Here we have compiled a collection of Biblical and Christian illustrations on the topic of living.
There was a rookie lumberjack who started out determined to chop down more trees than anyone else. He made it his goal to beat his company’s average tree count of fifteen trees a day.
On his very first day, he felled ten trees. He said to himself, “That’s pretty good for my first day.” But on the second day, he chopped down ten again. No progress at all. Then on the third day, he managed only seven! Now he was puzzled, but not discouraged yet. He simply doubled his efforts the next day. Imagine to his surprise when he finished with only five trees down!
Every day it got worse – no matter how hard or often he swung the ax, when each day ended, he had felled fewer trees than the day before. After two weeks of discouragement, the young man approached a grizzled old veteran. “I don’t understand what’s going on. I work hard every day, swinging my ax from dawn to dusk, but I keep doing worse and worse. What can I be doing wrong?”
“Young fella,” the old man replied after a long pause, “I can see them callouses on your hands and bigger muscles in your arms, to prove you been swingin’ your ax. But let me ask you somethin’ – When was the last time you sharpened your ax?”
The Rabbi & the Soapmaker
A rabbi and a soap maker went for a walk together. The soap maker said, “What good is religion? Look at all the trouble and misery of the world! Still there, even after years — thousands of years — of teaching about goodness and truth and peace. Still there, after all the prayers and sermons and teachings. If religion is good and true, why should this be?”
The rabbi said nothing. They continued walking until he noticed a child playing in the gutter.
Then the rabbi said, “Look at that child. You say that soap makes people clean, but see the dirt on that youngster. Of what good is soap? With all the soap in the world, over all these years, the child is still filthy. I wonder how effective soap is, after all!”
The soap maker protested. “But, Rabbi, soap cannot do any good unless it is used!”
A Living Bible
His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. He became a Christian while attending college.
The service has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and, when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!)
By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that, from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit, he is a godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.
The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won’t be alone.
Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.”
The Devil’s Convention
Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can’t gain that experience in Jesus Christ.
This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!” “How shall we do this?” shouted his angels. “Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent un-numbered schemes to occupy their reminds,” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10 – 12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles.
Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.” “Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical, contradicting music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.”
“Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogs, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services, and false hopes. Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and unprepared for the coming week.”
Don’t let them go out in nature to reflect on God’s wonders. Send them to Amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, and movies instead. “And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion.”
“Let them be involved in soul-winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.”
It was quite a convention in the end. And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there. Has the devil been successful at his scheme? You be the judge.
How about this definition of Busy:
Interview With God
I dreamed I had an interview with God.
“Come in,” God said. “So, you would like to interview Me?”
“If you have the time,” I said.
God smiled and said: “My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask me?”
“What surprises you most about mankind?”
God answered: “That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.
That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.
That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived…”
God’s hands took mine and we were silent for while and then I asked… “As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons you want your children to learn?”
God replied with a smile: “To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved.
To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.
To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will stand or fall on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis!
To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.
To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.
To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.
To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.
To learn that money can buy everything but happiness.
To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally different.
To learn that a true friend in someone who knows everything about them…and likes them anyway.
To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves.”
I sat there for awhile enjoying the moment. I thanked Him for his time and for all that He has done for me and my family, and He replied, “Anytime. I’m here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me, and I’ll answer.”
People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Do you have a illustration that you would like to see added to The Jesus Site? Please feel free to submit it to us for our consideration.