The story is told of a 10-year-old boy who decided to study Judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.
1. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese Judo master.
2. The boy was doing well, but he couldn't understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.
a. “Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn't I be learning more moves?”
b. “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know,” the Sensei replied.
3. Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.
4. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament.
a. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches.
b. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy used his one move to win the match.
c. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.
d. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced.
e. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched.
f. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the Sensei intervened.
g. “No,” the Sensei insisted, “Let him continue. I assure you, the boy will be fine.”
h. Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: He dropped his guard.
i. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him.
j. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.
5. On the way home, the boy and Sensei reviewed every move in each and every match.
6. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.
a. "Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?"
7. The Sensei answered, “You won for two reasons.
a. “First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of Judo.”
b. “And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left wrist, and you, obviously, don’t have a left wrist.”
C. As hard as it might be for us to understand, here is one of the most important spiritual lessons God can teach us…
1. Our greatest weakness can turn out to be our greatest strength.
2. Our greatest loss can turn out to be our greatest gain.
3. Our greatest suffering can turn out to be our greatest blessing.
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Wade M. Hughes, Sr on Apr 8, 2005
DON’T QUIT! DON’T QUIT! Many years ago I was visiting a lady named Deanna in the resthome, she had a copy of this little poem, I borrowed it and made a copy. I ask you to ponder these words: DON’T QUIT (author unknown) When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re ...read more
Contributed by Martin Kim on Oct 5, 2004
Win Arn, a leading church consultant conducted a survey: He surveyed members of nearly a thousand churches asking the question, “Why does the church exit?? The results? Of the church members surveyed, 89 percent said, “The church’s purpose is to take care of my family’s and my needs.? For many, ...read more
Contributed by Jim Kane on Nov 7, 2004
Several years ago, I read Patrick Morley’s book “Walking with Christ in the Details of Life.” It is a book of meditations that includes one called “Revival: The Gospel of Addition.” In it, he said the following, “The American gospel has evolved into a gospel of addition without subtraction. It is ...read more
Contributed by Troy Borst on Sep 16, 2004
ILLUSTRATION... High Opinion, Our Daily Bread, July 3, 1989 A man who had a high opinion of himself stepped on a coin-operated scale that dispensed a card, giving his weight and comments about his personality. After reading the card, he handed it to his wife and said, “Here, look at this!” She ...read more
Contributed by Greg Buchner on Aug 9, 2004
“Are We Really Who We Say We Are?” It was a typical night on the streets of Lansing. As the bars began to open and the nightlife found its pulse again, the little storefront building, which held The Lansing Street Ministry – The Harvest House, was just beginning its evening ministry. The ...read more
Contributed by Kevin L. Jones on Feb 14, 2015
In a war between nations each side desires complete victory...the last thing that an army wants to do is surrender. Spiritual warfare is different. Before we will ever experience complete and total victory in the Christian life, we must surrender!!!