Sermon Illustrations

Thomas a Kempis wrote: Jesus today has many who love his heavenly kingdom, but few who carry his cross; many who yearn for comfort, few who long for distress.

Plenty of people he finds to share his banquet, few to share his fast.

Everyone desires to take part in his rejoicing, but few are willing to suffer anything for his sake.

There are many that follow Jesus as far as the breaking of bread, few as far as drinking the cup of suffering; many that revere his morality, few that follow him in the indignity of his cross; many that love Jesus as long as nothing runs counter to them; many that praise and bless him, as long as they receive comfort from him; but should Jesus hide from them and leave them for a while, they fall into complaining or become deeply depressed.

Those who love Jesus for his own sake, not for the sake of their own comfort, bless him in times of trouble and heartache as much as when they are full of consolation.

(The Imitation of Christ, Book 2 Chapter 36)