Illustration results for 2 corinthians 13
Even when we come across test questions that seem simple on the surface, we find that they’re often not as simple as we first thought. For instance, the answer to the question, "How long did the Hundred Years War last?’ seems obvious, but the answer is 116 years. When a test asks, "Which country manufactures Panama hats?" the correct answer is Equador. Here’s another: From what animal do we get cat gut? From sheep and horses of course. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November. What was King George IV’s first name? Well, everyone knows it was Albert. Ah yes...many test takers are glad to be out of school...far away from trick questions like that thought up in some teacher’s lounge.
But as far as we try to get from the rigors of the academic life, we find our lives are filled with other kinds of tests. We take driver’s tests, drug tests, polygraph tests, sobriety tests, eye tests, entrance exams. People in law enforcement have to qualify on the shooting range at least four times a year, many of you have to take a test for your chosen profession. Like it or not, tests are a part of life.
But is there a test to determine whether a person is on the right track spiritually?
In the church there is a bond of family, yet room for variety. The devil tries to disrupt unity. To chickens tied at the legs and thrown over a clothesline may be united, but they do not have unity. (Leslie Flynn, Great Church Fights - Swindoll’s Book of Illustrations, p. 599)
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
Buster Pastors: The number of Busters (currently ages 20 to 38) who serve as senior pastors has doubled in just 2 years from 22,000 to 45,000 (nearly 14% of all 324,000 Protestant senior pastors in the U.S.). Buster pastors are more likely to use drama (32% to 21%); show movies, videos, and DVDs (30% to 21%); and tell stories (28% to 13%). They are more likely than Boomers to describe their churches as seeker-driven (45% to 33%) and theologically conservative (93% to 80%), while less likely to depict them as fundamentalist (33% to 40%). Young pastors are also more likely to say their primary ministry skill is leadership, administration, or management (18% of Buster pastors identified one of these skills, compared to 12% of Boomers and 5% of Builders). Young leaders rate themselves poorly when it comes to pastoring, shepherding, and counseling. Both Boomer and Buster pastors see themselves as particularly ineffective at fundraising and evangelism. Just 46% of Buster pastors currently have a seminary degree vs. 62% of Boomers. Young pastors are more likely to affirm children are being influenced by magazines, peers, television (including MTV), and the political domain. Boomers and Builder pastors are more likely to believe the church has significant influence in the lives of children and youth. (Barna Research 2/18/04)
From time to time, lobsters have to leave their shells in order to grow. They need the shell to protect them from being torn apart, yet when they grow, the old shell must be abandoned. If they did not abandon it, the old shell would soon become their prison--and finally their casket.
The tricky part for the lobster is the brief period of time between when the old shell is discarded and the new one is formed. During that terribly vulnerable period, the transition must be scary to the lobster. Currents gleefully cartwheel them from coral to kelp. Hungry schools of fish are ready to make them a part of their food chain. For a while at least, that old shell must look pretty good.
We are not so different from lobsters...
A student was reading an article by a seminary professor. As he read, he did not notice any mistakes. Later, the student copied the article into Word and several misspellings and errors showed up. In the same way, we can think we are living well and doing good spiritually, even those who are "spiritually mature." But we all need others to examine a "spell check" us spiritually.