Free Christian Illustrations
Free Christian illustrations from nature that can be used in sermons and religious education – without charge or obligation.
These illustrations may be downloaded, copied or distributed without permission as long as no cost is charged and source is recognized.

A Natural Production

Christian Illustrations in NatureNature is the greatest production ever seen by audiences everywhere.  It is performed on a universal stage where animals, insects, plants and even we are just a few of the actors.  We should take time out from our busy schedules to appreciate God’s Natural Show - it is being enacted around us 24-7.  No bookings are necessary, good seats are guaranteed and tickets have all been paid for by the Host.

Few things are more pleasing to producers than seeing a full house enjoying their production.  In nature’s ‘living – interactive – play’, God is the Host, Writer, Director, Producer, plus Costume and Set Designer.  During this 'once in OUR lifetime' performance, God is infinitely busy backstage; however, because He created time and space, He still finds time to peep from behind His heavenly curtain to appreciate the audience’s enjoyment of His natural production.
At the closing sunset of each day we, too, should show our appreciation for our Divine Creator’s work with rousing 'mental' applause to acknowledge and glorify His creative genius. (Psalms 86:8, 104:24-26)

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Not a Christian - Yet

Christian ParableA caterpillar is not a butterfly – yet.  Hopefully, given time and the right circumstances, the caterpillar will make the transformation into the beautiful creature it was created to be. 

When saying someone is not a Christian, we often unwittingly label them with a sense of hopeless finality.  Keep in mind that while they live there is hope and never give up on anybody.  Our job is to pray for all in our vicinity, gracefully witnessing as opportunity arises and to always act with Christ-like attitudes – we are not called to ‘write’ people off.  If we behave like a true Christian – witnessing by our actions, negative people (whom we thought were beyond hope) may turn around and start questioning what makes us tick and the Power behind it. 
 Only God can judge if a person’s negative volition has gone past the point of no return.  If a person is still living and has not yet believed in Christ as Saviour, the best way of labelling that person is: ‘not a Christian – YET ’. (Psalm 149:4)

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Free As A Bird

Christian Images in NatureWhile freedom allows you to move freely in any direction, the outcomes sometimes can be quite harsh.  Freedom means you can reap rewards for good decisions but, equally, you are free to make bad decisions and reap the dire consequences.

When we believe in Jesus Christ we are instantly in-Christ (Christians) and become citizens of Heaven (eternal citizenship can never be revoked).  This is the beginning of our spiritual life where there is an enormous degree of freedom.  Which direction we decide to take is up to us - like any true freedom, we are free to succeed and free to fail. 
Like any freedom there is choice: we can use our spiritual freedom to glorify ourselves, or alternatively to glorify God.  We are free to move in any direction.  We can elect to abuse spiritual freedom and gain nothing of eternal worth or we can choose God’s way. He has promised that our decisions will reap rewards one hundred fold in eternity.   Heaven is the true land of opportunity.  We should ask ourselves daily: What am I doing with the spiritual freedom that God has so graciously given us – which Christ paid for completely on the Cross?
Ponder our Lord’s words about His imminent return, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” (Rev 22:12)

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Frog Prince

Frog PrinceA frog is an amphibian.  This word comes from the Greek amphi and bios, meaning double-life. Frogs live and function on land and in the water.  They start their life solely in the water as tadpoles.  When metamorphous begins, the tadpole develops legs, arms and the ability to live and breathe on land.  As the changing tadpole further develops, it spends less time in the water and more time on land. Soon, it loses its earlier characteristics and takes on a completely new form. 

As Christians, we are like the frog and have a double-life.  It begins in the worldly realm and progresses into the spiritual realm.  We start life as a tadpole (unbeliever), completely unable to enter the spiritual realm.  However, when we believe in Jesus Christ a metamorphous takes place - as new Christians we are like tadpoles in their first stages of change.  With weak, worldly legs that distract and hinder us, we spend very little time (if any) in the spiritual realm.  But as we continue to grow, our spiritual legs get stronger and arms begin to form.  We start to lose our tail (old ways) and spiritual lungs begin to function (new ways).
Just as the transformation of frogs is progressive, so, too, are the changes in Christianity.  As we slowly develop, we spend more time in the spiritual realm than in the earthly realm.
Furthermore, when we became Christians we automatically became royalty. We are frog-princes waiting to be kissed.  When we die God gives us that kiss (resurrection) and our metamorphosis is complete.  We will be clumsy frogs no longer but glorious royalty for eternity.

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The Pebble-Mound Mouse

Christian Illustrations in NatureA curious little mouse lives in one of the hottest, driest and most unforgiving areas of Australia; where the reflected heat from the ground can go above sixty degrees; where it may not rain for years on end; and, where the world’s deadliest snakes are its neighbours.  How can this tiny creature possibly survive in such a hostile environment?
The clever pebble-mound mouse uses tiny stones to build a fortress-like home measuring up to nine metres across. The pebbles create natural insulation for his mound.  The more pebbles the mouse uses, the cooler the inside temperature and the greater its protection.  Outside the temperature can be scorching hot with deadly snakes searching for an easy meal, but inside its small fortress, the pebble-mound mouse stays very cool and safe. 

For us, the stress and pressure of life can be unbearable.  However, if we build a fortress around ourselves using the promises of God, stress and worry cannot penetrate our lives and we will remain relaxed, confident and happy. (Psalms 91: 1, 2)

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The Snapping Turtle

Christian Illustrations in NatureA snapping turtle is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world.  A unique characteristic of this rather strange creature is the way it captures its prey – it doesn’t chase, it tempts the prey to come to it.  This cunning turtle lies motionless on the river bed with its mouth wide open.  To entice any passing prey, it wriggles its worm-like appendage on the end of its tongue.  Then when an unwary victim enters its mouth, the turtle’s sharp jaws snap tight.

In life we are all presented with appealing opportunities, but how do we determine which is good or which is bad?  When a door opens suddenly, is it a door that God has opened, or is it the mouth of a snapping turtle complete with wriggling worm to tempt us in?  We live in the Devil’s world and he can entice us with very attractive opportunities which appeal equally to our moral or immoral side.  A fish that thinks it is beyond temptation is usually the easiest to catch.
God has given us two safeguards to keep us protected - His written word and His still small voice.  We should heed both before we advance.  If God’s word says ‘No’ obviously we should not proceed.  If we get a sense that something is not right, no matter how honorable the opportunity seems to be, we should move with caution and prayer (the road to hell is paved with good intentions).  If we rush in, ignoring God’s safeguards, we should not be surprised when everything goes dark with a sudden SNAP. (Genesis 3: 1-6)

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The Right Environment

Bird FeederIf we want to attract birds to our garden, we must make sure we create a friendly environment for them.  So we plant a garden with native trees, hang feeders and place bird baths to encourage them.  By maintaining this environment, one by one, birds will come and soon we will be visited daily by a variety of birds.

We may wonder why so few people come into our lives.  Maybe it is because we don’t have the right ‘environment of soul’.  Wherever Christ went, people gathered around him.  They were attracted to his inner strength, his compassion, honesty and integrity.  We should be imitators of Christ – His characteristics attract people seeking God’s grace.
When we stop being judgmental and develop a Christ-like environment in our soul, it won’t be long before the birds (people seeking grace) begin to visit.  When we have developed a truly graceful attitude, God will bring people into our lives to be refreshed.
However, when we develop this ‘Christ-like grace’ we will soon learn a truth: as a refreshing birdbath and feeder attracts desirable birds, it equally attracts less desirable birds like crows and ravens. Likewise, a graceful soul attracts desirable people but equally frustrating and annoying people.
We will be tempted to scare-off those undesirables only wanting the desirables to make themselves at home. In this way we can subtly become little Pharisees thinking it is good to be graceful but not if it attracts undesirables like ‘tax collectors, adulterers or gentiles’.
Getting grace right is a balancing act. We don’t want to be selective with our grace, withholding it from the unappealing people that are just as hungry for it as the appealing; nor do we want to encourage the ravens to a degree where all the other birds are frightened off.  How do we solve this dilemma, God gives us both grace and wisdom to handle all circumstances if we seek it. (Matthew 5:43-48)

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The Desperate Plant

If a plant is under stress, it doesn’t take long for the signs to show.  First the leaves wither, followed by the branches and then finally, the roots themselves.  Even so, when death seems so near, there is still hope while there is life.  If the plant is given the right amount of water, fertilizer, light and time, small sprouts of life will appear and soon it will prosper again.

Plants are insightful illustrations of people.  When they are under stress, it doesn’t take long for them to show the signs.  Their interest in life – withers.  Caring for themselves and for those around them - dries up.  Eventually, their very roots (soul) become weak with depression.  Death may be just around the corner.  However, while there is life there is still hope.  If someone under such stress is given the right amount of light (intercessory prayer), fertilizer (a loving environment), water and time (encouragement and patients), small sprouts of hope will appear. As God never gives up on us, we should never give up on them. But we must resist the temptation of smothering (over-watering is the quickest way to drown a plant). 
The Bible tells us of God’s concern for those who are overburdened; He wants to take our load from us and be a refuge in times of trouble. Interesting, most of our Biblical heroes suffered depression from time to time.  How many times did God prop up those withered plants so they had a chance to become future great trees, bearing fruit for many hungry souls to feed upon?
If we are to rise from our depression like our Biblical heroes, we must do what they did and stop holding onto our burdens and give them over to God to deal with. (Psalms 9:9,10. 34:18. 43:5.  Matthew 11:28-30)

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Riding a Runaway Horse

Horses come in all shapes and sizes, colours and breeds.  Some horses are gentle and good-natured, while others are wild and unpredictable.  If we wish to ride a horse, we should choose carefully - no matter what their nature, all horses are powerful and can cause great injury - intentionally or not.  Riding a good-natured horse can be a pleasant experience, but we ride the wild ones at our own peril.  Remember, if we are not in control of our horse, the horse will be in control of us.

Human compulsions, like horses, take many forms.  Sometimes our compulsions are good-natured and even beneficial (shopping, television, exercise, eating, work, social life, entertainment and so on), but we must rein them in at the first signs of bolting. 
Some of our compulsions are wild, unpredictable and deadly (prohibited drugs, gambling, illicit sex, criminal activity among them), and God forbids we ride these horses.  If we disobey, it is at our own peril.
The more our compulsions gallop out of control, the harder they are to restrain and soon we’re riding an uncontrollable addiction.  When we are no longer master of our compulsions and stuck on a runaway addiction, it’s only a matter of time before we fall into a deep and dangerous ravine. (Proverbs 29:11)

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Beached Whales

Christian images in NatureAt times we hear about pods of whales beaching themselves.  No one is certain why this happens.   What causes, not just one whale, but often whole pods to strand themselves on a beach?  Even if humans manage to guide them back to sea, the whales often beach themselves inexplicably further up the coast. 

Life is a vast ocean, filled with many dangers and detours.  We are like whales - if we don’t watch where we are heading, we can easily beach ourselves (become discouraged, disillusioned and turn from God).  Our wellbeing depends on whom we follow.  If we follow an idiot, we shouldn’t be surprised when we end up on one of life’s reefs.  Equally, if we put our trust solely in the wise counsel of men, we may also be heading for danger.  If the person we are following (building our spiritual life upon) suddenly hits the beach, most likely we will also run aground.  We should never build our spiritual life around another person - no matter how inspiring, admirable or saintly he or she may seem (cursed is the man who trusts in man… Jeremiah 17: 5).  Yet there remains a dilemma: When lost in life’s ocean, direction is needed.  Fortunately, God has supplied an impeccable leader.  If we keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him, ignoring other calls, we will never run aground (get discouraged, disillusioned or turn from God).  When we pursue Christ, we will constantly be amazed at where He guides us.  

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Playful Kittens

Christian Illustrations in NatureKittens are naturally playful, curious, innocent and trusting, a combination that makes them completely oblivious to life’s many dangers.  Were it not for their ever-watchful mother, they would fall foul of many tragedies.  When their mother senses something is wrong, she calls her kittens to safety, but often they are not interested in heeding their mother’s warning. But when danger becomes more threatening, the mother grabs her kittens by the scruff of the neck and removes them from harm’s way. 

We are all like little kittens – completely oblivious to many of life’s dangers.  Sometimes we become so preoccupied chasing our ‘balls of wool’ (interests in life) we do not heed God’s warnings of imminent danger.  To save us from future threatening situations, God must sometimes forcibly remove us from harm’s way.  This is often accomplished with an unpleasant circumstance.  If we are wise, we will act like the compliant kitten grabbed by the scruff of the neck and go quietly, letting God have His way without struggle or objections.  When circumstances beyond our control suddenly upend our life, we should take comfort in the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows best. (Exodus 14:13, Psalms 46:10)  

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Different Species of Birds

Christian IllustrationGod has created a world with many different species of birds, each with its own distinct colours, characteristics and call.  Through creation, we can learn that God clearly loves variety.  Yet despite this knowledge, we are often guilty of thinking that when we become Christians we should all be white swans.
We should then perhaps ask ourselves how many times God has wanted a Christian eagle that speaks eagle, to witness to the eagles -  a Christian owl that knows the owls’ ways, to bare testimony to the owls – a Christian wren to speak fluently to the wrens?  Unfortunately, if all God’s birds are pretending to be white swans, none of their own species will take them seriously.

Whoever we are, whatever we do, we should do it professionally as unto God.  We should let Him raise us up with the winds of grace so those around will look and wonder how we can glide through life, tranquil and relaxed, filled with compassion and inner strength.  When they question, we shall have the answer in a language and personality they understand.  As Christians, we should stop pretending to be something we are not and realise God made us the way we are for a reason - to be missionaries in our own occupations and recreations. (Genesis 1:25, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

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The Protective Parent

Christian Illustrations in NatureNature is a curious thing.  It seems we’ve all been programmed with a survival instinct - an overwhelming drive to stay alive.  This instinct is in all of God’s creatures.  However, there is another instinctive programme that overrides the survival instinct - it is a parental instinct.  Nature shows us that when young are threatened, both the mother and father will override their own survival instinct and fight to the death to protect them.  What makes an animal, programmed to survive, suddenly forfeit its life so its young may live?  Where did this selfless and loving instinct originate and who is the programmer? 

This loving instinct originates with God and He is the programmer.  “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13
Through Adam, we all sin and are under the penalty of death and judgement.  We must remember, God is perfect, God is law and He must condemn those who transgress the law or He would compromise His perfection.  However, there is another facet of God’s character - He is a Parent and we are His children.  So as a Parent, God has a dilemma - His children are threatened with judgement at death and ironically He must judge them.  Yet the thought of His children suffering is abhorrent to Him - He would die to protect them.  That is why He willingly came to earth as a man (Jesus Christ) and forfeited His life on the cross so we could survive.  As our substitute, He took the punishment from judgment onto Himself so we could have eternal life - evidence of a perfectly loving God.  It now rests with us to accept His sacrifice and the gift of salvation.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten (uniquely born) Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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Unsuspecting Insects

Spider and flyThe spider is a cunning insect.  It spins an almost invisible web across the path of its prey and then patiently waits for unsuspecting insects to pass by.  Then when a bug falls into the web it soon becomes entangled and is at the spider’s mercy.  Now that the insect is caught, the spider will secure it by wrapping it with more webs and, at leisure, sucks the nourishment from it.  

Satan is the biggest spider of all.  He lurks unseen in the background and relies on his many webs of lies and deceit to catch his prey.  Like the spider, he doesn’t usually chase his prey – he waits for it to come to him.  Satan has spun many ingenious and near-invisible webs to entangle us (insects).  Webs that appeal to our pride, our self-righteousness, our lust for power, success, popularity, wealth, fame and so on.  No matter what sort of person we are Satan has spun a web that can catch us. 
Once entangled, we are at his mercy and it’s very hard to break free.  Ever so slowly, we are wrapped in webs of our own addictions.  We become tangled in our lust for power, approbation and gratification – then trapped within the bitterness, jealousy and depression that follow.  Soon we are so entwined the only purpose we can possibly serve is to nourish Satan’s plans.
How do we avoid becoming entangled in Satan’s invisible systems of lies and deceit? We look to God.  He knows the whereabouts of every web spun by Satan.  If we take our lead from our Lord Jesus Christ and choose the paths He walked, Satan’s webs will never entangle us. (2 Corinthians, 2:11, 1 John 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 3:5)

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To Each His Own

Christian EvangelismGod did not create only one plant, with one flower, with one fragrance.  There are many different plants with unique flowers, each with its own colourings, characteristics and distinct fragrances.  Some flowers attract bees, while others attract birds, butterflies, beetles, ants and even mice.  A flower’s fragrance is designed to attract certain creatures to begin the process of pollination.   Plants also flower in their own season. How well they flourish depends on whether they are firmly rooted in rich, watered soil and how much light they receive. 

Plants are rather like teachers of God’s Word.  They have different appearances, colourings and personalities.  Teachers who grow in God’s Word, feed off Christ’s light and speak the Truth without hypocrisy in their own personal style, will bloom in their own season.  Their fragrance will resonate with a certain type of person who is attracted to the Truth presented in a way they understand.  Just like the bee, these people will be pollinated (with the Gospel) and will spread it around when they go out into the world.
God did not create one flower to appeal to all creatures – nor did He create one teacher to appeal to all people.  God has illustrated this in the Twelve Apostles.  Each had their own distinct personality, characteristics, styles and uniquely different fragrances. (Jeremiah 3:15)

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The Busy Robin

Christian serviceA little robin built a nest and laid her eggs.  One day, while the little bird was busy gathering food, a cuckoo came and laid an egg in the robin’s nest.  When she returned, she didn’t question why a new egg had appeared - she was far too busy for that.  When her chicks hatched, she didn’t question why one of her chicks was distinctly different from the others - she had too many jobs to do.  And she did not question why one chick ate three times as much as the others - she just worked three times harder to feed them.
One day, while she was busy at work, the cuckoo chick pushed the other chicks out of the nest.  When the little robin returned, she did not question where her other chicks had gone – no time for that as the cuckoo chick was demanding to be fed.  The cuckoo chick continued to command attention around the clock.  The little robin exhausted herself trying to obey.  Never did she once question why the chick was three times her size, sounded nothing like her and shared none of her characteristics.

Ritual without reality blinds us from the truth.  When doing things, we must always check our motives.  We should continuously test our priorities lest something of no eternal importance starts taking up all our time and energy.  We should guard our beliefs against impostors - otherwise it is easy for Satan to lay an egg in our nest (life) for us to raise.  Christianity is about having a right relationship with God.  If we work on this, everything else will fall naturally into place.  (Luke10: 38-42)

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Fish-Man

Christian ImageA man owned an extravagant aquarium and spared no effort maintaining it properly.  He spent many hours attending all his fish and knew their every characteristic.  Yet, for all his time and effort, it was evident the fish knew nothing of him.  It seemed impossible they could ever get to know him.
Whenever he came close to the aquarium the fish hid in fear.  When he cleaned their tank, his fish fled not understanding cleaning was essential for their future well-being.  Even when he showered them with food, they never showed any acknowledgement to their loving caretaker. 
The man finally realised that if his fish were ever to understand who he was, he would somehow have to become a fish and swim among them.

As ludicrous as the above illustration may sound, this is similar to what God did.  He humbled Himself and took the form of man (Jesus Christ) John 10:30. 
We must understand that the human brain is incapable of comprehending a Being who exists simultaneously in the past, present and future - who knows everything that has, will and may happen - with power to create and destroy the universe and the heavens with a single word.  It would be easier for a fish in a tank to appreciate the man outside, than for mankind to comprehend an all-knowing, all-present and all-powerful God.  
However, God gave us the best illustration of who He is, in a way that our tiny brains can understand, by becoming one of us and walking among us.  So, if we wish to know God, we do so by knowing Jesus Christ.
(God) made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:7-8.

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The Insignificant Snail

Cartoon SnailA snail moves slowly through life leaving a slimy trail in its wake which dissolves within 24 hours. Soon, it is very hard to see any evidence of its passing.  When a snail dies, the only evidence of its past existence is an empty shell.  To us a snail is very insignificant - its existence hardly worth noticing.

No matter what their beliefs most people agree that life is a miracle.  So, is it a random miracle or does our life have meaning and purpose? The Bible declares that God created life, the universe and all scientific laws that govern it. (Genesis 1:1)
On a universal scale, we are even more insignificant than a snail.  We move through life desperately trying to leave a trail that will be remembered, but usually our trail disappears as soon as we pass.  Like the snail, when our life’s journey ends, all we leave behind is an empty shell.
As insignificant as we are, it is truly amazing that God includes us in His plan, (Psalms 8:4).  So we must conclude: If we are not doing God’s will in our lives, all we are creating is a worthless snail trail that will quickly fade away forever.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed by God’s command, so that the visible came forth from the invisible. (Hebrews 11:3). I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. (Ephesians 4:1)

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Spiritual Fire

Christian Nature IllustrationsA fire needs three elements to keep burning: HEAT – OXYGEN – FUEL.  If one of these is missing, the fire will eventually go out.

We have all seen those excitable Christians who proclaim they are ‘on fire’ for the Lord; however, a year later the fire has gone out.  If our spiritual fire is fueled by emotional experiences, we don’t have a spiritual fire; we have spiritual flares that briefly light our darkness but soon burn out leaving us once again in the gloom.
Three elements are required to create a genuine spiritual fire: FAITH – HOPE – LOVE.  We need FAITH (to trust in God) HOPE (for absolute confidence in God) and LOVE (Christ-like love directed towards God and reflected back to all humanity).  These three elements will fuel and flame our spiritual fire so it continues to burn.
To get a fire started we need a spark (all spiritual lives start with a single act of faith in Christ – John 3:16).  When our spiritual fire is alight, the more FUEL (Love for God) we use and the more OXYGEN (Confidence in God) we blow onto it, the greater the resultant HEAT (Faith). 
A genuine spiritual fire is not an emotional high – it is a Christ-like confidence and inner peace that produces compassion and warmth.  This inner glow lights up the world in darkness.  When our spiritual fire is burning, it won’t be long before people step out of their gloom to seek sanctuary and comfort from its warmth. ‘And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13.’

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The Fish

Christian FishThe first letters of the Greek phrase, "Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter (Jesus Christ Son of God Saviour)" spell, ichthys, the Greek word for “fish".   For two thousand years, the fish has been a symbol of Christianity. 
It is interesting to note the fish is an aquatic creature designed for underwater life.  Fish come in all shapes, sizes, colours and characteristics and are a great source of sustenance for many other creatures.  They can lay millions of tiny eggs, most of which end up as food for others.  Thus it appears the main purpose of a fish is to sustain and strengthen other creatures. 

Christians are Heavenly creatures designed for a spiritual life.  We, too, come in all shapes, sizes, colours and personalities.  Christians have many purposes – one of the highest being a source of nourishment to the needy. 
In an intolerant world, we are to be tolerant.  In a world of hatred, we are to love.  In a world of despair, we are to give hope.  Many people will feed from our Christian attributes as, we in turn, feed from the teaching of Jesus Christ. 
Just as fish lay many eggs, we hopefully produce many acts of compassion, love and wisdom to be digested and turned to energy by the hungry souls in our community.  Just like the fish, we are unlikely to see the results of our eggs (spiritual works).  We will never really know who was led to Christ and salvation through our labour, until we reach Heaven. (John 21: 15-17)

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Righteous Violence

Christian Nature IllustrationsA beautiful illustration of parenthood is a female humpback whale tending her calf. Although so great in size, she is always graceful and gentle and never seeks trouble.  Her whole existence is devoted to her helpless offspring - but often trouble comes their way.  A pod of killer whales in search of food will try to separate mother and calf.  The mother responds immediately by warning the killers to keep back.  And if these warning go unheeded, she instinctively defends her calf with an act of violence, bringing down her mighty tail on those who would harm her calf.

People are sometimes shocked that the Bible is filled with wars and violence approved by God.  We live in a brutal world (the Devil’s kingdom) where many blood-thirsty individuals and nations cause harm and havoc.  God desires to deal peacefully with everyone and wishes no-one any harm.  He paid the price at the cross so ALL may have salvation.  However, should a predator threaten those in His care, God is forced to act.  Firstly, He gives a warning and, if they persist, He will lift His mighty ‘hand of judgement’ and send it crashing down.  God does not desire this, but He has made promises to care for His children.  God knows that sometimes the only way to deal with ruthless people and violent nations is to speak in the single language they understand.  God’s violence is not unlawful, but a righteous violence to which any mother forced to protect her child can attest.

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A Disaster Waiting to Happen

An avalanche is caused by a build-up of loose snow, ice and earth set in motion down a hill or mountainside.  Initially, it may be small but, as it gains momentum, it gathers mass to descend with great force, indiscriminately destroying everything in its path. 

Anger is a disaster waiting to happen.  If we let thoughts such as self-absorption, jealousy, hurt pride and feelings of injustice build up, they can be set into motion instantly by angry desire for self-vindication.  When these thoughts are unrestrained, a disastrous chain of events occurs.  Anger soon gathers bitterness, irrationality and blame before sliding into hostility.  As it builds momentum it forms into resentment and hatred.  Before we know it, our anger has turned into an implacable avalanche of retaliation and vengeance.
God has asked that whenever we feel our temper rising we should immediately hand the problem to Him.  He will vindicate us if it is warranted.  We should never let our anger get out of control - it is neither objective nor productive.  It is irrational and destroys all relationships in its path - friend, foe or family.  No wonder the Bible states: ‘Never let the sun set on your anger’.   (Proverbs 29:22.  Ephesians 3:26)

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Weeding the Garden

There were no weeds in the Garden of Eden.  In this beautiful garden, every plant had its purpose and its place.  But when man fell (sinned), Satan became the Head Gardener (ruler of the world).  At that moment, nature was corrupted and weeds began to appear.  They thrived and multiplied and now the world is choked with them. 
Today, if our gardens are not constantly tended, it will not be long before they are taken over by weeds.

Sins are like weeds in the garden of our soul - if they are not pulled out and disposed of, they will soon take over.  We must constantly tend our souls by keeping our sins in check; otherwise, like weeds, they will grow rapidly and spread their seeds - not only in our garden (soul) but in neighbouring gardens (the souls closest to us).  When our soul is choked with sins, it is impossible for new plants (divine good) to sprout, flower and bear fruit. (1 John 1:9)

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The Chopping Block

Christian Nature IllustrationsIf chooks have a good ‘run’ (shelter) and the right food and environment, there is no reason for them ‘not’ to produce eggs.  If a chook has these things and still does not lay, it won’t be long before the farmer brings out the chopping block and replaces it.

When Christians have everything they need (availability of the Word, good teaching and the right environment) they should be producing ‘good works’.  God always gives us a good ‘run’.  He has an individual plan for each of us with many opportunities to spiritually-produce and bring glory to God - simultaneously procuring rewards for eternity.  However, if we have everything necessary but stubbornly live our Christian life always consuming (never producing) it won’t be long before God shows us the chopping block and replaces us.  All those opportunities that would have been ours will be given by God to another.  This is why He sometimes allows us to go through a near-death-experience – only then do many Christians wake up and start producing ‘divine- good’.  (John 15:2)

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Stray Cattle

Stray CattleCattle often break through a fence and stray into bushlands.  They follow each other aimlessly and wander farther and farther down the wrong track.  Once night falls and a ready supply of food is not at hand, these stray animals will probably wish they were back in the safety of their protected fold – but now they are lost.  Unless their owner finds them and guides them back home, they will continue to stray where circumstances lead until ending up in some wild back-country where they may stay for good.

God has promised that if we trust in Him, all our needs will be provided.  Sadly, we are like cattle and often stray from what is best, (it’s in our nature).  Once on the wrong track, it’s natural to chase our fancies and follow other people who have also gone astray.  Predictably, all will become lost.  Our Divine Shepherd will call us back under His protection but, once on the wrong path, sometimes it is easier to keep with the wandering herd than go it alone and turn back. 
If we continually follow the fancies and people of this world instead of following God, we will inevitably end up in a ‘circumstantial-back-country’ where we may remain for the rest of our miserable lives. We should consider: if we plan to stray from God, plan to wander through life without any true meaning, purpose and contentment. (Proverbs 3:5-6. Isaiah 49:10)

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The Wind

WindWind is defined as air set in motion by natural causes.  Since wind is an invisible current, how can we be sure it exists?  We can deduce wind’s existence and presence by how it influences surrounding objects.  We see trees swaying, flags fluttering, clouds moving and so on. We can also feel its force on our skin and hear it when it blows through certain instruments.

We cannot see God, but just because He is not seen doesn’t mean He is not there.  To us, God is an invisible force.  In revealing Himself, He is unpredictable like the wind.  Most of the time, God is like the still air that invisibly surrounds and sustains us.  At other times, He is a gentle breeze that relieves us on a hot day.  Yet, on occasion, He can be a hurricane ripping the roofs off those who shelter in their ignorance and refuse to acknowledge His existence.
God is everywhere (omnipresent) and, like the invisible wind, we can deduce His presence by the way He affects things around Him.   We can witness God’s wonderful design in Creation.  We can see the changes in those people’s lives who have trusted in Him.  We can hear God’s whisper-quiet voice as it blows through our conscience.  Furthermore, just as wind makes a distinct sound when blown through an instrument, God works through the lives of many Christians so His message is clearly heard around the world.  (John 3:8, Psalms 19:1)

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Busy Bees

Busy BeesBees are known for being continuously on the go, tirelessly buzzing from flower to flower collecting pollen for the community hive.  It’s interesting to note that while many people would love to be as ‘free as a bird’, ‘playful as a puppy’ or ‘fierce as a lion’; few want to be as ‘busy as a bee’.

There’s no doubt we can learn many good lessons from bees, yet few of these lessons are about joy and excitement.  A Christian failing is being so busy working for God that there is no time to have a relationship with Him (see Martha & Mary in Luke 10:38-42).
In our eagerness to please God we work stoically, enduring all setbacks and ignoring all pleasures.  In our religious zeal we often neglect those closest to us; alienating our spouse, overlooking our children and disregarding our own needs –  all in the misguided belief that we are doing God’s will.  Like the bee, we accomplish much but are a testimony to no one.
When we grit our teeth and endure for Christ’s sake, God may be glorified; but God is doubly glorified when we relax joyfully in whatever circumstances He places us.  The only way we can achieve this is by concentrating on God and having faith He has all things under control (even when we drop the ball).  When we take time to smell the roses and be amazed by what God is doing, we then start developing the joyful inner-peace promised to Christians.  This happiness is the living testimony to the power of the Christian life and others do notice and want it in their own busy lives. (Psalm 16:11)

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People Handling

Crocodile ManThe animal kingdom has a great variety in behavioural patterns: fierce, gentle, powerful, cute, poisonous and so on.  All animals are not approached or handled in the same manner.  Some are docile while others are wild.  In handling a snake, it is carefully picked up from behind the head.  A horse is not approached from the rear for fear of getting kicked. And zoo vets better know their stuff when handling lions and tigers and bears – oh my!

As Christians we are mandated to approach people with God’s Word.  Like animals, people also come in a variety of personalities and temperaments.  Just as one size does not fit all – the way we successfully approach one person with the Gospel will not necessarily work with another.  Some are as prickly as a porcupine, others stubborn as a mule, others as crafty as a fox, while some are as gentle as a lamb.  We soon learn that if we approach them with the Gospel in the wrong way (or at the wrong time) the response will vary from indifference to outright hostility. 
We should seek God’s wisdom when spreading the Gospel with what to say and when to say it (through the Written Word and prayer).  If in doubt, tarry awhile to allow time for the Holy Spirit to shine His wisdom on the handling of certain people so we can approach them appropriately with the Word. Keep in mind that people can never be forced into the eternal safety of God’s heavenly sanctuary, but many will be guided.

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The Monkey that Presses the Button

ChristianityIn years past, NASA has used monkeys to advance space travel.  Whilst these monkeys were chosen for their special abilities and trained for certain functions, NASA provided the rockets, supplied all the resources and employed a large team of experts to administer its space program.  The monkeys were only required to push certain buttons on cue.

As Christians, we have a fantastic opportunity to play a part in God’s plan.   When we choose to serve Him, our needs are all provided.  God works tirelessly controlling circumstances behind the scenes.  He supplies all the resources and the environment necessary to accomplish our ministries.  He provides the ‘filling of the Spirit’ for guidance, plus a large team of experts (elect angels) to administer numerous unknown requirements and keep us safe. And unlike NASA, God doesn’t make mistakes!
Being orientated to grace means we don’t worry.  We realise we are not capable of achieving anything by ourselves – it is by God’s grace that His plan for our lives is accomplished.  And, no matter how big our individual Christian ministries become, we should always remember we are totally dependent on Him in everything we do.  Even when we manage great things that God intends exactly on cue, the fact is – we are simply the monkey that presses the button. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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Horse Whisperers

Bucked off a HorseThere are many different ways to breaking in a horse.  A way that seems to be very successful is ‘Horse Whispering’ or ‘Natural Horsemanship’.  This is a gentle training method that is often employed to rehabilitate horses that have become vicious and stubborn due to abuse or accident.  Horse whispering emphasises reassurance over punishment.  It develops a rapport with the horse derived from observation and communication.  It rejects abusive training methods, which sometimes obtain faster but less predictable results.

There is many different ways of breaking the Gospel to stubborn loved ones.  We can get on their backs and dig in our spurs, but nine times out of ten we’ll be bucked off.  Being pushy or confrontational usually stops the ‘good news’ message from being accepted. When trying to get loved ones to Christ, we should take a few tips from Horse Whisperers:
Firstly, understand how a horse works and thinks. We should take the time to understand our loved one’s perspective.  What interests and is important to them.
Talk to the horse in gentle soothing tones. Don’t get confrontational – it never helps.
Spend time around the horse. Take an interest in your loved one – build a rapport.
Feed the horse personally. Give loved ones grace and patient wisdom – not judgement.
Listen to the horse.  If someone feels they have been listened too, they are more likely to listen in return.
We should all try horse-whispering techniques on loved ones; at the very least we will have a better relationship with them.  Certainly, these principles take time and a lot of patients, but the results could be ‘eternally’ worth it.

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