Sermon Illustrations

The List

Once upon a time a woman was married to a perfectionist husband. No matter what his wife did for him, it was never enough.

At the beginning of each day, he would make out his list of chores for her to do, and at the end of each day, he would scrutinize it to make sure she had done all that she was supposed to do.

The best compliment she ever received was a disinterested grunt if she finished everything. She grew to hate her husband.

When he died unexpectedly, she was embarrassed to admit to herself that she was relieved.

Within a year of her husband’s death, she met a warm and loving man who was everything her former husband was not.

They fell deeply in love with each other and were married.

Every day they spent together seemed better than the day before.

One afternoon, as she was cleaning out boxes in the attic, a crumpled piece of paper caught her eye. It was one of the old chore lists that her first husband used to make out for her.

In spite of her chagrin, she couldn’t help reading it again.

To her shock and amazement she discovered that, without even thinking about it, she was now doing for her new husband all the things she used to hate to do for her old husband.

Her new husband never once suggested that she do any of these things. But she was doing them anyway-because she loved him.

Do you ever think of the Christian life as nothing more than a list of "thou shalts" and "thou shalt nots"?

That’s not what Jesus intended. In fact, he came to put an end to the long list of laws and regulations that governed Israel for so many years.

He came with a new law, the law of love. He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37).

If you love God, you’ll do the right things-not because you’re afraid of breaking the law, but because you want to do them.


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