Today’s Illustration: Not Everything Is Always So Obvious!

In a recent article titled,

What are signs that electrical work was done by an amateur?

. . .  these pictures were submitted by Kevin Baker, who had 35 years experience as an electrical engineer and is a licensed professional electrician. [1]

. . . . .

Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • discernment
  • advice
  • counsel
  • God’s plan
  • salvation
  • sin
  • temptation
  • miracles
  • God’s will
  • sovereignty
  • purpose
  • meaning
  • all things work together for good
  • the Devil
  • warning
  • danger

. . . . . 

Sermonic Example: There are several distinct ways that one can use illustrative material.

(use whatever you find useful in the above details)

. . . .

There are signs that what you are seeing was not done by a professional, but by an amateur!

The signs that the electrical wiring was done by an amateur are blatantly obvious in these examples — probably even to those with an untrained eye — even to those who are not professionals — especially the last picture!

  • using brass pipe used to bypass the use of a fuse
  • directly taping into a live main power line with a screwed in wire
  • installing an outside electrical outlet upside down
  • securing in place a fused breaker so that it cannot trip
  • and then that rat’s nest of wires

The professional electricians who provided this array of pictures were probably amazed that an electrical fire did not occur at a point in time!

I can assure you that most of us are amateur sinners.  To the eyes of God, our sins look like that rat’s nest of wires — trying to make something work, and only by God’s grace, we didn’t burn down “the whole house.” . . . . .

. . . . .



However, sometimes, the signs that work was done by an amateur are not so obvious.

It looks okay, but to the eye of a professional, the signs that it was done by a layman, non-professional, or an amateur are still clear.  There are certain tell-tale signs that someone did not know and/or follow the profession’s standards, rules, or requirements.

We are told by the Lord to acknowledge Him in all our ways because there are subtle signs that we will not pick up.  It will look okay to us, but it isn’t.  Satan is subtle and does not make it obvious that this is not wise, or good, or healthy, or safe.  The Devil doesn’t have any pictures of his past attempts of temptation, which look obviously dangerous.  To the untrained eye, he makes it look safe — but it’s not.

Therefore, we are told to acknowledge Him in all our ways, and the Lord will direct our paths!


or (an example of the fourth way to use an illustration

In Scripture, there are times when you are not so sure that what was said or done was sinful.  It is unclear whether what was said or done was what the Lord would have approved of or whether it was the Lord directing or the flesh.  The “pictures” are not so obvious, and it is only by examining what actually happened that you are able to discern the biblical lesson being taught in the passage.

We are going to be looking at one of those kinds of passages this morning — where it will take some biblical discernment to see that what was happening was allowed by the Lord, while motivated by the flesh.


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