer has been canceled from this existence.

It’s true: If you die under current state law, you could burden your loved ones not only with crushing grief at your loss (maybe) but also significant early-termination fees from a host of companies.

The inspiration for the bill came as a result of an experience Gunther had with her own mother. “My mother was a person that never missed a bill in her life,” Gunther said. But when Gunther and her sister stepped in to settle their mother's estate, they noticed something odd about the cable bill. “They were charging us a termination fee — which is ridiculous,” said Gunther. On further investigation, she discovered other instances from other types of providers, including phone and utilities.

“I just think it’s wrong. … When a family is despairing over the loss of someone, to charge a termination fee I think is pretty outlandish,” Gunther said.

APPLICATION

Thankfully, once we die, the world loses all its power over us.  I’m not referring to physical death, but to what happens when we follow Jesus’ example by dying to self.  That’s what it means to become like Jesus in his death. That’s also how we experience the power of his resurrection.

“I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).

Striving To Be Zero

Humility Selfless Servanthood

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2013-06-23

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; Romans 12:10

Author: Rose Marie Berger
12

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One Dad Inspires Teens To Make A Big Burrito Difference

Fatherhood Guidance Selfless

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-12

Scripture: Proverbs 22:6

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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The New Darwinism

God's Love Motivation Selfless

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-05-22

Scripture: Acts 20:35 ; Colossians 3:17

Author: Harriet Rubin / Helena Cronin
4

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True Glory

Selfless Reward Motivation

Contributed By: Lynn Schuyler | Date Posted: 2013-02-06

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:31

Author: Lynn Schuyler
2

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The Joy of Self-forgetfulness

Selfless Affliction Joy

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-19

Scripture: Philippians 2:1

Author: Helen Keller
8

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The Best Gifts Are Free

Christmas Generosity Selfless

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-12-08

Scripture: Romans 12:10

Author: unknown
1

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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
2

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