Sermon Illustrations

Clark Cothern, Decision, tells of a personal experience he had had.

“I once invited a friend, Gavin, to help my pastor and me guide 30 lively teens through an all-night "lock-in" at church. Early in the evening Gavin challenged me to a game of table tennis in the fellowship hall. Our game quickly grew into a heated competition, as a small crowd gathered to watch us battle it out.

“With the score tied and only three points to go before the end of the game, Tracy, a {14 year old} eighth-grader, grabbed the ball and tried to play keep-away. My first impulse was irritation. But then a Scripture passage that our group had read that afternoon came streaking across my mind: "Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked" [1 Corinthians 13:4-5, NASB).

I politely asked Tracy to return the ball, and then Gavin and I joked with her until she finally tossed the ball back onto the table. We thanked her and finished the game.

“Hours later, after an evangelistic film, we were pleasantly surprised to see Tracy walking down the aisle with a group of six others to receive Christ as Savior. Later that night, when we gathered for testimonies, Tracy told her story: "I grew up in a...

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