Free Sermon Illustrations

A website by Illustration Exchange

Category: Christlikeness

Overcoming Evil With Good in Charleston, SC

Printer Friendly

Topic: Forgiveness
Scripture: Romans 12:21; 1 Corinthians 13:8, 13; Matthew 5:44-45; 1 Peter 3:9
Source: “Chris Singleton Opens Up About Losing Mother In Charleston Mass Shooting” by Maxwell Strachan, Posted HUFFINGTON POST, 06/19/2015
Author: Illustration Exchange

“Chris Singleton, whose mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, died during the shooting rampage in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday [6/17/15], delivered a powerful message to the world on Thursday evening: No matter how much hate there is in the world, it’s no match for love,” reports the HUFFINGTON POST.

Singleton is a 2nd year baseball player at Charleston Southern University, a faith-based school affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. His coach and teammates stood beside him as he addressed reporters just hours after learning of his mother’s murder. “Love is stronger than hate,” said Singleton. “So if we just love the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be anywhere close to where the love is.”

Continue reading

The Vine

Printer Friendly
Topic: Fruit of the Spirit
Scripture: John 15:5
Author: Thomas Bevers

Have you ever walked into a factory? The noise is usually deafening. You have to wear ear plugs just to avoid bodily harm.

Can you imagine taking a nap near an assembly line? The sounds of air compressors, pistons and other loud machines would make it nearly impossible. It takes a lot of noise to produce a car.

On the contrary, have you ever walked into an orchard? The still, the calm, the birds singing all evoke a great sense of peace and tranquility.

Can you imagine stretching out under the shade of the vines and just resting? It doesn’t take much noise to produce fruit.

Application:

When man produces what he produces, it is accompanied by an over abundance of noise, commotion and little rest. But not so with what God produces.

When Jesus told us He is the vine and we are the branches, He intended us to remember that He is the one doing all the work; He is the one producing the fruit through us.

What does the branch do besides act as a go between? It’s the vine that does all the work! The branch bears fruit by remaining at rest in the vine. Likewise, you and I bear fruit by remaining at rest in Christ.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!

Sacred Melons

Printer Friendly
Topic: Spiritual Growth
Scripture: John 15:1-2, 5
Source: Info Barrel and FASCINATING FACTS by David Louis, p. 56.
Author: Illustration Exchange

In Japan, melons are considered luxurious, even sacred. While a common cantaloupe melon might set you back two or three dollars here in the states, it could easily run upwards of $15 dollars in Japan. Specialty melons sometimes sell for hundreds of dollars a piece. The gift of a meticulously cultivated melon is considered one of great generosity and respect.

Japanese “master” melon growers take tremendous pride in growing only the best melons. To ensure success, they “hand pollinate three flowers and let them get to about the size of a baseball, then select the best one and let only that one grow. The others are chopped up and added to the compost pile.” In this way, a single fruit receives all the nutrients originally meant for the entire plant. The result—a sublimely succulent, “best possible” melon.

Application:

The master melon growers of Japan have learned the secret of growing the “best possible” melon–channeling all of the nutrients to just one selected fruit. They do this to produce something they prize, something they consider sacred.

Likewise, God knows the secret to helping you to become the “best possible” you. As the Master Grower, He seeks to remove everything from your life that might prevent you from receiving the fullest measure of His growth producing love.

Every call to repentance, every warning against sin, every word of caution concerning temptation are all set forth in the Bible to prevent anything from competing with your spiritual growth potential. Once these things are removed, chopped up and added to the compost pile, you are free to receive all the nutrients necessary for God to cultivate something He prizes, something sacred–the “best possible” you!

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more . . . Yes, I (Jesus) am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1-2, 5, NLT).

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!

Why Do Couples Begin To Look Alike?

Printer Friendly
Topic: Christlikeness
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:6-18; Genesis 1:26-27
Source: Live Science
Author: Amber Angelle

“While you may be familiar with the old saying, ‘opposites attract,’ in reality, what the heart wants is someone who resembles its owner – and that resemblance increases, the longer two lovebirds stay together.

“University of Michigan psychologist Robert Zajonc conducted an experiment to test this phenomenon. He analyzed photographs of couples taken when they were newlyweds and photographs of the same couples taken 25 years later.

“The results showed that the couples had grown to look more like each other over time. And, the happier that the couple said they were, the more likely they were to have increased in their physical similarity.”

—Excerpt from “Why Do Couples Start to Look Like Each Other?” by Amber Angelle

 

Application:

The same principle is at work in our relationship with Jesus. Having been created in God’s image, we are supposed to “resemble” Him. Yet sin has distorted that image. Thankfully, God sent Jesus to restore what has been distorted.

Just like couples in a happy, loving relationship—the longer we walk with Him, the more we begin to look like Him.

Are you happily wed to Jesus? Does it show?

“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1, NLT).

 

To Be A Great Dad …

Printer Friendly Topic: Fatherhood
Author: Joan Flood, RD Contributor
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:1
Source: Reader’s Digest, submitted by Illustration Exchange

Reader’s Digest has compiled a list of their favorite Father’s Day stories:

No. 1 on [their] list — literally!

My father was completely lost in the kitchen and never ate unless someone prepared a meal for him. When Mother was ill, however, he volunteered to go to the supermarket for her. She sent him off with a carefully numbered list of seven items.

Dad returned shortly, very proud of himself, and proceeded to unpack the grocery bags. He had one bag of sugar, two dozen eggs, three hams, four boxes of detergent, five boxes of crackers, six eggplants, and seven green peppers.

Application:

Fortunately, a father doesn’t have to be good at everything to be a great dad. He must, however, set an example of godliness.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!

Called To Leave Our Mark

Printer Friendly Topic: God’s Love
Author: Illustration Exchange
Scripture: John 13:35
Source: “One Amazing Thing You Never Noticed In Countless Disney And Pixar Movies: What does ‘A113′ signify and why does it keep popping up everywhere?” by Robyn Wilder, BuzzFeed Staff, published on BuzzFeed.com, retrieved 5/4/14

“A113” … It’s everywhere!

  • It’s Andy’s mom’s license plate number in Toy Story;
  • It’s a door number in Monsters University;
  • It’s the courtroom number in Up;
  • It’s the camera model number in Finding Nemo;
  • It’s on a rat’s ear tag in Ratatouille;
  • And it’s the train number in Cars … to name just a few.

But what does it mean?

“A113” was a classroom number at the California Institute of the Arts. “If it appears in a movie,” reports BuzzFeed, “it means that a CalArts alumnus was involved with the animation.” And it’s not just in animated films. The trademark number even appears in live action films like Hunger Games and Mission Impossible.

Like a digital calling card or a cinematic fingerprint, it’s a message to the public … a CalArts alumnus was here!

Application:

What is your calling card, your fingerprint, your message to the public? How will you communicate to the world that you are an alumnus, a disciple of Christ?

Jesus has a trademark number for you to consider. It’s J1335.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!

Young Heroine Creates a Bridge to Safety

Printer FriendlyTopic: Sacrifice
Scripture: Luke 22:19
Source: “As Sewol crew is scorned, young worker hailed as heroine” by Madison Park and Stella Kim, published CNN, Wed April 23, 2014
Author: Illustration Exchange

In the aftermath of one of the most tragic ferry accidents in recent history, a story of heroism and selfless sacrifice is beginning to take shape. It’s the story of a young woman, Park Jee Young, just 22 years old.

Two years ago, after the death of her father, Park dropped out of college to help support her family. She took a job with a ferry company, and was just recently promoted to serve on the ill-fated Korean ferry, the Sewol, which sank off the coast of South Korea last week (April 16, 2014).

The ferry was carrying 476 people, most of them high school students from the Danwon High School in Ansan City. The students were on a class trip to a nearby resort island. After initial search and rescue attempts, more than 300 of the passengers are either dead or missing and presumed dead.

While nearly half of the ferry’s 22 crew members have been arrested in connection with negligence and dereliction of duty, Park gave her life to save as many passengers as possible. CNN reports:

By witness accounts [she] helped passengers escape and distributed life jackets — one after the other to students — as the stricken ferry began to sink. When she ran out of jackets, she ran to the next floor to grab more. When she was asked why she wasn’t wearing a life jacket, Park said that crew members would be last and that she had to help others first …

Even more amazingly, it was her quick thinking and assessment of the gravity of the situation which led so many to safety.

In an interview with CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield, survivors described the scene and her actions. They recounted how the severe listing of the ship nearly immediately turned walls into floors. Passengers were panicked and disoriented. A large, open door now created a gaping hole in the new “floor,” and it was too wide for passengers to safely step or jump over it. One crew member was lying on the floor nearby, grasping a mic and instructing passengers to stay put, and telling them they would be fine if they just stayed where they were.

Park instinctively knew that staying put was not an option. Witnesses say she grabbed some keys from her fellow crewman and forced the door shut, then locked it to be sure it stayed that way. She then led nearly 50 desperate passengers across it, creating, as one grateful survivor described it, a “bridge to safety.” She was standing right by the exit, he said, yet she refused to save herself, insisting that the needs of the passengers came first.

Alongside the flowers at her memorial is a simple message, “We will always remember your sacrifice.”

Application:

Jesus is our “bridge to safety.” While the whole world was saying stay put and everything will be fine, He realized the gravity of the situation and took action. He knew that staying put in our separation from God was not an option, so He gave His life to close the gap between us and God. Like Park Jee Young, He put himself last in order to save as many as possible.

Just as Park Jee Young’s family “will always remember [her] sacrifice,” we are called to perpetually remember Jesus’ sacrifice each time we gather at the Lord’s Table to observe communion.

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).

(Free Sermon Illustration from Illustration Exchange)

Treated Like A Servant

Author: Gordon McDonald/Illustration Exchange Printer Friendly
Source: various
Contributor: Illustration Exchange

“You can tell whether you are becoming a servant by how you act when people treat you like one.”

[Gordon McDonald, Christian author, speaker, educator]

Application:

We don’t mind the idea of service so long as we have control over how and where we serve and feel that our efforts are recognized and appreciated. Good thing Jesus didn’t serve with these stipulations. He served in humiliation and affliction. He served while being rejected, despised and abused for His efforts. He served because it met our needs, not because it met His.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

(Free Sermon Illustration from Illustration Exchange)