Sermon Illustrations


The story is told about an Englishman living in Cairo who visited an Arab Chief in Arabia. The Englishman was treated with such kindness and royalty that he invited the Chief to visit him in Cairo, Egypt. He promised to show him the great sights of the city.

The Arab Chief made the journey with his entourage to Cairo. The Englishman arranged for the Arabs to stay in the finest Hotel in Cairo.

The next day, the Englishman went to the hotel to greet his guests and show them the great sights of Cairo. He knocked on the door, but there was no response. He could hear voices in the room, but no one came to the door. The door was unlocked, so he opened the door and quietly slipped into the room. He found the chief and his group huddled together in the bathroom. They were turning the faucet on and off, splashing the water on each other and talking like excited children.

The Englishman said, "Friends, it is time for us to be going to see the great sights of Cairo, the pyramids, the Sphinx, the museums, etc."

The Arab Chief answered, "Sir, we’re not interested in all those sights. As you know, we come from Arabia, where water is as scarce as gold. But here you can turn on this spigot and get all the water you want. As far as we are concerned this is the greatest sight in Cairo!"

On the last day of their visit, the Englishman came to the hotel to tell them goodbye. He knocked on the door, and again there was no response. He quietly slipped into the room and found the Arabs gathered in the bathroom again. He looked in amazement as one man had a pickaxe in his hand and was digging into the wall. Another man was using a wrench on the pipe. The Englishman cried out, "Stop what you’re doing. You’re destroying hotel property."

The Arab Chief calmly said, "Please don’t be angry with us!" We are returning to Arabia and you know how scarce water is in our country. We want to take this water faucet with us so we will have all the water we want."

We can have a multitude of things--creeds, beliefs, doctrines--in our lives, but without Jesus--the Source--our lives will not overflow.

(Source: from a sermon by Ray Ellis, "Steps to an Overflowing Life" 7/13/08,

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