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An Equal Opportunity To Make God Smile

Stewardship God's Pleasure Faithfulness

Source: MAKING TODAY COUNT FOR ETERNITY by Kent Crockett, pp. 53-56

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-02-12

Scripture: Matthew 25:14 ; Romans 14:12

Author: Kent Crockett / Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Kent Crockett, in his book MAKING TODAY COUNT FOR ETERNITY, shares the story of Kent and Barbara Hughes and their experience with their children one Christmas season. Their daughter Holly had landed the lead role in her school’s Christmas program. It was a challenging role which she performed brilliantly to the applause of both her parents and audience. Their son, who struggled with significant learning disabilities, was given a very minor role—just four lines—in his class’ program.

In the weeks leading up to the programs, the entire family, including the daughter, who had her own script full of lines to learn, had to take every opportunity to help the young boy work on his lines. Tried as he might, he just wasn’t able to memorize his four, short lines.

When the night of the program came, the young lad took a deep breath and delivered his lines without faltering.

With whom were the parents more pleased? The daughter who had many lines and a starring role, or the son who had few lines and a minor part? Obviously, they were equally pleased with the efforts of both their children.

APPLICATION

Crockett goes on the liken this family’s experience with Jesus’ parable of the talents:

Just like the sales in the parable, we must also manage our talents until the master returns. We all have different abilities and responsibilities in life, and one day we will give an account for what we did with them (Romans 14:12).

We don’t all have the same ability—talents and skills.

We don’t all have the same responsibility—duties or obligations.

But we do all have the same accountability—we must all answer to God for how we used our abilities to fulfill our responsibilities. That puts iron on a level playing field.

“How does this truth apply to us today?” he asks. “No matter what our level of ability, we all have the same potential to make God smile.”

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.

Making God Smile

Ministry God's Pleasure Purpose

Source: MAKING TODAY COUNT FOR ETERNITY by Kent Crockett, pp. 19-22

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-02-10

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:10

Author: Kent Crockett
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ILLUSTRATION

A housewife spends 18 hrs of her day cooking and cleaning and changing diapers and kissing boo boos. A business man spends 12 hrs of his commuting to and working for a company in a high pressure job just to be sure he keeps a roof over his family's head. Yet both settle down at the end of the day and say, "Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing anything for God."

This, according to Kent Crockett, raises a critical question, "What makes God smile?" He suggests that most of us have a "sneaking suspicion that God likes our work only if we do it inside a church building."

In answer to the question, he posits, from the average Joe's perspective, a hierarchy of God-pleasers:

  • Missionaries to Africa (big smile)
  • All other missionaries
  • Pastors of large churches
  • Pastors of medium-sized churches (medium smile)
  • Pastors of small churches
  • Elders and deacons
  • Sunday school teachers
  • Successful businesspeople (small smile)
  • People who work at secular jobs
  • Night watchmen, custodians, stay-at-home mothers (no smile)

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

To dispel these misperceptions, Crockett observes:

When Jesus was baptized, a voice from heaven said, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased" (Matthew 3:17). At that time, Jesus was thirty years old, and He hadn't performed a miracle, preached a sermon, or taught a Sunday school class. He had spent most of His life sweeping sawdust in a carpenter's shop. Despite His lack of ministry experience, His Father was pleased with His life. Not just pleased--well pleased. ...

Apparently ministry isn't' the determining factor when it comes to pleasing God. …

What makes God smile: He smiles when His children cheerfully do what He says. … King Solomon wrote, "I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He as made everything appropriate in its time" (Ecclesiastes 3:10-11). …

Make a list of things that make God smile--things that go unnoticed by most people. Post this list on your bathroom mirror as a daily reminder of different ways you can please God throughout the week.

911 - Flower Garden

Death God's Pleasure Rememberance

Source: My visit to Ground Zero

Contributed By: Virginia Santoro | Date Posted: 2011-09-23

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:14

Author: Virginia Santoro
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ILLUSTRATION

Two months after 9/11, I returned to my city for a visit that had been scheduled before the horrific events of  "that day."  I met my cousin and a lifelong friend uptown for breakfast, and then we took the subway downtown together. My friend's law office was directly across the street from one of the towers, and he would be our guide through the morass of destruction. 

As we ascended the stairs from the subway to the street, immediately I smelled a strong aroma that was quite shocking to my senses.  I describe it as heavy and overly sweet - just short of sickly sweet.  Everywhere we went around and directly up to Ground Zero (where the ground was still smoking), the scent was ever present. I asked my friend, my cousin, and many other people on the streets what the smell in the air was from.  No one could give me an answer. 

APPLICATION

Some time after my visit,  I came to recognize that scent again.  I received as a gift a very large, very beautiful bouquet of assorted flowers - very fragrant.  When the bouquet began to die, I was so sad to see them go that I couldn't bring myself to discard them.  I held onto them for longer than I should, and when they had withered so very much that the aroma became very heavy and overly sweet... I recognized the scent again that permeated the air at Ground Zero and its surroundings. 

Recording artist, Brenda Russell, in a song entitled "Who Are You?" has written, "Who are you?  Are you a flower that grows on the hillside - hopelessly lovely and wild as the moon?"  I was reminded that day that we - God's creation - are flowers in His Garden, fragrant, sweet and beautiful in His eyes. The fragrance of His creation dying filled the air in an unforgettable way at Ground Zero that day. 

"Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing" (2 Corinthians 2:15).

God's Pleasure

Spiritual Gifts Fulfillment God's Pleasure

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2010-12-28

Scripture: Romans 12:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Devotional Crumbs

Word of God Bible Faith

Contributed By: Joe Ballard | Date Posted: 2018-07-19

Scripture: Matthew 15:26 ; Job 23:12

Author: Joe Ballard
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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
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Go In Peace?

Poverty Faith Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-04-21

Scripture: James 2:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Don't Be Remembered For The Time You Quit

Endurance Faithfulness Perseverance

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2018-01-30

Scripture: 1 Kings 19:4 ; Job 3:1

Author: Howard Harden
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At A Loss For Words

Prayer Worldliness Communion

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-01-08

Scripture: Matthew 6:8 ; Romans 8:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Lenin Looks Great, But ...

God's Care Praise Apologetics

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-12-14

Scripture: Luke 19:40

Author: Illustration Exchange
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