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He's Not From Around Here

Lifestyle Witness Followership

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2014-09-16

Scripture: Hebrews 11:13

Author: Fred Gates
3

ILLUSTRATION

While sitting in a restaurant recently, I looked over to see a man eating his hamburger with a knife and fork. I immediately concluded that he's NOT from around here, and wondered where he might be from. Certainly NOT the US!

APPLICATION

The Christian life is a call to become a follower and imitator of Christ. No matter when or where, the faithful believer has always been counter-cultural. When we live like Jesus lived, we leave people wondering where we might be from.

"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own." (Hebrews 11:13-14).

What's Your Favorite Pair Of Shoes?

Christlikeness

Source: preacherpollard.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

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

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

Author: Neal Pollard
1

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).

Win or Lose

Success Christlikeness Selfless

Source: https://english.elpais.com/elpais/2012/12/19/inenglish/1355928581_856388.html

Contributed By: Charles Schuyler | Date Posted: 2020-02-01

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; Philippians 2:5

Author: Carlos Arribas
1

ILLUSTRATION

On December 2, 2012, Spanish athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.

Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.

“I didn’t deserve to win it,” says 24-year-old Fernández Anaya. “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.”

Fernández Anaya is coached in Vitoria by former Spanish distance runner Martín Fiz in the same place, the Prado Park, where he clocked up kilometers and kilometers of training to become a European marathon champion in 1994 and world marathon champion in 1995.

“It was a very good gesture of honesty,” says Fiz. “A gesture of the kind that isn’t made anymore. Or rather, of the kind that has never been made. A gesture that I myself wouldn’t have made. I certainly would have taken advantage of it to win.”

APPLICATION

There are many in this world that have the same perspective as Martin Fiz.  They believe the only way to win in life is to be out in front, ahead of those around you.  Yet, our Lord, when He was on this earth, taught the exact opposite.  He told us things like - the way up is down, the way to the first chair is to take the last chair, the way to live is to die… the way to win is to be willing to lose for others. 

Paul took that example and with inspiration wrote the following in Philippians 2: 3-5: "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

Winning in this world is climbing up the ladder of success.  But as you are going up, never forget that our Savior found victory by coming down.  

Jesus Is The High-Water Mark

Love (Uncondtional) Enemies Morality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2019-11-02

Scripture: Matthew 5:44

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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Bring A Better Face

Attitude Christlikeness Perspective

Contributed By: Kevin Truett | Date Posted: 2019-10-17

Scripture: Ephesians 4:31 ; Romans 13:14

Author: Kevin Truett
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The Problems Of The Two-Headed Snake

Worldliness Unreliable Decision Making

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2018-09-27

Scripture: James 1:7 ; James 4:8

Author: Neal Pollard
5

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Spilling Your Coffee

Fruit of the Spirit Character Transformation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-07-13

Scripture: Galatians 5:22

Author: Illustration Exchange
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At A Loss For Words

Prayer Worldliness Communion

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-01-08

Scripture: Matthew 6:8 ; Romans 8:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
12

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Don't Let Your Friends Hold You Back

Destiny Character Fellowship

Contributed By: Morgan McKinley | Date Posted: 2017-06-15

Scripture: John 3:20 ; 2 Corinthians 6:14

Author: Morgan McKinley
3

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The Drowning Stranger Dilemma

Morality Atheism Motivation

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2017-05-03

Author: "Matt" at Well Spent Journey
4

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