Devotional Illustrations

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Every Sheep a Shepherd?

by Pat Finnegan

As we heard in Pastor Joe’s sermon on Sunday, we are all called to be shepherds of God’s sheep. We care for one another. We feed one another both physically and spiritually. We call each other back when we go astray. How does a good shepherd accomplish this when people are so much more complex than sheep? Let’s take a cue from John 10:14-15.

Devotional Illustration – Prayer Without Ceasing

by Pat Finnegan

Martin Luther, a sixteenth-century monk, and a deeply pious man, led Christ’s Church into the Protestant Reformation. The collection of conversations he had with his students, entitled Table Talk, includes this quote about praying with ceasing as we are commanded in scripture. Martin Luther tells us that even the busiest of us can bolster our […]

Devotional Illustration – Prayer

by Pat Finnegan

The twentieth-century lecturer, researcher and writer, Evelyn Underhill, while a noted academic, was also well-known for her personal insights and devotional life. In her book, The Essentials of Mysticism, she encourages us to apply diligence and a single-minded determination to our spiritual growth, specifically in the area of prayer. Ms. Underhill applies the metaphor of […]

Devotional Illustration – The Inner Life

by Pat Finnegan

Sadhu Sundar Singh, in his book, With and Without Christ, tells this parable of a scientist searching for the source of life in the body of a bird. In the story, a logical and scientific approach to understanding such a profound mystery did not serve the scientist well. Here Sundar aptly illustrates that purely physical […]

Devotional Illustration – Humility

by Pat Finnegan

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne had been outcast by the town and forced to wear the scarlet letter “A” on her clothing because of an adulterous affair. Although her reputation seemed ruined forever, a life of kindness and service, over a number of years, had changed the attitudes of her neighbors […]

Devotional Illustration – Distraction

by Pat Finnegan

Andrew Marvell, in this excerpt from his poem A Dialogue between the Soul and the Body, illustrates the struggle of an eternal soul entrapped in mortal flesh. Marvell describes this soul as being overwhelmed by the physical senses, distracted by the otiose thoughts of a carnal mind, and led astray by a deceitful heart. Here […]

Devotional Illustration – Patience

by Pat Finnegan

Grand visions of our own ministry, how we see ourselves serving God, and our own views of what success might look like must give way to will of God for our lives. No amount of self-directed busyness can be as fruitful as being called by and led by our God and King. John Milton, in […]

Devotional Illustration – Surrender

by Pat Finnegan

The Practice of the Presence of God is a collection of letters and conversations attributed to a man we know as Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence, though without any formal education, is noted for his life of contemplation and devotion as well as his ability to turn his earthly labors into time spent in the presence […]

Devotional Illustration – God’s Mercy

by Pat Finnegan

Søren Kierkegaard was a 19th-century Danish theologian and philosopher. He was opposed to the empty rituals and customs of the Church of his day and thought it more important that we have an honest view of ourselves and how we live our lives. In this quote, from the collection The Prayers of Kierkegaard, he asks […]

Devotional Illustration – Witness

by Pat Finnegan

Charles Spurgeon, an English pastor and preacher of the 19th-century, wrote many sermons and books on a myriad of topics. His book Spiritual Revival the Want of the Church, addresses the want (lack) of true and deep revival in the lives of individual Christians as well as in the Church as a whole. In this […]