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Working Together

Unity Spiritual Gifts Influence

Source: Ministry Toolbox, Sept 5, 2001

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2021-10-28

Scripture: Matthew 18:20 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12

Author: Vance Havner/Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Snowflakes are frail, but if enough of them stick together, they can stop traffic.

APPLICATION

Likewise, by God's design, the lone Christian has little impact on the world.  But when two or three are gathered together, that's when Christ's presence is felt (Matthew 18:20).  When the diverse gifts of the individual members of a local church begin operating cooperatively, that's when impactful ministry takes place (1Corinthians 12:12).  

"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many" (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).

Acting Crabby

Influence Selfishness Encouragement

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-10-19

Scripture: Matthew 5:10 ; Mark 10:29

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Put a bunch of crabs in a bucket and you'll witness an interesting phenomenon.  When one attempts to climb out of the bucket, the other crabs pull him back down. 

Follow the link above to learn more about "Crab Mentality."

APPLICATION

We see this same thing happen whenever a seeker begins to look for a way out of his hopeless life. Those who are in the same "bucket" reach out to pull him back.  Even those who claim to have no interest in spiritual things will suddenly display a vested interest in holding him back.  If there is no God, why should they care? 

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10). 

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life" (Mark 10:29-30). 

Additional Application:

From the blog page "Ridiculously Extraordinary":

"I’ve noticed myself doing this on occasion and it’s upsetting to think about. For example, somebody brings an idea to me and I immediately shoot it down. 'Ehh, I don’t think that will work.' And you know what? It might not. But who am I to shoot someone down?

"I’m supposed to be supportive of my friends, family, and business partners.

"So from now on, if a friend comes to me with an idea, instead of shooting it down if I think maybe it’s not doable I’ll say 'Hmm, I’m not sure I can help, but don’t listen to me. What steps can you take right now to make it happen? And how do you think I can help?'”

"Just think of the possibilities if we all supported those close to us in this way."

Rather, Paul tells us that we should, "Rejoice with those who rejoice" (Romans 12:15). 

Distracted And Delayed By Baggage

Greed Materialism Influence

Source: USA Today

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-05-11

Scripture: Luke 12:15 ; 1 Timothy 6:9

Author: Neal Pollard
6

ILLUSTRATION

On May 7, 2019, in a USA Today article about the crashed Aeroflot plane that killed 41 of the passengers onboard, Bill McGee wrote: “Reports from people on the plane indicate the evacuation may have been slowed by passengers grabbing their bags. Videos show passengers taking their carry-on bags with them as they exited the plane.”

The AFA said in a statement. “We will never know if more lives could have been saved if the bags were left behind."

APPLICATION

In Luke 12:15, Jesus taught, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” The NASB translates the first part of the verse, saying, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed….”

Watching video footage of those passengers making an emergency exit with carry-ons in hand is a rather graphic illustration of Jesus’ point. Unfortunately, we do the same thing when we have the wrong priorities. 

Paul teaches that greed can be a “snare,” plunging men into “ruin and destruction” that pierces them “with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). It’s interesting that Paul’s inspired counsel is to “flee from these things” (v. 11).

Consider that an inordinate focus on material things not only hurts you, it also affects the people that come along behind you. That includes your children, grandchildren, and the other people who are influenced by your example. They see what you value most and what has your greatest attention and affection. 

Let’s be careful not to allow this world to cloud our judgment, making the things of this world seem more important than the souls of others. In reality, the stakes are even higher than an emergency exit from an airplane. 

Remembered

Influence Priorities Legacy

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-05-26

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:10

Author: Dennis Hevesi
7

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The Butterfly Effect

Ministry Faithfulness Influence

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-05-15

Scripture: Matthew 13:32

Author: James Miller
7

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A Passion for Barney

Passion Influence Evangelism

Contributed By: Rob Tucker | Date Posted: 2018-02-20

Scripture: John 1:45 ; John 4:29

Author: Rob Tucker
5

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Whoa, Whoa, Whoa Your Boat!

Influence Gossip Legacy

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2015-08-12

Scripture: Matthew 5:16 ; 1 Timothy 4:12

Author: Neal Pollard
2

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Rock Star Janitor

Ministry Humility Influence

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-19

Scripture: Mark 9:35 ; Matthew 20:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
8

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Tiny (Fake) Nations Convene At Microcon 2015

Kingdom of God Witness Influence

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-13

Scripture: Revelation 5:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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Not All Leaven Is Bad

Heaven Influence God's Power

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-09-16

Scripture: Matthew 13:33

Author: John MacArthur
3

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