Sermon Illustrations

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New Year’s Blues

In a Peanuts strip Lucy once grumbled to poor Charlie Brown about the awful New Year she was having. She complained that problems abounded, and she felt that difficulties were around every corner. Then she said, “I don’t think this is a New Year at all—I think we’ve been stuck with a USED year!!!”

The Wisdom of Silence

In one of Aesop’s Fables, a donkey walking through the woods finds the skin of a lion. Hunters had killed the lion and left the skin to dry in the sun. The donkey put on the lion’s skin and was delighted to discover that all the other animals were terrified of him and ran away when he appeared. Rejoicing in his newfound respect, the donkey brayed his happiness—only to give himself away by his voice. The moral of the fable was clear: fine clothes may disguise, but silly words will disclose a fool.

The Wisdom of Humility

Samuel Morse was born into a preacher’s home in New England just two years after George Washington was elected the first president of the United States. After finishing his education at Yale, he went to England to hone his painting skill. Upon his return to America he was recognized as a gifted artist and was soon in much demand. Morse’s first wife died while he was away from home painting in Washington, D.C. He did not receive the news until it was too late.

Thirsting for God

In 2011 an eighty-four-year-old man named Henry Morello was driving north of Phoenix, Arizona, when he realized he was heading the wrong direction. When he tried to turn around he got stuck in a ditch. Unable to walk to the main road to get help, he spent five days trapped in his car. To stay alive he took a rock and cracked open the wiper fluid container in his car and drank the fluid. He even read his car manual in its entirety to pass the time. After he was rescued, doctors were amazed to find him in such good condition.

A Tuned Ear

When a mother has a sick child, it is marvelous how quick her ears become while attending it. Good woman, we wonder she does not fall asleep. If you hired a nurse, it is ten to one she would. But the dear child in the middle of the night does not need to cry for water, or even speak; there is a little quick breathing—who will hear it? No one would except the mother; but her ears are quick, for they are in her child’s heart. Even so, if there is a heart in the world that longs for the things of God, God’s ear is already in that poor sinner’s heart.

Unaware of His Possessions

William Randolph Hearst was a very wealthy newspaper publisher who had an incredible collection of art. The Hearst mansion in northern California is a testament to his insatiable desire for artistic treasures. On one occasion he learned of some artwork he was determined to obtain. He sent his agent abroad to search for the treasure. After months of investigating, the agent reported that the treasure had been found. To further sweeten the find, Hearst learned that the relic wouldn’t cost him a dime. He already owned it.

Desire for Wealth Grows With It

How rich is rich? According to a survey of people who ought to know, the answer is $1 million to $5 million in assets. Investment managers Neuberger & Bergman sponsored the survey of people who stand to give or receive inheritances (median household assets: $500,000). Paradoxically, 55% of those whose assets ranged from $1 million to $5 million don’t consider themselves wealthy.

Source: U.S.A. Today, November 11, 1991
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College

Patrick Henry's Desire

The last paragraph of Patrick Henry’s will says, “I have now disposed of all my property for my family; there is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. If they had this, and I had not given them one shilling, they would be rich, and if they have not that, and I had given them all the world, they would be poor.”

Christ Bought Our Salvation

Elizabeth Keckley was a slave in Missouri before the Civil War. Her greatest desire was to purchase freedom for herself and her son. Her owner agreed that if she could raise $1,200 she could gain her freedom. Keckley worked as a seamstress and came up with a plan to go to New York City and work there to raise the money, but her owner feared that she would not return.

The Fastest Man Alive

It took less than ten seconds for Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt to cover the one hundred meter distance on the Olympic track and win the gold medal in London. Those few seconds cemented his status as the “fastest man alive” and placed him on the winner’s podium once again. But the race was not won in those seconds—it was won by hours and hours of practice, workouts, weightlifting, special diet, and coaching.

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