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  • Illustration: Consequences of Sin

  • Illustration: Lord’s Prayer

    In his new book The Prayer God Longs For (InterVarsity), James Emery White says, “When we pray, we are to pray for God's kingdom, God's will, not only to come into our lives and take root, but through us to spread throughout the earth. God's kingdom was announced by Jesus and makes its way into the world from that beachhead as individuals give their hearts and lives to Christ. In that sense God's kingdom has arrived, and we have brought into that kingdom as believers; but the full consummation lies ahead. So to pray the kingdom will come is to pray His kingdom will grow as we pursue our witness to Jesus and live lives of salt and light. So with the Great Commission comes a cultural commission. We pray for the kingdom to take hold on the planet, in governments and institutions, judicial systems and media."
  • Illustration: Decisions, Urgency

    Two men -- Joe and Tom -- were sharing a hospital room. Joe turned to see that Tom was covered with bandages from head to toe.
  • Illustration: Adventure, Inconvenience

    G.K. Chesterton once observed, “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
  • Illustration: Sin, Awareness

    Some people have a tough time recognizing themselves as sinners. Joel Hunter tells of a friend who “once found himself in a conversation with a prison inmate who was serving time for robbery. My friend mentioned he recently read in the paper about a man who had robbed a house and killed the family. 'You know,’ the inmate replied, 'it’s people like that who give robbery a bad name.’"
  • Illustration: Forgiveness

    The scene is a courtroom trial in South Africa. A frail black woman stands slowly to her feet. She is more than 70 years old. Facing her from across the room are several white security police officers. One of them, Mr. Van der Broek, has just been tried and found guilty in the murders of first the woman’s son and then her husband. He had come to the woman’s home, taken her son, shot him at point-blank and then burned the young man’s body while he and his officers partied nearby.
  • Illustration: Cheating, Dishonesty

    Two young engineers applied for a single position at a computer company. They both had the same qualifications. In order to determine which individual to hire, the applicants were asked to take a test by the department manager.
  • Illustration: Success

    In his new biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas observes of the German pastor-theologian: “In his book Ethics...Bonhoeffer wrote about the way people worship success. The topic fascinated him. He referred to it in his letter from Barcelona many years earlier, in which he observed the fickleness of the crowds at bullfights, how they roared for the toreador one moment and for the bull the next. It was success they wanted, success more than anything. In Ethics, he wrote:
  • Illustration: Divine Perspective

    The man was taking it easy, lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds. He was identifying shapes when he decided to talk to God.
  • Illustration: Cleansing from Sin

    In a recent edition of the Daily Hope with Rick Warren email newsletter, Jon Walker writes: “Jasmine is my beautiful and tenderhearted dog (cockapoo). She knows it is wrong to go near an old barn that’s on the edge of my property, but she saw a black cat run behind it and took off for a playful chase.
  • Illustration: Resurrection

    It was Easter Sunday and the pastor gathered the children at the front of the church to ask them about the meaning of Easter. The pastor was disappointed as he listened to the first response: "Easter is the day the Easter Bunny comes and kids look for hidden eggs and eat chocolate."
  • Illustration: Mirror, Reflection

    The first mirrors were made from highly polished metals such as copper or brass. Since the 1600s, mirrors have been made from plate glass with a backing of silver covered by coatings of copper, lacquer, and paint. Mirrors do not transmit light, but reflect it.
  • Illustration: Stewardship, Trust

    In his book The Cycle of Victorious Giving (Beacon Hill Press), Stan Toler tells about the time when he was a college student and attended the annual missions conference at his church.
  • Illustration: Preaching

    One Sunday morning right after the worship service had ended, the pastor went and sat down with his wife. She asked him how he thought the service went.
  • Illustration: Second Coming

    Given the recent interest in Harold Camping’s mistaken predictions of a May 21, 2011, rapture, here are some thoughts from David Jeremiah in his Jan. 2, 2011, Turning Point Daily Devotional:
  • Illustration: Teachers

    Being interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said: "Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, fill their every waking moment with a love for learning; and I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse; and even censor their T-shirt messages and dress habits."
  • Illustration: Salvation, Transformation

    Back in the 50s, there was a well-known radio host/comedian/song writer in Hollywood named Stuart Hamblen who was noted for his drinking, womanizing, partying, etc.
  • Illustration: Sin

    Mike Shannon
    In 1876, a highly touted plant made its American debut at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
  • Illustration: Identity

    Mike Shannon
    Maximus Julias Pauson was not given a name at birth and went without one for 19 years. His birth certificate simply said “Baby Boy. Name to Come.”
  • Illustration: Commitment

    Mike Shannon
    Have you ever heard of the disease Encephalitis Lethargica.