Sermon Illustrations


A tradition that Evelyn Knowles has chosen for posterity is to sing to her babies. The very first time she held each of her newborn grandchildren cheek to cheek and heart to heart, they heard their grandmother softly sing-- Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Why? Because she wanted to be certain that they would never remember a time when they hadn't known Jesus.

Growing up in church, Evelyn learned all the songs in the book. In her family of 10, singing church songs was second nature. Sitting on the front porch, riding in the car, or doing dishes "assembly line" style, would more often than not find them bursting into song. Hymns meant little more than an excuse to sing as a child, but how they instructed in adulthood.

Soon Ok Lee grew up in North Korea and devoted herself to its communist party, only to be “rewarded” with 6 years of brutal, inhumane prison life. When she was released and escaped to South Korea, she was aided by a kind, Christian gentleman. She heard him sing songs that were somehow familiar to her, and was puzzled that she knew these songs well enough to sing along. One of those songs was “Amazing Grace.” These hymns were certainly not sung in godless North Korea!

Ah, but a faint and long forgotten memory was triggered—a memory of her own mother singing these very songs when she was a tiny child. So tiny, in fact, that she hadn’t realized they were hymns. But gospel seed had been planted in her wee heart—her mother’s secret way of teaching little Soon Ok Lee of God’s love. Secret, because under their North Korean government, children were taken away from parents who taught them...

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