Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Demonstrating the Excellencies of Jesus

Every day there are opportunities for each of us to reach out to others to demonstrate the excellencies of Jesus. There are family members, colleagues at work, and strangers that happen to intersect the trajectory of our lives who are waiting to be touched by a [follower of Jesus]. In fact, my recommendation is that you plan to commit one intentional act of [goodness] every day just to stay in shape.

It was six o'clock in the morning, and I had just finished my early run. As I passed the local Starbucks, I decided to stop in and get a couple cups of our favorite lattes and take them home to [my wife], who would be waking up. Since the café had just opened, there was only one other person in line in front of me. But it wasn't your ordinary wait-in-line-for-coffee drill. The guy in front of me was in a tense argument with the clerk. In loud and no uncertain terms, the customer was complaining that all he wanted was the copy of the New York Times that he was holding in one hand while he was waving a fifty-dollar bill in the other. The fight was over the fact that the clerk did not have enough change yet to break the fifty-dollar bill, which made it impossible for him to sell the paper.

It dawned on me that this was an early morning opportunity to commit one intentional act of [goodness] by demonstrating the excellence of the generous spirit of Jesus. So I said to the clerk, "Hey, put the paper on my bill; I'll buy it for him." This immediately defused the tension, and the grateful New York Times guy walked away saying, "Thanks a lot. All I have is yours!" Which evidently did not include the fifty-dollar bill.

To my surprise, when the barista handed me my coffee, he said, "Mister, that was a really nice thing for you to do. This world would be a lot better place to live if more people were like you." What he didn't know was that if he really knew me, he probably wouldn't say that.

His comments caught me totally off guard, and I knew that I could say something at that point that would point the glory upward…but nothing came. So I made some self-deprecating remark and walked out, haunted that I had missed a great opportunity to glorify God. As I was walking down the sidewalk, it came to me. I should have said, "Well, this world would not be a better place if more people were like me. But it would be a better place if more people were like Jesus, because he taught me how to do that."

I turned around to go back and tell him that, only to remember that by the time I left there was a line waiting for coffee. It didn't seem to me that it would be a great idea to break into the line and make a religious speech. My only conclusion was the thought that I was wearing my Moody Bible Institute hat. So I prayed that he would have noticed my hat. That he would always remember that Bible people do things like that, and that the world would be a better place if there were more Bible people around.

Related Sermon Illustrations

New Shoes Pave Way for Bible Study

Because Vance is an African American living in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood, he stands out. But what really sets Vance apart is that he is a servant-hearted father who cares ...

[Read More]

Kindness of One Christian Changes Novelist's Life

In his book The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission, John Dickson reflects on the power of promoting the Gospel through Christian behavior through the story of Tim Winton, Australia's ...

[Read More]