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Hidden Masterpieces

Potential Spiritual Gifts Maturity

Source: MAKING TODAY COUNT FOR ETERNITY by Kent Crocket, p. 163

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-11-10

Scripture: Colossians 4:17 ; James 1:4

Author: Kent Crockett
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ILLUSTRATION

Author Kent Crokett asks, "Are you reaching all of your God-given potential?

Michelangelo attempted to carve forty-four statues during his life, but he finished only fourteen. Although we are familiar with some of his work, such as the statue of David, the thirty that he didn't finish are also intriguing. One is a huge chance of marble from which he sculpted only an elbow. Another shows a leg, thigh, knee, foot, and toes, but the rest of the body is locked inside the marble.

Kent Crockett graduated from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is the senior pastor of the Church of Living Water in Prattville, Alabama. He is the author of The 911 Handbook, Making Today Count for Eternity, and I Once Was Blind but Now I Squint, and has been published in a number of Christian magazines.

APPLICATION

He concludes:

Many of us are like those unfinished statues, never releasing our talents and the abilities to unlock within. Our God-called possibilities lie deep with us, struggling to be liberated."

"Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4).

The Power of a Dream

Dreams Encouragement Potential

Source: THERE'S A LOT MORE TO HEALTH THAN NOT BEING SICK by Bruce Larson, pp. 72-73

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-27

Scripture: Hebrew 6:9

Author: Bruce Larson
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ILLUSTRATION

One of my all-time favorite musical plays is Man of La Mancha," says Bruce Larson:

The story's hero is a crazy old man suffering from what we would now call senile psychosis. The action takes place a hundred years past the age of chivalry and there are no knights anymore. But, thinking he is one, Don Quixote puts on a strange suit of armor and rides forth into the world to battle evil and protect the weak and powerless. He brings along his funny little servant Sancho Panza as his squire. When they arrive at a broken-down old inn used by mule traders, Don Quixote calls the innkeeper the lord of a great castle. The innkeeper tells him he is bonkers. In the inn he meets the most miserable human beings imaginable, a pathetic orphan girl who does the most menial chores and is used sexually by every mule trader passing through. He pronounces this wretched girl the great lady, Dulcinea, and he begs for her handkerchief as a token to take into battle. She reacts with fury.

At the end of the play the old man is close to death and no longer suffering from these delusions. In a moving scene, all the people he renamed appear at his bedside and beg him not to change. His excitement about their future has transformed them and they have become the people that this insane visionary saw in them.

APPLICATION

 "This story moves us," says Larson, "because we recognize the truth of the message. Our dreams and our hopes are powerful motivating forces in the lives of those around us."

"Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don't believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation" (Hebrew 6:9, NLT).

Something WILL Grow There

Fruit of the Spirit Potential Spiritual Growth

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Contributed By: Steve Goodier | Date Posted: 2013-06-18

Scripture: Galatians 5:22

Author: Steve Goodier
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ILLUSTRATION

My Internet friend Father Brian Cavanaugh tells a funny story about growth. He relates an experience that occurred during seminary days in his book More Sower's Seeds: Second Planting. He and two friends thought to plant a small vegetable garden outside their house of studies. It would consist of tomatoes, squash and cucumbers and the only financial investment required was for them to rent a rake, a pickax and a hoe. The urban environment didn’t allow much space for a garden, but they determined that a small, sunny area of the stone-covered dirt parking lot could work well. However, permission would be needed and they feared that getting the superior’s okay might be no easy task.

The three seminarians explained their idea to him. His response was a tilt of the head a pronouncement. “You’re wasting your time. Nothing will grow there.” But he allowed them to go ahead if that was what they wanted to do.

Reluctant permission is still permission and the three young men began work. First they raked stones and outlined the garden. Then they slammed their pickax into hard dirt, turning clumps of earth upside down. What they discovered just a few inches beneath the surface brought smiles to their faces. It was a gardener’s dream: dark, composted, fertile soil, likely the result of a former refuse area. Still grinning broadly, all three looked at one another and said in unison, “Ah, nothing will grow there!”

The garden, though small, turned out to be spectacular. In fact, tomatoes grew so vigorously they were re-staked twice and finally topped off at seven feet tall. Nothing will grow there indeed!

APPLICATION

Don’t believe the words “nothing will grow there.” Especially when assessing your own life. As long as you are alive you can grow and change. You don’t have to stay the way you are. Almost anything you desire can grow within you.

What do you need? Courage for difficult task? Hope and optimism in your despair? Strength or persistence? Faith in something greater than yourself? Rekindled trust in other people?

What is it you need? Deeper understanding? A greater capacity for love? Inner peace or joy? Don’t believe that nothing will grow there. When you assess your own life, consider it with the eye of a gardener. Underneath the surface lies rich, fertile soil waiting to nurture the seeds you sow. Even more than you can imagine will grow there if given a chance.

I like the observation of writer George Eliot, "It's never too late to be who you might have been." You may not always see the potential for growth, but it is there. All the rich compost you need is hidden just beneath the surface.

Plant it. Cultivate it. Tend it. Something WILL grow there – believe it. And it will be magnificent.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).

Plucked Out of the Garbage Pile

Hope Poverty Potential

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-29

Scripture: Matthew 5:3 ; 1 Peter 1:3

Author: TERESA CEROJANO, Associated Press
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Merging Into Greatness

Obstacles Greatness Potential

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-20

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:6

Author: Variously attributed to columnist Dear Abbey, auth
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You Haven't Yet Done Your Best

Stewardship Talents Potential

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-15

Scripture: Matthew 25:14

Author: Carmen Mariano
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2,598,960 Possibilities

Opportunity Potential Stewardship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-06-15

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Born to Manifest God's Glory

Destiny God's Image Potential

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2012-06-09

Scripture: Philippians 2:9

Author: Marianne Williamson
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A Second Look At Resolutions

New Year's Potential Happiness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-27

Scripture: Psalms 103:2

Author: Ellen Goodman
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Don't Be a Six Inch Flea

Fact or Fiction? Potential Legalism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-08-24

Author: Illustration Exchange
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