Here’s a simple example of why it’s so important to repetitively teach young minds about God’s word: (More …)
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A particular city on America’s west coast has reportedly lost the “holy grail” for earthquake scientists due to…city maintenance.
The “holy grail” was actually a monitored section of an unaligned sidewalk created by a shifting fault-line.
In the eyes of the local scientific community this section of concrete was priceless. In the eyes of the local streets department this section of concrete was a public safety hazard. Neither party was aware of the other’s point-of-view. Hence, thanks to a little construction, the concrete “holy grail” was turned into a common sidewalk.
The scientific community is “mourning” its loss while the city is saying its workers did what its workers were supposed to do.
So whose fault was it? Besides the one underground I mean.
Maybe this quote from the city’s assistant manager will help shed some light. She said, ““We probably would have looked at it differently, or we would have tried to help them document it,” … if scientists want to share information with the city about sites used to monitor seismic activity, “we’d be happy to talk with them” to see whether there’s a way to alert city crews about their geologic significance.”
I have no doubt that the site under consideration was valued by the scientific community, but they failed to speak of its importance to right people. I mean, what’s a maintenance crew to do – read minds?
Here’s the spiritual application: When it comes to evangelism, or going to our brother or sister in Christ due to an offense, or speaking to a loved-one before it’s too late, or giving a good word of encouragement, or whatever else may only be known to our own mind, if we want others to be aware of how important the issue is to us, then we need to speak up. It really is as simple as that.
“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1)
Here’s a great illustration from House to House, Heart to Heart on religious unity and authority by Eddy Gilpin. The article makes a spiritual point and plea by using a historic game of baseball that was played in Cuba in 1999 as an example of two very different teams being able to see things alike because they played by the rules.
For you Twitter users, the story even ends with a chance to tweet this short but poignant question:If two baseball teams can see the need for authority and seeing matters alike, why can’t we in the religious…
#baseball, #denominationalism, #house-to-house, #spiritual-illustrations, #spiritual-unity
I don’t know how true the story actually is but even it’s only used as a simple illustration it does help to get a point across:
“When Queen Victoria was a child, she didn’t know she was in line for the throne of England. Her instructors, trying to prepare her for the future, were frustrated because they couldn’t motivate her. She just didn’t take her studies seriously. Finally, her teachers decided to tell her that one day she would become the queen of England. Upon hearing this, Victoria quietly said, “Then I will be good.” The realization that she had inherited this high calling gave her a sense of responsibility that profoundly affected her conduct from then on.“
And lest one thinks that the story has no spiritual application:
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.” (Philippians 3:12-16)
#responsibility, #spiritual-illustrations, #spiritual-maturity
The other night I told my 4-year-old to pick up the tablet that was on the floor.
She looked at me and said, “That’s not a tablet.”
Was I wrong? Was she right? Not a chance! We just had a little misunderstanding.
You see, when I told her to pick up the tablet I was talking about that thing that consisted of a stack of papers bound together with a spine. You old people know what I’m talking about right? When my daughter heard tablet, well, because of her age and life experience, all she thinks of is an electronic piece of equipment.
The point that I want to make is that many times in life (spiritually speaking), we may take our knowledge and understanding for granted when we mention things like church, baptism, sin, being saved, and what righteousness is all about.
Remember, there are a lot of people out there who think Christ is Jesus’ last name!
This is why I had a teacher tell me one time that, while teaching and preaching, I should never underestimate the ignorance of the listening audience. It’s a lesson worth remembering for all of us.
So the next time you mention a biblical principle to someone and they make a weird look with their face – they may not disagree with you; they just may not understand what you’re talking about.
“So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.” (Acts 8:30-31)
I’ve watched a commercial several times (and perhaps you’ve seen it too) that centers around customers literally cutting their cellphone bills in half with various tools such as a sword, a wood-saw, and other mechanically powered cutters. A couple of the mechanical devices (a chainsaw and a hedge trimmer) caught my attention when I noticed that each of them had a power-cord attached (meaning they were electric) but the commercial had the sound effects of the gasoline powered versions. For those of you who have ever used a gas-powered version of these tools you know they sound nothing like the electric version!
The commercial reminded me of a story from the Old Testament (Genesis 27:18-23) when one individual was deceived because he failed to trust what he heard over what was presented to him through his other senses. Another principle it reminded me of from the New Testament was that we are to walk by faith and not by sight, and faith comes from believing what we hear in the word of God (2 Corinthians 5:7, Romans 10:17).
If you’ve seen the TV commercial, I thought some here might find it useful for a devotional.
Here’s an article that’s going in today’s bulletin at Keltonburg. I’ve heard the illustration before but I think it’s good enough to pass along in case you haven’t. I don’t know the original author or I would pass the credit along but nonetheless the point that’s made about stubbornness remains the same.
You’ll Get Dizzy
A certain man was troubled with dizzy spells, redness in his face and bulging eyes. Every day when he went to his office, he experienced these things. Weekends were not so bad, so he concluded his work was causing his physical discomfort.
He went from one doctor to another and none could tell him what the problem was. He consulted psychiatrists, psychologists and psychics. What was wrong? Why was he constantly suffering from dizzy spells, redness in his face and bulging eyes?
He tried everything, it seemed. Nothing helped. He finally resigned himself to the fact that whatever was causing all this was fatal. It bothered him so much he began to lose weight. He couldn’t sleep at night. He feared he would never overcome this. He became a nervous wreck and his health began to deteriorate. He had lost hope that he would ever recover.
He decided to prepare for the worst. He made out his will, bought a cemetery plot, instructed the preacher what he wanted at his funeral, and even made arrangements with the local undertaker. He was fully convinced of his soon demise. He even decided to buy a new suit of clothes to be buried in.
When he went into the clothing store he was measured for everything. He picked out shoes, socks, coat, and pants. The sales person asked, “What size shirt will you be needing, sir?” “Size 15, please,” he replied. The clerk said, “But, sir, I believe that is a bit small. Let me measure your neck size.” After the measurement, the sales person said, “I’m sorry sir, but your will need a 16 ½, not a size 15.” But the man insisted, “No, I have worn a size 15 for years.”
The sales person tried several times to convince his customer that he needed a 16 ½, but the man would have nothing of it. Finally, the exasperated sales person said, “Well, sir, if you insist, we’ll get out a size 15, but I must warn you, you will have dizzy spells, get red in the face, and your eyes will bulge out.”
Some people are so set in their ways, they will never admit the obvious. Some are so unwilling to change they appear to prefer to remain spiritually without comfort. Long ago, a very wise men wrote:
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkenth unto counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).
I had the opportunity to go to a convention involving the field of my secular work (the GIS field) a couple of days this week. The convention consisted of speakers and workshops and other things such as a chance to talk to vendors, judge maps and to participate in some other area related “games.”
One of the things that I enjoy about these conventions is getting the opportunity to listen to the speakers talk about things that I still need to learn about when it comes to my job, but also listening for points that they make that have big spiritual applications too. Taking “everyday” life and getting spiritual points out of it was a big part of the way that Jesus taught others (things like plows, persistence with judges, fig trees, finding valuables buried in the earth, mustard seeds, etc.) and I believe it can go a long way with the spiritual illustrations that we make today. For example, here are two statements that one speaker made that jumped out at me spiritually speaking:
- Just because the answer is clear does not mean it’s easy
- Just because the destination is clear does not mean it’s close
There were several scriptures that came to mind as I made a note of what the speaker said. His point dealt with the area that revolves around my day job, but his point can’t be missed when it comes to everyone’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ. If we choose to walk with Jesus we’re going to have to walk with determination!
“Go in by the narrow door; for wide is the door and open is the way which goes to destruction, and great numbers go in by it. For narrow is the door and hard the road to life, and only a small number make discovery of it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 – BBE)