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Kristen Sejati
A Indonesian Christian E-Forum


Selected Illustrations


The Graduation Gift 

A  young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. 

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angry, he rose his voice to his father and said "with all your money, you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house. 

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. 

When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still gift-wrapped Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matthew.7:11, "And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Him?" As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.

How many times do we miss God's blessings because we can't see past our own desires ???


This is Good

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.

Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!" To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail. About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took them to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened.

"And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, "This is good!" "What do you mean, 'This is good'? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?" "If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you."

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28)

Situations may not always seem pleasant while we are in them, but the promise of God is clear. If we love Him and live our lives according to His precepts, even that which seems to be bleak and hopeless will be turned by God for His glory and our benefit. Hold on, God is faithful! May God bless you this week as you seek His will in every situation.


 

The burning hut

The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.

"How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.
"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.


 

Beauty's True Source

The most jarring TV commercial I have seen last year didn't say a word. It simply shows a series of people who have one thing in common-a nasty injury or scar. There's a cowboy with a huge scar around his eye, and something wrong with the eye itself; a fellow with a bulbous cauliflower ear; another with horribly callused feet. There's no explanation at all, simply the Nike swoosh and "Just Do It."

The ad has been analyzed and criticized widely as being incomprehensible and extreme. But the key to the controversial commercial lies in the background music. Joe Cocker sings, "You are so beautiful .. to me."

To these athletes-the wrestler with the cauliflower ear, the surfer with a shark bite, the bullrider blind in one eye-their injuries are beauty marks. And to their fans, these athletes are beautiful because of their scars. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,"

God's grace is just as jarring and controversial. Our beauty is found not in us, but in him. He looks down at us-injured, blind, and scarred-and sings, "You are so beautiful .. to me."


 

Rust on the Surface

During a tour of a large manufacturing plant, a visitor noticed a man using a fiery torch of high intensity to work on huge slabs of steel. Operating from a blueprint on a nearby table, a pointer traced the pattern and then by a clever system of levers enlarged the design as it was burned into the metal.

There were times, however, when the flame would not make any impression. When this happened, a chemical substance was applied to the resisting patch, and immediately the cutting could be resumed. The worker explained that although the torch was able to go through clean steel 8 inches thick, if it encountered the slightest film of rust on the surface, the flame would not penetrate it. 

The visitor remarked, "It struck me forcefully that this is a picture of the Christian. The Holy Spirit is seeking to produce in us God's perfect design. If the life is unblemished, He is able to continue His efforts; but if we become carnal or backslidden, His work of shaping us is hindered until the area in question has been thoroughly cleansed." (See:  Rom 8:29; Rom 12:2; Heb 12:1; Col 3:10 )


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