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The Problems Of The Two-Headed Snake

Worldliness Unreliable Decision Making

Source: preacherpollard.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2018-09-27

Scripture: James 1:7 ; James 4:8

Author: Neal Pollard
4

ILLUSTRATION

A woman in Woodbridge, Virginia, saw a rarity in her front yard: a two-headed copperhead snake. The snake only has one heart and one set of lungs, but each head has its own brain. This leads to multiple problems.

Both heads want to eat, but since eating takes time, the snake is vulnerable to predators for twice as long. Further, each head wants to go its own way. That means they can't respond as quickly when under attack. Even getting water can be precarious, as one head can drag the other down when drinking.

An expert at the Wildlife Center of Virginia said, "Based on the anatomy, it would be better for the right head to eat, but it may be a challenge since the left head appears more dominant" (Dana Hedgpeth, The Washington Post, 9/24/18). Experts also say that these internal conflicts prevent these rare "dual-cephalic" creatures from living very long.

 

APPLICATION

James tells us that the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (1:7), and implies that double-mindedness reflects impurity of heart (4:8). 

Jesus taught, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth" (Matthew 6:24). We must choose to whom we will listen if we are to avoid spiritual peril (Joshua 24:15). 

Paul wrote, "They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:5-6).

We cannot live for the world and the Lord. It is an either/or proposition. Jesus says, "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters" (Luke 11:23). 

Don't let double-mindedness leave you more vulnerable to spiritual attack, steer you the wrong way, or drag you down. Make the right choice to be single-minded in your dedication and devotion to the One true Head of the Church, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22).

What Is Your Trajectory?

Christlikeness Eternity Decision Making

Source: preacherpollard's Blog

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2016-03-29

Scripture: Matthew 7:14 ; Matthew 25:46

Author: Neal Pollard
7

ILLUSTRATION

The New Oxford Online Dictionary defines trajectory as “the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces” (n/p). The term is used of everything from ammunition to astronomy, but in its figurative sense can be used to speak of the law of sowing and reaping or cause and effect.  There appears to be three elements to this definition: the path, the object, and the action of given forces. Apply this to a person’s life and the discussion takes on eternal significance.

APPLICATION

  • The path: Jesus teaches that there are really only two paths to take, “the broad way” and “the narrow way” (Mat. 7:13-14).  Some have given no thought as to which road they are taking. Others convince themselves they are on the narrow way when an honest, objective look reveals it to be the other way. Some change roads, for good or bad. However, we cannot successfully argue that we are not on a path leading somewhere, whether the destination is “destruction” or “life.”
  • The object: Friend, the object (projectile) in this path of trajectory is the individual. It is you and me. We are moving closer to our eternal destination every day. God created a never-dying soul within us (Mat. 25:46; Ec. 12:7). As it was with the rich man and Lazarus (Lk. 16:19-31), we will lift up our eyes in either Abraham’s bosom or in torment. That soul was precious enough to God to pay the highest price to ransom it (John 3:16), but we may choose to give it away by allowing the trajectory of our life to miss the intended target (cf. Mat. 16:26).
  • The action of given forces: We are not helpless regarding this, but force implies pressure, resistance, and influence. The decisions we make, the people we allow to have influence on us, our choices, what we prioritize, and what values we establish become the forces moving us to the destination.  It is seen in our attitudes, words, and actions.

The earlier we figure this out, the sooner we will make it our aim to do everything we can to head in the right direction. We can change paths, but the longer we are aimed at the wrong target, the harder we make it on ourselves to change course. This is true with our finances, our physical health, our occupation, our marriage and family, but nowhere are the stakes as high than as concerns our eternal destiny. Let’s give thought to the trajectory of our lives and be sure that where we are heading is where we really want to go.

Heads It's Murder, Tails It's Manslaughter

Decision Making Wisdom Justice

Source: "Judge Declares Mistrial Over Coin-Toss Verdict" by Reuters, published LA TIMES, April 26, 2000.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-04

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

ILLUSTRATION

Phillip Givens, 28, of Louisville, KY, was on trial for the murder of his girlfriend. Both the defense and prosecution presented their cases, and his fate was now in the hands of the jury.

Deliberations came to a standstill, however, when jury members could not decide whether to find Given guilty of murder or the lesser offense of manslaughter. So they did what any group of law-abiding, responsible adults would do … they tossed a coin. Heads it's murder, tails it's manslaughter.

News of the coin toss was leaked, gossip spread rapidly, and eventually made it to the ear of Jefferson County Circuit Judge Kenneth Conliffe who promptly ordered a new trial.

APPLICATION

Don't leave life's important decisions to chance. Christian author and pastor Kent Crockett suggests the following:

1. Pray for wisdom. God always knows what we need to do, even when we don’t. James 1:5-7 says He will give direction if we will ask in faith.

2. Consider your options. Think through your situation and list every possible option to take. Jesus said to first sit down, which settles down our emotions so we can think clearly. Then calculate the cost, which means to do a background check on the potential situation (see Luke 14:28-32).

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to point you to the right path. Psalm 32:8 says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go. I will counsel you with My eye upon you."

4. Walk in the light you have. Sometimes it's a spotlight while at other times it's a flicker we can barely see. Walk in the light that God provides.

After deciding don't look back and question your decision. Doubting yourself will only cause problems after you have already made the correct decision. (see Luke 9:62) Remember that decisions produce consequences. Good decisions will result in good consequences.

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.

Little Decisions

Decision Making Victory Eternity

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-02-07

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:2

Author: C. S. Lewis/Illustration Exchange
4

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Ten Books Equal Astronomical Possibilities

Opportunity God's Will Decision Making

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-06

Author: Illustration Exchange
9

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Don't Put It On Paper!

Marriage Commitment Decision Making

Contributed By: D. Foy Hutchins | Date Posted: 2013-04-22

Scripture: Genesis 2:24

Author: D. Foy Hutchins
7

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Man Without A Kingdom

Kingdom of God Decision Making Gospel

Contributed By: Travis Morin | Date Posted: 2013-01-31

Scripture: Philippians 3:20

Author: Unknown
12

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Finding God's Will

God's Will Wisdom Decision Making

Contributed By: John Reed | Date Posted: 2012-07-17

Scripture: Proverbs 4:7 ; Luke 7:35

Author: John Reed
3

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Decided to Decide

Decision Making Commitment Discipleship

Contributed By: David Smith | Date Posted: 2012-07-14

Scripture: Joshua 24:15

Author: David Smith
5

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A Walk In Heaven

Testing Decision Making Priorities

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2012-05-24

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:5

Author: Unknown
6

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