fbpx

Sermon Illustrations on Convictions

Background

Disregarding God’s Prohibitions

Some years ago I had a pastoral relationship with a couple of people who were deeply in love with each other. They believed that God wanted them to get married so they could consummate their love. There was a problem with this plan, however, since they were each married to someone else. Their relationship was an adulterous one, something clearly forbidden in Scripture.

Yet, they were truly convinced that God was bringing them together, so they acted on this conviction. Later, after they were married, they confided in me that the pain they had brought upon themselves and their loved ones was so great that, knowing what they knew then, they would not have pursued the course they chose.

Had they taken seriously God’s prohibition of adultery in the first place, they might have spared themselves and their loved ones much hurt. Of course, God’s grace is wide and God’s redemptive ability is immense. Yet, it is wrong to disregard God’s prohibitions of sin because God’s grace is abundant (Romans 6:1-2). If we wish to live our lives as worship to God, and if we desire to live abundantly, then we will receive God’s prohibitions as gracious guidance that point us toward the positives of kingdom living.

Taken from Mark D. Roberts, Life for Leaders, a Devotional Resource of the DePree Leadership Center at Fuller Theological Seminary

Stories

The Elderly Contractor

An elderly master carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. 

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

Source Unknown

John Perkins’ Childrens’ Convictions

I’ll never forget one Sunday in 1964 when a bunch of kids met up together and decided they were going to integrate the movie theater in Mendenhall. This was fairly early on in the integration efforts, but they had a pretty good idea that integrating meant going to jail and getting beaten up. The kids tried to keep it a secret because they knew their parents wouldn’t want them involved.

But word got out, sending numerous parents into a fearful panic. They feared not only for their children’s safety but also for their own livelihoods. People whose kids went to jail for trying to integrate a whites-only facility risked losing their jobs, their insurance, and their homes. I attended the meeting, not to try to talk them out of anything, but to listen.

My eldest children—Spencer, Joanie, Phillip, and Derek—were there. Vera Mae and I wanted the kids to go even though, like the other parents, we were concerned for their safety. We didn’t have to worry about the other threats because we didn’t work for white folks, the bank didn’t have a lien on our house, and our insurance agent was a fairly decent white man.

At the meeting, I listened to the organizer talk to the kids. He told them the truth—they might go to jail, get beaten, or, worst of all, killed. Finally, he said, “It’s time to go.” The way he said those words was as powerful as if he were saying, “Even if no one comes with me, I’m going.”

As I recall, Spencer, who wasn’t more than eleven at the time, was the first to stand and go with him. (Although it may have been Joanie—she was always a rebel.) Derek also was a rebel, and Phillip would do anything Spencer did. All four of my children, along with fourteen others, tried to integrate the theater.

That event was a pivotal moment in my life. I had to make a choice, and that choice revealed a lot about who I am. If my kids are ready to give their lives for the cause, I’m willing to let them do it. Some parents might not have agreed with that decision, but my children understood that some ideals are important enough to risk their lives for. I was proud of them for that stance. The theater owners must have also recognized the determination of these young protesters. When they heard the kids were coming, they closed the theater. Permanently.

John M. Perkins, Dream with Me, Baker Publishing Group.

Pro or Anti-Slavery?

Upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, President Lincoln was purported to have said that it was nice to meet the woman who started the Civil War. Stowe’s father was among the northern evangelical ministers who preached against slavery.

Other preachers from the south penned equally eloquent pro-slavery sermons. The church, like the country, found itself split by the slavery controversy. How could church leaders come to such different conclusions while reading the same Bible? Can we draw lessons from this defining moment in our history, or are we doomed to repeat it?

Matthew Sleeth, Serve God, Save the Planet, Zondervan.

Analogies

The Elderly Contractor

An elderly master carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. 

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

Source Unknown

Humor

The Clever Husband

The drunk husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife.

When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. “You were drunk last night weren’t you!”

“No, honey.” “Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?”

Source unknown

More Resources

Related Themes

Click a topic below to explore more sermon illustrations! 

Beliefs

Faith

Thought/s

Worldview

& Many More