Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Tim Keller: Christ's Love as Only a Concept

Many years ago, in my first pastorate, I met with a teenage girl in our congregation. She was about sixteen at the time, and she was discouraged and becoming depressed. I tried to encourage her, but there was a revelatory moment when she said, "Yes, I know Jesus loves me, he saved me, he's going to take me to heaven—but what good is it when no boy at school will even look at me?"

She said she "knew" all these truths about being a Christian, but they were of no comfort to her. The attention (or the lack of it) of a cute boy at school was far more consoling, energizing, and foundational for her joy and self-worth than the love of Christ. Of course this was a perfectly normal response for a teenage girl. Nevertheless it was revealing of how our hearts work. [Jonathan] Edwards would say that she had the opinion that Jesus loved her, but she didn't really know it. Christ's love was an abstract concept while the love of these others was real to her heart.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Being Certain of God's Love

In his book Doubting, author Alister McGrath shared the following story to illustrate how we can know God loves us:

An aunt of mine died some time ago, having lived to be 80 or so. ...
[Read More]

God Knows Us Each by Name

Within its first year, a dolphin develops a unique signature whistle which is the equivalent of its name; it uses this to identify itself to other dolphins. Adults are adept at copying ...

[Read More]