Free Sermon Illustrations

A website by Illustration Exchange

Category: Gospel

An Angel Among Us

Printer Friendly

Topic: Hope
Scripture: Mark 16:15; Isaiah 61:1; 1 Timothy 2:5
Author: Illustration Exchange

Despite owning a home perched atop a high cliff with a scenic ocean view in Sydney, Australia, Don and Moya Ritchie live on a plot of real estate that can best be described as something out of a bad dream. The rocky cliff is known as The Gap–the most notorious suicide destination in the country.

While most people would surely move away, the Ritchies have stayed for almost 50 years, saving an estimated 160 people from taking the leap.

Continue reading

Police Dole Out Gifts Not Tickets

Printer Friendly
Topic: Christmas
Scripture: Isaiah 9:6
Source: “These Drivers Thought They Were Getting Tickets. Instead, Police Gave Them Christmas Gifts” by Kate Abbey-Lambertz, posted HUFFINGTON POST, 12/12/14
Author: Kate Abbey-Lambertz / Illustration Exchange

“Getting pulled over by a police officer can make a good day bad and a bad day worse. Unless, of course, he helps you with your Christmas shopping instead of writing you a ticket,” reports the HUFFINGTON POST:

In a video released Tuesday, the police department in Lowell, Michigan, did just that.* Over two days in November, Officer Scot VanSolkema stopped unsuspecting drivers for minor infractions, like illegally tinted windows, that the department might normally let slide, according to Today.

After he pulled them over, VanSolkema made small talk and sneakily asked drivers what they or their kids wanted for Christmas. Meanwhile, a group of helpers were standing by at a nearby store. As soon as they heard a driver’s Christmas wish, they’d race to find, buy, wrap and deliver it to VanSolkema.

Instead of tickets, the officer handed over gifts, like a new TV and an electric scooter. Drivers had reactions that turned from irritation into confusion before melting into joy, and, in some cases, hugs.

*Click link to source above to view the video.

Application:

Isn’t it sad that those who have been tasked with the job of “keeping the peace” usually evoke such a sense of fear and dread within us? There’s no doubt that those Lowell, Michigan, citizens were convinced that the officer approaching their car was there to drop the hammer and nail them on one infraction or another.

Some of that stems from our own sense of guilt and shame. We’re just sure that we must have done something wrong! And some of it stems from an expectation that those who are charged with keeping the law take some sort of perverted delight in catching us when we break it.

But on this day, all expectations were shattered. It’s important to note that the officer pulled over the drivers for legitimate reasons (illegal tinting or a burned out turn signal). Yet he chose to look right past the driver’s guilt to the driver’s need for those yet unfulfilled gifts on their Christmas lists.

This is exactly the way our gracious God chooses to deal with us each and every day!

While many of us see Him as the great “law keeper” in the sky, just waiting to nail us on one thing or another, the reality is exactly the opposite. He’s the great keeper of the peace Who has Himself already satisfied all the requirements of the Law, so that He can look right past our guilt to our need. And the best part is HE is our gift!

It shatters our expectations. It’s confusing. But let the reality sink in, then just melt into the joy!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

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

Re-engineering The Truth

Printer Friendly
Topic: Truth
Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:3
Source: “How Does Your Gas Gauge Really Work? Why That First Half-Tank Seems To Last Forever” by Terry Shea for AOL Autos, posted Dec 14, 1010
Author: Terry Shea for AOL Autos / Illustration Exchange

Terry Shea, writing for AOL Autos, attempts to dispel the mystery of the ever inaccurate, auto gas gauge:

Have you ever noticed that your gas gauge stays on full for quite a while before the needle even moves, and then it moves faster and faster as it approaches empty? And then when it gets to ‘E’ it sort of stays there for a while until the low warning light comes on …?

It turns out it’s partially your fault that gas gauges work that way.

The engineers calibrate them to do that. Why? Because you, the customer, have told them that’s the way you like it. We spoke with Phil Pierron, an engineer at Ford (his title is actually “Technical Expert for Systems Engineering in Core Fuel Systems), who told us, “Our customers really didn’t want to run out of fuel when they hit ‘E.’ Customers do want some amount of fuel when they get to ‘E.'”

Apparently, consumer surveys indicate that people don’t like seeing the needle depart from “F” right away either …. According to Pierron, “[Customers] want it to stay on full for an amount of time.” This gives them the illusion that they are getting better fuel mileage or at least not immediately burning through that expensive tank of petrol they just bought, even if they quite literally are. …

[And] while customers want there to be a “reserve” of gasoline available when they reach the empty mark … [they] don’t want too much of a reserve. Otherwise, they will complain that their 20-gallon tank only takes 15 gallons when filling up from empty. Apparently, there is a sweet spot where customers are happy to be fooled by their gas gauges, but not too much. We customers sure are a fickle bunch.

The engineer’s job should be to make things more accurate and efficient, but in this case he has to play psychologist to keep customers happy.

What could possibly be more straight forward than a gas gauge? You’d think people would be thrilled to have one that simply provided them with accurate information. Not so in our “have it your way” world.

Application:

Most pastors today can identify with the pressure to accommodate an increasingly fickle clientele.

To suggest that it is challenging in an age of relativism and theological compromise to preach the absolute, uncompromising truths of the Gospel is a gross understatement. Sadly, too many of us have succumbed to the pressure to accommodate the customer. Or put another way, we lie to them!

We present a re-engineered Gospel with no trials to endure, none of the sufferings of Christ to share, no call to humility or sacrifice, and certainly no coming judgment. These pulpits strive for that “sweet spot where customers are happy to be fooled” by their ministers.

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).

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