Matthew 7: 21-29

Illustrated New Resources

  • Building on the Rock

    by David Russell
    “Building” is an image we may use to talk about faith. We all know that when it comes to building, the foundation is crucial. Mess up the foundation and you have a real problem. Even before the beautiful bell tower in Pisa, which we know as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, was completed, it was obvious there were problems. The soft, sandy soil wasn’t stable enough, and foundation was too shallow for the height of the tower. They have worked to stabilize it for centuries, most recently by pumping concrete into the ground, but it would have been a whole lot easier to just build a good foundation right from the start. How do we build our foundation of faith? It starts at the beginning...

Other New Resources

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2008 to 2018

  • Be My Rock

    by Phil Bloom
    ("The story is told about a shipwreck. One of the sailors, thrown from boat, flailed about in the water, thinking he would surely drown. As he moved his arms, trying to stay afloat, he felt something solid about a foot below the water level...")
  • Ordinary 9

    from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
    ("So many people seek for the secret to life. I thought of this some time back while watching a documentary about the musical group The Beatles...")
  • The All-Important Foundation

    by John Christianson
    ("I heard once about two fellows who worked together in the same office. Jim was concerned about Bob, because he was a typical Type A workaholic. All work and no play; all drive and no relaxation, total commitment of the worst kind!...")
  • Ordinary 9

    by LeRoy Clementich
    ("Robert Frost wrote many poems that he referred to as 'writings for the common man'. In one such poem entitled The Death of the Hired Man he wrote, 'Home is the place where if you go there, they have to take you in.' Lovely words indeed, but observed more often in the breach than in reality...")
  • Lectionary Resources

    by Sil Galvan
    ("She sits at the bedside of her father as he struggles to breathe some of the last breaths he will ever take. She reaches out, takes his hand and holds it tenderly in hers. As she looks at his aged and weakened hands, she remembers when those hands were younger and stronger and how they would hurt her...")
  • Suggested Hymns

    from Hymnsite
    ("Several years ago I went camping with my son and his scouting group. The tents on this trip were all light weight nylon. They had fiberglass rods that would spring them into shape...")
  • Illustration

    by Martin Kich
    ("Andre Dubus III's novel House of Sand and Fog combines these associations of sand with similar notions about the fog. The underlying, and sometimes surface, suggestions are of a reality that is anything but solid...")
  • Building on Sand

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("There was once an architect. He had spent his career building beautiful houses for very rich people, and though he enjoyed his work and was good at it, gradually he began to envy those he designed for...")
  • Ordinary 9

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("Many years ago, I was working in a Mission Hospital in South America that belonged to the Mercy Sisters. And, while I was there, the hospital was given a lot of money by an American aid organization to build a new wing. So they set the architect to work. And, since they had been given a lot of money, he really went to town. He designed this magnificent three storey building in concrete, steel and glass...)
  • House Dreaming

    by Jan Richardson
    ("When a friend of mine was ready to build a house on the land he had purchased in eastern Kentucky, he sent out a request to some friends. Scott invited us to offer an object, a tangible blessing that he would bury in the ground upon which he would build the house...")
  • What's Holding You Together?

    by Leonard Sweet
    ("One of the hottest YouTube videos the past couple of weeks is one where evangelist Louie Giglio introduces the molecular cellular structure called laminin. Giglio uses laminin to show how we are 'fearfully and wonderfully made'....")
  • Joel O and the Rock

    (Story Sermon by David von Schlichten) ("Once upon a time, a man named Joel O set out to build his house. He found a sparkling, warm surface for his foundation, right by the ocean. Joel said, 'This foundation must be Christ,' and Joel poured, measured, sawed, hammered, and hung drywall...")
  • Rock-Like Living

    by Keith Wagner
  • House Building

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("The famous Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard once wrote a vivid parable concerning the danger of becoming just a satisfied customer with religion...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

  • Home Building

    by Robert Allred
    ("An interesting aspect of the recent Tsunami devastation in South Asia is that most of the newer concrete block homes were washed away whereas the traditional houses build from bamboo withstood the great tidal wave...")
  • Pentecost 2

    by Angela Askew
    ("At the time Matthew's Gospel was being written, in the 80s of the first century, the city of Antioch in Syria had become the third most important city in the nascent Roman Empire. But Antioch was sitting on top of a geological fault-line that nobody understood in those days, and it had repeatedly suffered from earthquakes that destroyed parts of the city as fast as the citizens could rebuild...")
  • Faith for All Seasons

    by James Bracher
    ("In August of 1993, my health had deteriorated to the point that I had approximately three days to live. The three-day reality was made clear, but only after life-saving surgery and a marvelous recovery...")
  • Building on the Rock

    by Adrian Dieleman
    ("A couple of churches ago we built our own house on land we purchased from a man in the church. He warned us ahead of time that about 5 feet below the surface the dirt turned into a kind of heavy quick-sand..." and other illustrations)
  • False Security

    by Adrian Dieleman
    ("The expression 'face the music' is said to have originated in Japan. According to the story, one man in the imperial orchestra couldn't play a note. Being a person of great influence and wealth, he had demanded that he be given a place in the group because he wanted to "perform" before the emperor...")
  • Two Builders

    by Arthur Ferry, Jr.
    ("When I was in the 2nd grade, on the final day of that year, the school teacher, Mrs. Pierce, a very godly Baptist woman, said, 'Arthur, I'd like to talk to you before you go home today'....")
  • Building on the Rock

    (Narrative Sermon by Susan Forbes) ("I know about storms. 'Deed I do. I know what it's like. Time and again I've seen it, experienced it. Times the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against the house. 'Course I know tornadoes more than floods. That's what's got my great-granddaughter all upset. She even packed up all her favorite toys in plastic bags so they wouldn't get ruined if her house flooded...")
  • When Life Sucks

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("In 1174, the Italian architect Bonnano Pisano began work on what would become his most famous project. A separately standing bell tower for the Cathedral of the city of Pisa. The tower was to be eight-stories and 56 ½ metres tall...")
  • How to Stand in the Storms of Life

    by Bruce Goettsche
    ("William Barclay tells the following story: 'Some time ago there was a report of the case of a sailor in the Royal Navy who was very severely punished for a breach of discipline. So sever was the punishment that in certain civilian quarters it was thought to be far too severe...")
  • Pentecost 2

    by Walter Harms
    ("Here in Austin, TX, USA, there is a kind of soil called Austin clay. It doesn’t look any different from other soils around the city, but it is dramatically different! When a house is built on this Austin clay, you can count on having problems with that house. When the city has a lot of rain, Austin clay becomes soft and the house sinks ever so little...")
  • Pentecost 2

    by Roger Haugen
    ("When I go into a High School these days I am amazed to see young men who stand well over six feet tall and a lot of young women equally as tall. The schools are filled with many healthy, bright and well-adjusted young people..." and other illustrations)
  • A Firm Foundation

    by Mark Haverland
    ("I remember when we were building our current house. We had designed it to take maximum advantage of passive solar heating. This involved, among other things, orienting the house as close to south as the lot would allow..." and other illustrations)
  • Building on the Rock

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("Less than a week after graduating from high school, Jimette lost control of her car in a summer thunderstorm. She ran into a power pole and broke it off. This was before everyone had a cell phone, so she got out of the car to go to a nearby home to phone for help. On her way back to the car, … she stepped on the downed power line..." also graduation sermon)
  • Committing to Christ and Walking our Talk

    by John Jewell
    ["David (not his real name) came to my office asking if I would intervene in his family difficulties. This was his second time within the span of nine or ten months he came with this request..."]
  • The Trinity: Relationship, Relationship, Relationship

    by Fred Kane
    ("Some of you who were living here in western Oregon probably remember October 12, 1962. It was the day of the Columbus Day Storm - the Oregonian version of 'The Perfect Storm'...")
  • Sand Castles and Stone Castles

    by Edward Markquart
    ("Joy comes in the building of the sand castles; that no matter what we build in life, it will collapse with time. Time destroys everything, so joy comes not from leaving anything permanent, but joy comes from the brief moments of building...")
  • Advice about Building a House

    by Euan Marley, OP
    ("Arthur Miller's play, The Death of a Salesman is an analysis of a capitalist theory of friendship. It is friendship based on mutual self interest. The hero, Willie Loman, has all his life been mesmerised by an 84-year-old man who could pick up a phone and make a deal...")
  • Saved by the Faith of Jesus Christ

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    ("Consider John. He's fifty-five years-old, at the peak of his business career, awaiting his first grandchild, and...he has cancer...")
  • Ordinary 9

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("As some of you may know, I used to work in a hospital in Georgetown, Guyana, called Mercy Hospital. And, about 6 years ago, the hospital was given a lot of money by an American aid organisation to build a new wing. So they set the architect to work. And, since they had been given a lot of money, he really went to town...")
  • By God's Grace

    by William Oldland
    ("A man died and he gets to the pearly gates. St. Peter is there and he says, 'Alright, glad to see you. Now, it takes 100 points to get in. What can you tell me that would help you gain the 100 points to get in the gate?'...")
  • Proper 4

    by Joseph Parrish
    ("Some years ago I was in a vehicle that drove onto one of the famous black beaches on one of the Hawaiian Islands. The beach looked perfectly solid and indeed beautiful. But quickly the driver discovered the beach was actually a wash up of millions of small round pebbles of black volcanic rock...")
  • Building According to Code

    by John Pavelko
    ("In his book The Pursuit of Happiness, Who Is Happy-and Why, David Meyers explains why these things are nothing more than sand. Meyers discovered that from 1957 to 1990, per capita income in the US more than doubled but the number of Americans who reported being very happy remained the same...")
  • Building a Life

    by Benjamin Reaves
    ("It was the classic American dream: two happy children, barking dogs, tree-lined streets and a feeling of community. Then, in one nightmarish instant, Hurricane Andrew came to town...")
  • Another Way to Build

    by Barry Robinson
    ("Do you remember Cardinal Emil Léger? At one time he was one of the most powerful men in Canada and within the Roman Catholic Church. He was a man of deep conviction and humility...")
  • The Wise Man Built upon the Rock

    by Charles Royden
    ("The area in Banda Aceh was completely devastated [by the tsunami], all the houses were demolished by the flood and storm, only one or two were left standing. Now you may remember being told also that many of the Mosques were not destroyed either...")
  • Values Clarification

    by Craig Shirley
    ("25 years ago last week, the top blew off of Mount St. Helens in Washington State. On that Sunday the bright sunshine of day turned to night at 2:00 p.m. where Carol, Erik and I were living in Pullman, Washington...")
  • Exegetical Notes

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • The Spirited Dance: Stop the Abuses

    by Tom Tomblin
    ("One of my all-time favorite TV characters is Dana Carvey's The Church Lady. First appearing on Saturday Night Live in a talk show spoof called, 'Church Chat', this 50+ year old woman is an old fashioned, hair net wearing, granny shoed critic of improper church antics...")
  • Like a Rock

    by Keith Wagner
    ("There is a popular television commercial about a pickup truck which has been on the air for several years. The song that is sung during the ad includes the words 'like a rock'. The symbolism of those words refer to the toughness, durability and dependability of the truck..." and other illustrations)
  • Construction

    by Tim Zingale
    ("I really enjoy watching the Discovery Channel or the History Channel on television. I enjoy watching the programs Modern Marvels or Big Machines. They show being built tall buildings or watching bridges or houses being built..." and other illustrations)

Other Resources from 2008 to 2018

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable