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Cooperating With The Miracle of Metamorphosis

Transformation Salvation Futility

Source: SEVEN WONDERS OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD by Bill Hybels, p. 96

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Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2015-01-01

Author: Bill Hybels / Larry Lewis
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ILLUSTRATION

Bill Hybels relates the story of a poor, lowly caterpillar named Harry who longs to become a butterfly. The caterpillar whole heartedly commits himself to the prospect. He tries and tries, but in the end meets with no success. 
 
“It is hopeless. I am a brown, boring, branch-crawling caterpillar, and that’s my destiny. Woe is me.”
 
You’d be tempted to say to the caterpillar, “Look, friend, all the commitment in the world won’t change you into a butterfly. But if you cooperate with the miracle of metamorphosis, you can become a multicolored, aeronautical phenomenon!” …
 
If you’re like our imaginary friend Harry, considering Christianity but hanging back because deep down you know you can’t measure up to the standards, you know yourself well. What you need to understand is the old cart and horse principle, spiritually speaking.
 
Most people think they have to change their ways, straighten out their lives, clean up their acts. They believe they have to transform themselves before they can become Christians. They try and fail … again and again. It’s an exercise in futility. … 
 
Trust your life to Christ … He performs the miracle of salvation—that spiritual metamorphosis that infuses into our lives the power for total transformation. …
 
Bill Hybels is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., and chairman of the board for the Willow Creek Association. The bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Too Busy Not to Pray and Becoming a Contagious Christian, Hybels is known worldwide as an expert in training Christian leaders to transform individuals and their communities through the local church. Hybels received a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Deerfield, Ill.

APPLICATION

When I was a child, I distinctly remember hearing the scientific lesson of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly and finding it too incredible to believe. It just didn’t seem possible. 
 
The same is true in the spiritual sense for so many of us. We just can’t believe it’s true.
 
“Are you a caterpillar tired of trying?" Hybels asks. Why don’t you stop “trying” and start cooperating with the miracle of metamorphosis, and you too can become a multi-colored aeronautical phenomenon!”
 
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
 
Larry Lewis

Running from God

God's Judgment God's Omnipresence Futility

Source: The Good Clean Funnies List

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: John Angst | Date Posted: 2013-09-23

Scripture: Psalms 139:7

Author: Unknown
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ILLUSTRATION

In most of the United States there is a policy of checking on any stalled vehicle on the highway when temperatures drop to single digits or below. About 3:00 am one very cold morning, Montana State Trooper Allan Nixon responded to a call about a car that was off the shoulder of the road outside Great Falls, Montana.  He located the car, stuck in deep snow but with the engine still running.

Pulling in behind the car with his emergency lights on, the trooper walked to the driver's door to find an older man passed out behind the wheel with a nearly empty vodka bottle on the seat beside him. The driver woke up when the trooper tapped on the window. Seeing the rotating lights in his rearview mirror, and the state trooper standing next to his car, the man panicked. He jerked the gearshift into "drive" and hit the gas.  

The car's speedometer was showing 20, 30, 40, and then 50 MPH, but it was still stuck in the snow, wheels spinning. The trooper having a sense of humor, began running in place next to the speeding (but stationary) car. The driver totally freaked out, thinking the trooper was actually keeping up with him. This went on for another 30 seconds before the trooper yelled, "PULL OVER!"  The man nodded, turned his wheel, and stopped the engine.  Needless to say, the man from North Dakota was arrested and is probably still shaking his head over the state trooper in Montana who could run 50 miles per hour. 

APPLICATION

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?" (Psalm 139:7).

The Myth of Sisyphus

Futility Meaning of Life Reward

Source: "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-08

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:58

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Have you ever felt like Sisyphus?

"Like who?!" you ask.

Like Sisyphus, the mythological king who's lust for life caused him to try to trick the gods by cheating death. The gods responded to this treachery by sentencing him to Hades, condemning him to endlessly roll a huge bolder up a hill, only to have it roll down again.

Students of ancient Greek mythology, philosophy and psychology have for centuries studied this tragic character, searching for insight into the human condition. The famed existentialist writer, Albert Camus, had this to say about Sisyphus' odd lot in life (or should we say "death"):

"The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor. … Sisyphus' scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which his whole being was exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth."

APPLICATION

Surely we can all relate to Sisyphus to some degree or another. Without the right perspective, life can feel like "futile and hopeless labor"--endlessly rolling a giant boulder up a hill, only to have it roll right back down again. The lesson seems to be that we can't subvert the purposes of the God's and hope to be productive. That is the condition of all who "scorn" God, who fail to face their own mortality, who are enslaved to the "passions" of this world. Futility is indeed the "price that must be paid for the passions of this world."

But those who love God, who see death as the gateway to everlasting life, who's passions are for the Lord, will find satisfaction in all their labors.

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

A Life of No Consequence

Futility Death Legacy

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-08-06

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:14

Author: Mark Twain
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Pursing Happiness

Happiness Futility Obedience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-04-30

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 2:26

Author: Benjamin Franklin
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Digge De Ditch

Work Futility Purpose

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-18

Scripture: Colossians 3:24

Author: Illustration Exchange
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An Exercise of Futility

Faithfulness Futility Motivation

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2011-12-30

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:15

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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Christ Our Captain

Victory Jesus, Messiah Jesus, Savior

Contributed By: Shane Waldron | Date Posted: 2020-05-07

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:22 ; Romans 5:19

Author: Shane Waldron
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Win or Lose

Success Christlikeness Selfless

Contributed By: Charles Schuyler | Date Posted: 2020-02-01

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; Philippians 2:5

Author: Carlos Arribas
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The Town That Banned Death

Death Sin Nature Victory

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-04-25

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:54

Author: Illustration Exchange
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