Sermon Illustrations

There is a story of a frontier settlement in the West whose people were engaged in the lumbering business. The town wanted a church, so they built one and called a minister. The preacher was well received until one day he happened to see some of his parishioners clawing onto the bank some logs that had been floating down the river from another village upstream.

Each log was marked with the owner’s stamp on one end. To his great distress the pastor saw his members pulling in the logs and sawing off the end where the telltale stamp appeared. The next Sunday he prepared a forceful sermon on the text “Thou shalt not steal.” At the close of the service, his people lined up and congratulated him: “Wonderful message, mighty fine preaching.”

However, as the preacher watched the river that week, he saw his parishioners continuing to steal logs. This bothered him a great deal. So he went home and worked on a sermon for the following week. The topic was “Thou shalt not cut off the end of thy neighbor’s logs.” When he got through, the church membership ran him out of town.

The hardest person to put under the correction of God’s Word is yourself.