Sermon Illustrations

Hummingbird War

Jay E. Adams writes that under the roof in his backyard hangs a hummingbird feeder that he keeps filled with sugar water. There are four openings in it from which birds may suck the nectar. Yet, day after day, from early morning until after dusk, the feeder is the source of the birds’ war - one bird chases all the others away.

"As I said," Adams writes, "there is room for four birds at a time, and fully that number attempt to feed. But the stronger one, who now ’owns’ the feeder, will not let them. All day long he sits on the branch of a nearby tree guarding ’his’ feeder and defying others to transgress on what he has established as ’his’ territory.

"This ongoing slice of life confronts us throughout the day as the war rages on – the hummers streak across the yard, the king hummer in hot pursuit of an intruder; and while the chase is on, others sneak a sip or two, only to be driven off when he returns.

This is the lesson we learn: "I bought the feeder; I supply the sugar water. The birds do not earn it; they receive it all by grace. Yet, day after day, they fight over who may enjoy it.

“How like the people...

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