Sermon Illustrations

Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a successful peasant farmer who was not satisfied with his lot. He wanted more of everything. One day he received a novel offer. For $1000, he could buy all the land he could walk around in a day. The only catch in the deal was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown.

Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace. By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground. Well into the afternoon he realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point.

He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky, he began to run knowing that if he did not make it back by sundown the opportunity to become a biggest landholder would be lost.

As the sun began to sink below the horizon he came within sight of the finish line. Gasping for breath, his heart pounding, he called upon every bit of strength left in his body and staggered across the line just before the sun disappeared. He immediately collapsed, blood streaming from his mouth. In a few minutes he was dead.

Afterwards, his servants dug a grave. It was not much over six feet (2m) long and three feet (1m) wide. The title of Tolstoy’s story was: How Much Land Does a Man Need?

[Bits and Pieces, November, 1991-http://www.bible.org/illus/g/g-83.htm]

Related Sermon Illustrations

  • There Once Was A Fellow Who, With His Dad, ...  PRO

    Contributed by Philip Harrelson on Dec 28, 2006
    based on 3 ratings
     | 3,097 views

    There once was a fellow who, with his dad, farmed a little piece of land. Several times a year they would load up the old ox-drawn cart with vegetables and go into the nearest city to sell their produce. Except for their name and the patch of ground, father and son had little in common. The old ...read more

  • Ruth Bell Graham, The Wife Of Billy Graham Once ...  PRO

    Contributed by David Ward on Aug 16, 2005
    based on 5 ratings
     | 1,480 views

    Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of Billy Graham once said, “If God answered every prayer of mine, I would ...read more

  • A Young Son's Attempt At Full ...  PRO

    Contributed by Greg Buchner on May 9, 2005
    based on 8 ratings
     | 2,457 views

    A young son’s attempt at full forgiveness…(Illustrations Unlimited) A pastor’s son and his mom had been to a shopping and the boy had not behaved himself. As they were driving home, he could sense her displeasure and said, “When we ask God to forgive us when we are bad. He does, doesn’t he?” His ...read more

  • Transient Forgiveness  PRO

    Contributed by Greg Buchner on May 9, 2005
    based on 10 ratings
     | 3,277 views

    Transient Forgiveness (Illustrations Unlimited) Two little brothers, Harry and James, had finished supper and were playing until bedtime. Somehow, Harry hit James with a stick, and tears and bitter words followed. Charges and accusations were still being exchanged as their mother prepared them ...read more

  • What Does Freedom Mean?

    Contributed by Kenneth Hampton on Jul 6, 2005
     | 2,727 views

    This is a story I came up with- A little girl asked her father what freedom meant. Her dad answered by saying, "Darling, freedom is something you can’t hold with your hands but that people have fought and died to protect. Freedom is something you can’t have without someone shedding their blood, ...read more

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media