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Evangelism Love Mission Witness

The Power of Love and the Rise of Christianity

Many historians believe that central to the rise of Christianity was the simple fact that Christians generously loved each other and their neighbours. They point out that in the ancient world mercy was widely seen as a character defect that ran counter to justice. Justice demanded people get what they deserved and was seen as […]

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Calling Christlikeness Goals Image of God Love Meaning of Life Priorities Purpose Service Suffering

Reflecting Light Into Dark Places

During the Second World War, German paratroopers invaded the island of Crete. When they landed at Maleme, the islanders met them, bearing nothing other than kitchen knives and hay scythes. The consequences of resistance were devastating. The residents of entire villages were lined up and shot. Overlooking the airstrip today is an institute for peace […]

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Growth Love Marriage Relationships Sermon Illustrations

The Velveteen Rabbit

Marjorie William’s children’s story book, The Velveteen Rabbit tells the story of a stuffed toy rabbit given to a young boy as a Christmas present. The velveteen rabbit lives in the nursery with all the other toys, waiting for the day when the boy will choose him as  a playmate. In time, the shy Rabbit befriends the […]

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Discipleship Hypocricy Justice Love Politics Sermon Illustrations

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was Professor of theology at the University of Berlin in Germany in 1930’s. At this time German Christians were divided over Hitler. One group allied themselves with Hitler, they wanted a “pure” German nation. They formed an official German church which supported Hitler and banned Jews from holding official positions in the Church. […]

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Bearing Burdens Care Community Finishing the Race Love Priorities Sermon Illustrations

The Special Olympics

Joni Erickson Tada is the president of JET ministries, a ministry which aims to serve the disabled. She is herself a quadriplegic. A few years ago she was a spectator at the Los Angeles Special Olympics. Her husband Ken was the coordinator for track and field events. Joni was among a large crowd watching the […]

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Care Influence Love Sermon Illustrations

The Fishtank

Once upon a time  two brothers  bought fishtanks. The younger brother’s setup was very simple – a fishbowl with some gravel and weed. The older brother’s was much more elaborate – a larger, enclosed tank with a filter, lighting and much better decoration. The younger brother rarely cleaned his tank. The older brother was vigilant […]

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Love Sermon Illustrations Servanthood Service

An Empty Box?

Mark was an 11 year old orphan who lived with his aunt, a bitter middle aged woman greatly annoyed with the burden of caring for her dead sister’s son. She never failed to remind young Mark, if it hadn’t been for her generosity, he would be a vagrant, homeless waif. Still, with all the scolding […]

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Human Needs Judging Others Love Self Image Sermon Illustrations Understanding Others Welcoming the vulnerable Worth

The Elephant Man

The movie The Elephant Man tells the true story of John Merrick. Merrick was born in the slums of England in 1862, and almost from birth experienced massive rejection due to his grotesque appearance. Merrick suffered abnormalities that resulted in a large and severely misshapen head, loose, rough skin, and twisted arms and legs. His mother loved […]

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Church Compassion Grace Inclusion Judging Others Love Sermon Illustrations Welcoming the vulnerable Wisdom

A Party for a Prostitute

It was one of the most extraordinary birthday parties ever held. Not it wasn’t in a plush ballroom of a grand hotel. No there weren’t famous celebrities, nor anyone rich or powerful. It was held at 3am in a small seedy cafe in Honolulu, the guest of honour was a prostitute, the fellow guests were […]

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Belonging Depending on One Another Discipleship Homosexuality Love Sermon Illustrations

Roger

Tony Campolo tells the sad story from his high school days of how he failed to truly be a Christian. There was a boy in his class named Roger. Roger was gay. Everyone knew and tormented him for it. They heaped verbal and even physical abuse upon him. One day the abuse reached a crescendo. […]

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Courage Forgiveness Grace Inclusion Love Sermon Illustrations

Welcome Mr President

Former US President Richard Nixon is infamous for his place at the center of  the Watergate scandal. He disgraced both the office of the President of the United States and the United States itself in the eyes of the world. When Hubert Humphrey, a former US vice-president died, Nixon attended his funeral. Dignitaries came from […]

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Christlikeness Generosity Love Poor Sermon Illustrations

Oswald Galter and Unconditional Love

Oswald Golter was a missionary in northern China during the 1940’s. After ten years service he was returning home. His ship stopped in India, and while waiting for a boat home he found a group of refugees living in a warehouse on the pier. Unwanted by anyone else the refugees were stranded there. Golter went […]

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Community Conflict Love Sermon Illustrations Servanthood

The Messiah is Among You

There was once an old stone monastery tucked away in the middle of a picturesque forest. For many years people would make the significant detour required to seek out this monastery. The peaceful spirit of the place was healing for the soul. In recent years however fewer and fewer people were making their way to […]

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Care Compassion Eternal Life Eternity Heaven Hope Influence Listening Love Presence Relationships Sermon Illustrations Servanthood

Information Please

A man tells the story about a special friend he made while just a boy. When quite young, Paul’s father had one of the first telephones in their neighbourhood. Paul was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when his mother talked to it. Then Paul discovered that somewhere inside […]

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Bearing Burdens Love Mothers Parenting Sermon Illustrations Servanthood Service

He Aint Heavy

In 1972 a two year old Chinese boy, Hu Jen-chuan, fell from a table and went into a coma. When he woke up after six days he was not able to talk or move. Like any parent, his mother, was terrible distressed. Yet her distress was multiplied by the fact that she could not afford […]

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Cross Love Sermon Illustrations Servanthood

Father Kolbe

Father Maximillian Kolbe was a Polish priest who died in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz during the Second World War. His story is one of inspiring sacrifice. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939 Father Kolbe knew the firary would be seized and sent most of the friars home. With the aid of a few remaining […]

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Christ Cross Love Sacrifice Sermon Illustrations

When Do I Die?

In his book Written In Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. She had a rare blood type which she shared with her little brother. The fact that he had recovered from the same disease two years earlier made the chances of success even greater. The doctor […]

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Care Community Love Sermon Illustrations Service

Bearing Another’s Burden

Albert Schweitzer was one of the most famous missionaries of the modern era. Leaving behind both an academic career (Schweizer had Phds in both theology and physics) and a musical one (Schweizer was also a concert organist) he set up a medical clinic in French Equatorial Africa. He was 85 years old when Andrew Davison […]

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Community Love Sermon Illustrations Service

A Banquet for the Homeless

It’s Christmas 2001. One thousand specially invited guests are seated on coaches transporting them to a secret location. They arrive to a splendidly decorated ballroom, find their seats and sit down to a sumptuous meal prepared by chefs from Sydney’s Regent and ANA hotels: a beautiful salad of prawns and mangos, traditional roast turkey and […]

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Care Love Sermon Illustrations

Are You God’s Wife?

One cold winter’s day a 10-year-old boy was standing barefoot in front of a shoe store,  peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and asked him what he was doing. “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” the boy replied. The lady took him by […]

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Atonement Cross Love Sacrifice Sermon Illustrations

Ahmed Shah

Ahmed Shah was a famous ruler of Afghanistan. The nation had been wracked by conflict among tribal leaders, but Shah brought peace. Legend has it Shah led the people to a secret valley that he had discovered on his travels, a vast plain, bordered on all sides by sheer cliff faces. To protect their new […]

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Church Community Love Sermon Illustrations

A Pilgrim Church

Eminence, a novel by Australian author Morris West, tells the story of Luca Rossini, a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Luca who now serves in the Vatican, live sin the shadow of a terrible experience he suffered as a young priest in Argentina. It was the 1970’s, a time when the military junta that […]

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Forgiveness God as Father Grace Love Sermon Illustrations

A Modern Prodigal

(Note: this is a modern retelling of the parable of the prodigal son. The details are fictional. When using the story adapt the details to your situation – eg city, etc. Also remember to point out at the end that the story is fictional) Jenny grew up in Rankin Park, Newcastle. In her early teenage […]

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Determination Fatherhood God as Father Love Perseverance Video

Derek Redmond Finishes the Race. A Video about Determination and Love

Derek Redmond was favoured to medal in the 400m sprint at the 1092 Olympics. When he tore a hamstring halfway through the race his dream died. But his determination to finish the race, with his father by his side, became the defining moment of the Games. A beautiful story of persevering to finish the race […]

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Determination Fatherhood Love Perseverance Teamwork Video

Dick & Rick Hoyt – A Video of a Father Competing in Endurance Events with his Disabled Son

Dick Hoyt has a severely disabled son, Rick. After discovering his son’s love for athletic events Dick undertook to do them with him. Together they compete in triathalons, with Dick pushing his son in a wheelchair for the run, towing him in the swim and cycling tandem in the ride.

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Community Enmity Love Sermon Illustrations

We Are All Family – A Story About Loving One’s Enemy

CNN television  reporter Peter Arnett was once on assignment in Israel when a bomb exploded. Through a mass of wounded people strode a man carrying a little girl. She had been badly injured by the blast. The man begged Peter to take her to a hospital. As a member of the press he was one […]