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Illustration results for overcoming evil

Contributed By:
Martin Dale
 
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One man I admire greatly is Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941)

Maximilian Kolbe was a Catholic priest, who was put in a Nazi concentration camp for his faith.

On May 28, 1941, he was transferred to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

During his time there, he would share his meagre rations of food with those around him who were hungry.

Despite the evil in the camp perpetrated against the inmates, Kolbe pleaded with the prisoners to forgive their persecutors and overcome evil with good.

A protestant doctor who treated the patients in Kolbe’s block said that Kolbe would not let himself be treated before any other prisoners in that block.
He sacrificed himself for the other prisoners. The doctor said about Kolbe:
"From my observations, the virtues in the Servant of God were no momentary impulse such as are often found in men, they sprang from a habitual practice, deeply woven into his personality."

One day a man in Kolbe’s block escaped. All of the men from that block were brought out into the hot sun and made to stand there all day with no food or drink.

At the end of the day, the man that had escaped was not found and so Fritsch, the Nazi commandant told the prisoners that ten men would be selected to die in the starvation cell in place of the one that had escaped.
One man, a polish sergeant (Francis Gajowniczek) was one of those selected. He begged to be spared because he was worried that his family would not be able to survive without him.

As he was pleading with the commandant, Maximilian Kolbe silently stepped forward and stood before the commandant.

The commandant turned to him and said asked, "What does this Polish pig want?"

Kolbe pointed to the polish sergeant and said, "I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children."

The commandant stood silent for a moment in disbelief.
He then allowed the sergeant to go back to his place in the ranks and Kolbe took his place in the starvation bunker.

Each day the guards removed the bodies of those who had died.

However instead of the usual sounds of screaming, all they could hear was the sounds of Kolbe and the others in the bunker singing hymns and praying.

When Kolbe couldn’t speak any longer due to hunger and lack of energy, he would whisper his prayers.
After two weeks, the cell had to be cleared out for more prisoners. Only four prisoners were left and Kolbe was one of them.

The guards injected each with a lethal injection and on August 14, 1941, Kolbe paid the ultimate price.
Kolbe viewed others as more important than himself. And in that he was following the Master.

 
Contributed By:
Mark Brunner
 
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“Comeback Kid!” Romans 4:19-25 Key verse(s) 25:“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

Combacks are the things of movies and dreams! Few things cause more instant satisfaction than a comeback. People who overpower a disability or disease–teams that come from behind and triumph–a boxer down in fourteen rounds that pulls a fifteenth round knockout–the politician behind in the polls who pulls out a victory. All of these scenarios represent comebacks that inspire and give us hope that someday we too might overcome a looming obstacle in our own lives. But above these feats there has always been a type of comeback that has impressed me even more than these–the verbal comeback.

Getting behind in a conversation, buried in someone else’s logic and cool reasoning is a maddening thing. You go into the situation confident and come out battered, embarrassed and bested. Although it is a humbling experience, it is also a maddening one to most of us. We long for just that right word, the perfect thought, to pull into the argument and then, when given the opportunity to insert it, we fail because “we just didn’t think of it at the time.” Emotions high, reason, judgement, and thought are pushed aside for the moment. There simply isn’t room when our emotions boil over. We stutter, back-track, even become belligerent in our hopelessness. Then, when all is finished, our logic foiled and the foe strutting away in victory, we think of what we should have said; the comeback that would have fit so perfectly and won the day. Can there be anything more maddening than this?

I have long admired the man who could stay cool and collected when faced with an argument that hit him squarely in the jaw; the type of man who just wouldn’t blink when the situation called for blinking. I remember hearing the story of a young man who had aspirations of become the ambassador to China under President Woodrow Wilson. He was young for the job and had not served in such a high post before. He wrote letter after letter to Wilson describing his qualifications and promoting his abilities. Finally Wilson enlisted his Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, for assistance. He asked Bryan to set up an interview with the young man and put “the situation in order.” Bryan set up the interview at the state department and when the young man arrived, he was ushered to Bryan’s austere yet impressively large office. Not known for his shyness or lack of preparation, Bryan greeted the young man and immediately commenced a one-sided dialogue describing the “utter importance” of the office, interjecting how it was perhaps foolish to take on such a burden without the proper credentials and background. The young man seemed to listen intently to each word Bryan spoke. He took notes throughout and then, when it seemed that the one-sided argument was working, the young man looked Bryan squarely in the eyes and indicated that he had was yet convinced the job was just right for him. Bordering on frustration but still in control, Bryan changed his tactic to a more practical bent. He pushed back his chair, smiled and then leaned forward. “You know young man, in order to receive this appointment and succeed in the position there is one thing that “we” don’t have. “‘We’ don’t speak Chinese, do we?” Unperturbed, the young man smiled and moved his face closer to Bryan and whispered. “I don’t know. Try me. Ask me something in Chinese!”

What a great comeback! Although the young man did not get the job he certainly earned Bryan’s admiration. He went on to serve admirably in the State Department under Bryan. His “comeback” was perfectly conceived and exquisitely timed. But, of all the “Rocky’s” of this life we have known, read about or observed, there is one who excelled far beyond all the rest. That was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Sin lay at our doorstep. The situation was dire. Without a savior we would be consumed by it. Then, from out of nowhere a man appears. He pushes himself between the sin and us and faces off with it. It lunges for him and the fight begins. The struggle is terrific. In fact there has never been another like it before or since. In the end, sin has its way and casts him down. He lays wretched and defeated as he sadly lays within the grave. Where is our Savior we cry? How could such a battle be fought and evil triumph over good? But wait, there is movement there. It may be the fifteenth and final round but there is still hope. He arises now stronger than ever and grabs sin by the throat and throttles it all the while delivering the perfect physical and verbal blows to the foe. Jesus Christ, our hero has won the day. It looked bad for the moment but could there ever have been any doubt? His Father had prepared Him for this day and there would be no denying it. Even the terrible burden of a world of sin was no match for the Son of Righteousness, the eternal “comeback” kid. His comeback, our victory!

 
Contributed By:
Owen Bourgaize
 
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For hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, the Jews had been expecting a deliverer, a messiah, to help them to get rid of foreigners who had invaded their land. About 200 years before Jesus came, a wicked king of Syria, called Antiochus oppressed them. He had forbidden the worship of God and even desecrated the temple in Jerusalem.

But there were some brave Jews who fought against this evil man. They overcome him and were able to clean up the temple but when they came to re-light the temple light there was a problem. There was only enough pure oil for one night, yet by some miracle it continued burning for eight nights. That made such an impression on the Jews that they set aside 8 days each year about this time of the year, as a Festival of Lights, called Hanukkah, to remind

 
Contributed By:
Donnie  Martin
 
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In 1960, Israeli undercover agents orchestrated the daring kidnapping of one of the worst of the Holocaust?s masterminds, Adolf Eichmann. After capturing him in his South American hideout, they transported him to Israel to stand trial.
There, prosecutors called a string of former concentration camp prisoners as witnesses. One was a small haggard man named Yehiel Dinur, who had miraculously escaped death in Auschwitz. On his day to testify, Dinur entered the courtroom and stared at the man in the bulletproof glass booth?the man who had murdered Dinur?s friends, personally executed a number of Jews, and presided over the slaughter of millions more. As the eyes of the two men met?victim and murderous tyrant?the courtroom fell silent, filled with the tension of the confrontation. But no one was prepared for what happened next.
Yehiel Dinur began to shout and sob, collapsing to the floor. Was he overcome by hatred? By the horrifying memories? By the evil incarnate in Eichmann?s face?
No. As he later explained in a riveting 60 Minutes interview, it was because Eichmann was not the demonic personification of evil that Dinur had expected. Rather, he was an ordinary man, just like anyone else. And in that one instant, Dinur came to a stunning realization that sin and evil are the human condition.
?I was afraid about myself,? Dinur said. ?I saw that I am capable to do this?exactly like he.?
Dinur?s remarkable statements caused Mike...

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Contributed By:
Ricki Lee Brooks
 
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Together communication and attitude have potential... either for good or for evil. Here’s what we mean…

It was attitude that took out yet another marriage. They were in their twenties. They were the parents of two beautiful children. He, however, had a miserable problem. She endured it. The problem was alcoholism. It left it’s smell on every facet of their young lives and in every corner of their family.

Their time together became a proving ground for her coping skills. He could not or would not share the load of raising the children or caring for the home. Extended family relationships — what there was left of them — strained under her lonely efforts. Bills mounted. Floor space deteriorated. Access to God through prayer alone stood between her and a breakdown.

Then the impossible happened. Late one night, while watching a television evangelist, he gave his heart to Christ. The old man dropped dead. The new man came alive. His life changed that night.

Within a few days the fog lifted. Once again, he could see clearly. Every new morning erased more of his fuzzy thinking. Each new night he went to bed with vivid memories.

Soon he began to assume responsibility. She was elated. The first six months rushed by like a wind of bliss. It was a second honeymoon.

However...

However, for every inch of responsibility he reassumed, she lost an inch of control. Now that he could think again, he began to inquire about debt. He eagerly paid attention to the children’s school work. He even attended parent-teacher meetings. Making up for lost time, he called the doctor to schedule appointments. He invited in-laws over for weekend cook-outs. He planned their first vacation. He began to manage the checking account.

At first she was delighted. Later she discovered a new problem. While he lived in a state of alcoholic stupor, she lit the fires. She made everything go round. Now she was a partner. Now she needed negotiation skills. This new stage of life pulled her between ecstasy and exasperation. Soon the exasperation dominated the tug-of-war.

She found herself quarreling over issues she once longed to have lifted from her shoulders. He was surprised. She was frustrated. Their honeymoon joy lost ground to interpersonal conflict.

She once thought the removal of alcohol would end their nightmares. He once thought the same thing. She once thought his willingness to help out would create the perfect marriage. He once thought his new found willingness to lead would set his wife upon a pedestal. They were wrong. The removal of alcohol, while a true blessing, paved the way for a new round of learning. All the old skills — her in charge, him in a stupor — were overturned. Their marriage needed serious renegotiation.

With the tables now turned, he sought counsel (like she used to do) and she withdrew into a shell (like he used to do). He began to grow. She began to shrink. Friends, family and their pastor tried to help, but the years had taken their toll. She felt broken. He was dismayed. From her brokenness grew an attitude of defeat. From his dismay grew an attitude of indifference. And from messed up attitudes there grew significant communication breakdowns. Soon they just quit talking to one another. They drifted apart. It was not explosive. Just sad. Sad and needless and wrong.

You see, the relationship between communication and attitude is too close to dissect. Our Lord Jesus once said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:18,19). No wonder so many books, seminars, classes and college courses designed to increase communication fail to produce. When we fail to address the core issue of poor communication — attitude — no amount of technique will overcome the problem.

Ricki Lee Brooks

 
Contributed By:
Rodney Buchanan
 
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LEAVE ROOM FOR GOD TO WORK

There was an amazing story recently that took place during the riots in Egypt. As a backdrop remember that on New Year’s Day of this year there was a suicide bombing of a Christian church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, which killed 23 Christians and wounded 97 others. And another incident took place days later when three men in a car sprayed automatic gunfire into a crowd of churchgoers in the southern Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi, killing at least seven people as they left a midnight service. But in spite of that, something dramatic took place during the Egyptian riots against the government.

Government soldiers and police where everywhere, and many had been killed or beaten. But the time for prayer for Muslims came, and as these Muslims knelt for prayer, with their face to the ground, they were vulnerable and susceptible to attack by government soldiers. Dramatically, Christians began to surround the praying Muslims. They held hands and faced outward in a large circle to protect these men, even though they may have been their enemies and may have inflicted a great deal of harm on them or their fellow Christians. The reporter covering the story posted a picture of the Christians holding hands in a circle on Twitter and stated, "Bear in mind that this picture was taken a month after the Alexandria bombing where many Christians died in vain."

Perhaps there were those among the men praying who cheered the bombing of the church. Perhaps there were even collaborators. But the Christians there did not take justice into their own hands, they left justice to God. They were following the scripture which says, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:19-21

They did not take revenge, but left room for God to work, and by so doing may have done more to stop the cycle of violence than all the legislation and intervention of global powers. They did what Jesus had shown them by example. They were followers of the Lamb.

 
Contributed By:
Ken Pell
 
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THE LION KING: JESUS' CHURCH

Disney's movie "The Lion King" features a young lion named Simba who is destined to rule the jungle but finds himself "on the outs." As the story opens, his father takes him to "Pride Rock" (the equivalent of a throne) and shows him his inheritance ... he would rule as far as his eyes could see; everywhere the sun placed its light.

Soon afterward an evil plot is set afoot and Simba's father is murdered. Simba flees. He runs from his destiny due to guilt and fear. In his absence the evil Hyenas take Pride Rock.

When the hyenas seize the throne the world changes. Their evil alters everything. The land becomes desolate and grey and life erodes into desperation.

Rafiki, the monkey, is the wise sage of the land. Rafiki seeks out Simba and helps Simba overcome his guilt and fear and aids him in understanding his destiny and person. You see, Simba did not fully grasp who he was or what power and authority he possessed.

Once Simba realized who he was, what he possessed, and his role in the society of the Savannah he returned, drove the hyenas Pride Rock, took His place as king, and restored peace and beauty to the land.

The story of pride rock serves as a very powerful parable illustrating chapters 12-14. When evil rules, the land and its inhabitants are devastated; but when the righteousness rules ...

Simba is a good illustration of Jesus' church. Often we, like the young Lion King, fail to recognize our position and inheritance. We fail to grasp that we are "A Kingdom of priests," destined and given a duty that brings peace and restoration.

Rev. 1:6 says, "And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father--to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen."

Rev. 5:10 says, "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

When the evil Hyena rules ... things are bad. When God rules ... things prosper.

Proverbs 14:34 says: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."

 
Contributed By:
Josh McDowell
 
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Before I discovered that my cell phone had a lock screen button I would often accidentally dial the last number in my cell phone’s registry. The biggest problem was that I never realized that it had happened. I would go on with normal life and my cell phone would be on for an extended period of time without my knowing that it was on. When I would discover that it was on… either when I picked it up to make a call or when the person on the other end would hang up, and call me back to laugh at me, I would have this strange fear overcome me. What did I say, when I didn’t know that someone else was listening? Did I gossip? Did I say something evil? Did I make a joke that I would not want the person on the other end to know about? Well that it is how it is with the Holy Spirit all the time! It’s like your cell phone has accidentally called God and you didn’t ...

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Contributed By:
Michael Walther
 
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A CHURCH MOVES ON

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12.21).

A church that was already struggling financially suffered a loss of $5,000 which one of its members had embezzled. This put the church in even greater peril because of its difficulty in meeting financial obligations. The church was torn apart by the scandal. Accusations were flying but nothing could be proved.

Finally, at one of the meetings, a member stood up and offered to make up the loss with a special personal gift. But there was one condition, and that was that the church would give up its search for the culprit, institute better accounting procedures, and strive to go on in the love and life of Christ. He urged that the matter be left into God’s hands knowing that His justice would be delivered either in this world or at the end. But for now the church needed to go on.

As we heard in again in the lesson from Romans, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us" (8:18), sometimes we just need to endure knowing that God will preserve and protect His church at all times. Amen.

 
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Sermon Central Staff
 
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OVERCOMING EVIL WITH GOOD

Stuart Holden (1874-1934), the author of "Prevailing Intercessory Prayer", was in Egypt and met a sergeant in a Highland regiment. "How were you brought to Christ?" he asked this bright Christian.

The sergeant responded: "There was a private in the same company as myself who had been converted in Malta , and I gave him a terrible time. I remember one night in particular when it was very rainy and he came in wet and weary from sentry duty. Yet, as usual, he still got down on his knees before going to bed. My boots were covered in mud and I threw them both at him and hit him twice on the head. He kept kneeling and praying.

The next morning when I woke up I found my boots beautifully cleaned and polished at my bedside. This was his reply to me and it broke my heart. That day I was brought to repentance."

(From a sermon by Ken Pell, A Fruit-Full Marriage: Gentleness (Gentle Love), 9/4/2011)

 
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