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    SELF-WORTH

    Perhaps no composer has captured the musical heart and soul of America as did Irving Berlin. In addition to familiar favorites such as "God Bless America" and "Easter Parade," he wrote, "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas," which still ranks as the all-time best-selling musical score. In an interview for the San Diego Union, Don Freemand asked Berlin, "Is there any question you've never been asked that you would like someone to ask you?" "Well, yes, there is one," he replied. "'What do you think of the many songs you've written that didn't become hits?' My reply would be that I still think they are wonderful."

    God, too, has an unshakable delight in what -- and whom -- he has made. He thinks each of his children is wonderful, and whether they're a "hit" in the eyes of others or not, he will always think they're wonderful.

    Jim Adams from Buenos Aires, Argentina, quoted in Leadership, Summer 1993, p. 60.


    The greatest obstacle to being handicapped--or challenged, or disabled or whatever label we may be using this year--is not the condition but the stigma society still associates with it. The truth is we are valuable because of who we are, not because of how we look or what we accomplish. And that applies to all of us, the disabled and the temporarily able-bodied alike. I'm convinced God didn't turn His back at the moment of Jeff's conception. He is still the God of miracles, but in this instance, the one who received healing was me. Our Lord is still in the business of changing lives, but not always in the ways we expect. Several years ago, Jeff played in a special Little League for kids with disabilities. After many seasons of watching from the bleachers and rooting while his big brother played ball, Jeff's opportunity finally arrived. When he received his uniform, he couldn't wait to get home to put it on.

    When he raced out from his bedroom, fully suited up, he announced to me, "Mom, now I'm a real boy!" Though his words pushed my heart to my throat, I assured him he had always been a "real boy."

    Carlene Mattson, Focus on the Family, April, 1993, p. 13.


    John Quincy Adams held more important offices than anyone else in the history of the U.S. He served with distinction as president, senator, congressman, minister to major European powers, and participated in various capacities in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and events leading to the Civil War. Yet, at age 70, with much of that behind him, he wrote, "My whole life has been a succession of disappointments. I can scarcely recollect a single instance of success in anything that I ever undertook."

    Charles Sell, Unfinished Business, Multnomah, 1989, p. 233.


    Charles Leber, a Presbyterian missionary, was in Westphalia, Germany at a clinic for handicapped children. A wealthy businessman came to tour the facilities and said to the doctor, "These are very pathetic children. What ratio of cures do you get? How many go back to normal life?"
    "About 1 in 100."
    "1 in 100! It's not worth it."
    "Yes it is. If that one was your child it would be worth it."

    Bruce Larson, commentary on Luke, p. 78.


    People who matter are most aware that everyone else does too.

    Malcolm S. Forbes, The sayings of Chairman Malcolm.


    An American tourist in Paris, who purchased an inexpensive amber necklace in a trinket ship, was shocked when he had to pay quite a high duty on it to clear customs in New York. This aroused his curiosity, so he had it appraised. After looking at the object under a magnifying glass, the jeweler said, "I'll give you $25,000 for it." Greatly surprised, the man decided to have another expert examine it. When he did, he was offered $10,000 more. "What do you see that's so valuable about this old necklace?" asked the astonished man. "Look through this glass," replied the jeweler. There before his eyes was an inscription: "From Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine." The value of the necklace came from its identification with a famous person.

    Unknown.