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Never Try To Catch The Catcher

Grace (Pictures of) Jesus, Savior Works Salvation

Source: Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journeys

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-08-01

Scripture: Acts 16:31 ; John 19:30

Author: Illustration Exchange
11

ILLUSTRATION

In the world of trapeze performance, there are "flyers" and there are "catchers." Imagine yourself a trapeze flyer sailing through the air, flipping as you go. Then at the end of your rotation, as you hang in mid-air, you see the catcher. Your natural impulse is to reach out and grab for him.  That’s certainly what I would do.  I’d grab anything I could -- his hands, his arms, his shirt, his hair.  It wouldn’t matter. I’m grabbing a hold of something, anything, and hanging on to it for dear life! 

But the flyer is trained to resist this impulse.  He understands that it is preemptive for him to attempt to catch the catcher.  Any such attempt would actually prevent the catcher from performing his task.  In the world of high wire acrobatics, this principle has been reduced to a well-known axiom, attributed to Rodleigh of The Flying Rodleighs, which says, “The flyer is the one who lets go and the catcher is the one who catches. The flyer must never try to catch the catcher!”

APPLICATION

One of the great lessons of the spiritual life is to learn not to strive when God has called you to rest, or rest when God has called you to strive.  The most important place of rest and trust is in the promise of salvation. The Bible says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). In other words, don’t try to catch God, let God catch you!

When it comes to the salvation of your soul, you are the one who must let go and trust God to catch you. Those who insist on catching God will only prevent Him from doing what He has promised to do. It isn’t your job to finish the work of Christ, but to rest in the finished work of Christ.  This means you must cease from striving to earn your salvation and put your trust in God’s promise to save you.  As Jesus declared, “It is finished!”  So, let the Catcher catch you!

We Cannot Control Our Enemy

Preparation Enemies

Source: History Is Fascinating and I Can Prove It

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2020-10-22

Scripture: Ephesians 6:10 ; Psalms 23:4

Author: Homer Adams
3

ILLUSTRATION

During the meeting of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, one of the members moved “that the standing army be restricted to no more than 5000 men at any one time.”

George Washington, being the chairman, could not offer a motion, but he turned to another member and whispered [sarcastically], “Amend the motion to provide that no foreign enemy shall invade the United States at any time with more than 3000 troops."

APPLICATION

As Christians, we find ourselves engaged in a great, cosmic battle for souls. We can know the strategy of the enemy. We can study his tactics. We can see what he does in the lives of others and we can see the path of destruction that is left in the lives of those who follow him. What we cannot do is control him.

But we can put on the whole armor of God so that we are prepared for the fight. 

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
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
10

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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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Giving Quotes Part 2

Giving Quotes Part 2

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

Author: Various
2

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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
3

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