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The First and Last Letters Matter Most

Circumstances Meaning of Life God's Sovereignty

Source: READER'S DIGEST, Dec 2003, p. 79, by Johnathan Powell

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-02-21

Scripture: Revelation 22:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
16

ILLUSTRATION

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by istlef but the wrod as a wlohe.

APPLICATION

There's a lesson to be gleaned from this little exercise. We must learn to read life the way we read words on a page, resisting the temptation to focus too much on the individual events, choosing instead to take it all in as a whole.

Jesus claims to be the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and End. Among other things, this suggests that the beginning and the end of all things are exactly as they should be.

Unfortunately, it's in the middle where we live, and it's a jumbled mess!  But God has not left us to wallow in the chaos and confusion.  By making sure the beginning and the end of all things are what they should be, God restores meaning to what's in the middle.

When we read life as a whole, the chaos in the middle preserves its proper meaning.   

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 22:13).

Illustration Exchange

Letting Go Of Your Expectations

Expectations Church/Body of Christ God's Sovereignty

Source: "The Broken Arrow"

Contributed By: Janet Malone | Date Posted: 2017-05-03

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: Janet Malone
2

ILLUSTRATION

The first time I watched John Travolta in the movie, “Broken Arrow,” I had a difficult time following the plot because I was used to seeing him in comedies, like “Look Who’s Talking." Then he pulled out a gun on his friend and forced him to eject from a jet plane over the desert. I finally came to the conclusion that he had to be a bad guy, something I was not expecting. This so took me by surprise that I had to rewind the movie and start over again to see the movie as it was, not as I expected it to be.

APPLICATION

Our preconceived notions can prevent us from seeing what God is really up to.  We can miss what is right “before our eyes” and find ourselves continually "dissatisfied, impatient, angry, dismayed or disgusted”(ibid). When this happens, what we need to do is rewind and start over again, viewing the church through the eyes of a faith that believes that God can cause all things, even the flaws of the church, to "work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them" (Romans 8:28).

Our Predetermined Destiny

God's Sovereignty Prophecy God's Promises

Contributed By: Louis Harrison | Date Posted: 2016-12-12

Scripture: Revelation 21:5

Author: Louis Harrison
4

ILLUSTRATION

My daughter has the annoying pastime of watching wrestling on television. Not real high school, collegiate or Olympic wrestling, but staged, "pro" wrestling. I asked her why. She said it was entertaining, had suspense, and spectacular scenes.

I thought about what she said in the context of our church studying the book of Revelation. I found her view of pro wrestling and our study of Revelation similar in that both had suspense and spectacular scenes. But there was another major similarity that was even more important. The outcomes of both are pre-determined!

APPLICATION

No matter how much suspense, no matter how many spectacular scenes we experience, or trials we "wrestle" with in this life, for the Christian, we know how it all ends. It's predetermined by God that we win in the end.

"He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true" (Revelation 21:5). 

The Man Without A Brain

God's Sovereignty Faith God's Provision

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-09-01

Scripture: Matthew 28:20

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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Perfect Numbers Always Add Up

God's Sovereignty Trials Circumstances

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2015-05-01

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: Larry Lewis
4

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When Our Behavior Changes

Accountability God's Sovereignty God's Care

Contributed By: Erik Estep | Date Posted: 2014-07-11

Author: Erik Estep
2

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Shuffled Seven Times

God's Sovereignty Purpose Circumstances

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-08

Scripture: Isaiah 55:9

Author: Francis E. Su, et al / Illustration Exchange
8

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Who's To Say If It's Good or Bad?

Circumstances Faith God's Sovereignty

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-27

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: uknown
14

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An Old "Oh That's Bad, No That's Good" Story

God's Sovereignty Circumstances Humor

Contributed By: Ron Berget | Date Posted: 2012-11-28

Scripture: Genesis 37 ff. and Romans 8:28

Author: Ron Berget
9

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The Punishment Of Being Who You Are

Spiritual Growth Contentment God's Sovereignty

Contributed By: Pat Sage | Date Posted: 2012-08-27

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6

Author: Pat Sage
3

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