Home Page | Bible Text | Commentary | Concordance

Illustrations Which Illuminate God's Word

The Bible is ...
Thanks to my friend, Wally Loder, who forwarded this to me. It perfectly describes his and my attitude toward the Bible.


All should read the Word of God

All should believe the Word of God

All should obey the Word of God

Knothole Bible Study

I once heard of a person who in his youth loved baseball but could not afford the price of a ticket. His solution was to walk along the wooden fence beside the baseball stadium and peer through the various knotholes. From one he could see the pitcher's mound, from another he could see the batter's box and from another he could see second base. He was able to enjoy some of the excitement of the game but missed much of the action because of his restricted view. He often did not know who had won the game until he heard the news from one who had witnessed the entire game.
Unfortunately, many people have a distorted view of God and his love for us because of their fragmentary knowledge of the Bible. Some have formed opinions based upon a few verses they have heard quoted on radio or TV. Others read the Bible for themselves but restrict their reading to the Psalms or other favorite passages. The next time someone begins laying on you his or her theories regarding spiritual matters, ask that person when was the most recent time he or she read the entire Bible through from end to end. Then you will have a good idea how qualified that person is to instruct you.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15).

Empowerment by the Holy Spirit

Speaking of baseball, imagine, if you can, a person who loved baseball but was not at all skillful. He was always the last one chosen, and, when he came to bat, the opposing team would hoot and holler and tease him about his ineptness. One day our imaginary friend discovered a method whereby he could unzip his skin and wrap it around a famous professional player. The resulting person looked just like the original, but the insides were completely different. Imagine the surprise which awaited his opponents when our newly empowered friend stepped up to bat.
When a person is born again, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within him. He may look the same, but inside he is a new creature.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4).


When a person is working out an intricate design in needlepoint, the underside of the cloth, with it's seemingly meaningless collection of multi-colored threads, provides little clue to the well designed and pleasing picture which is being developed from above. It all depends upon the viewpoint of the observer.

Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor? (Romans 11:33-34).

Showers of Blessings

The next time you take a shower step back a step or two and notice the effect. The water continues to flow as before but very little of it strikes your body. Many people deny themselves the blessings of God because, rather than standing in the center of God's will, they prefer to dwell along the periphery. Have you ever found yourself thinking, "Forgive me Lord, I know that you do not approve, but I want to do this anyway?"

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalm 143:10).


Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are COVERED. Romans 4:6-7.
Justification is often described as the condition of being seen by God "Just as if I'd never sinned." For those of us old enough to remember typewriters, typewriter correction fluid is a good illustration. Make a mistake, cover it with correction fluid and the mistake is out of sight.
Jesus Christ shed his blood so that we who have put our faith in him may have our sins covered by his blood and be declared righteous, free from guilt and punishment.

Grading On The Curve

"... But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (2 Cor. 10:12)
Evangelist Dr. Hyman Appleman frequently stated, "If you want to know whether something is straight, lay it down beside a known straightedge."

All of the recent commotion about removing the ten commandments and other references to God from our courtrooms and public buildings is not based upon high principles as the proponents would have us believe. It is based upon the fact that carnal man does not want to be reminded that there are rules laid down by God by which we must abide. Take away the straightedge of God's Word and there is nothing to measure by except man's opinion. How comforting it is to say to oneself, "I am at least as good as my neighbor, perhaps better!"
Unfortunately for such deceived people, God measures by his standard and not the declining average of man's behavior. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness," (Romans 1:18) See also Romans 14:10-12 and Philippians 2:5-11.

The Innate Nature of Sin

Have you ever bitten into an apple and found a worm? Ugh!
Many people think the worm is chewing its way into the apple, but in fact, an insect laid her eggs on the flower and the apple formed around the eggs. The worm actually hatched within the heart of the apple and is chewing its way out.
So it is with the human heart. The seeds of sin are present when we are born. This is our natural state. Example: Few parents have ever sat down with their children and taught them, "This is how you tell a lie" or, "Here is how to become rebellious and disobedient."

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:7

God's Toolbox

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who worketh all in all.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6

It would be nice to be a hammer. When the hammer is slammed authoritatively upon the workbench it produces a satisfying BANG and all of the other tools and nuts and bolts rattle in response.
Now, suppose you took your expensive watch to the jeweler for repair. When he pulled out his toolbox you noticed that it contained only hammers. Some big, some delicate, but all hammers! You would probably change your mind about leaving your watch with him.
God uses a wide variety of tools to accomplish his work. Some are skilled in handling the Word, some have musical skills, some medical skills and some have financial skills. Some of God's most useful tools are those who have the ability to make people feel welcome and comfortable while others have the persistance to pray and serve in support roles. In the medical world the lowly sharpening stone is seldom seen by the surgical patient but his surgery is greatly enhanced by it.

Why does God permit suffering?

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
Genesis 15:13-14
And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near, and he said, I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me here; for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Genesis 45:4-5

It is a very difficult matter to understand when God permits affliction or loss to come into our lives. Our humanity wants to cry out, "Why me God? I love you and faithfully serve you. Why did you permit this sorrow to happen to me?"
Continuing the thought from the previous illustration regarding God's tools, one reason for affliction is to make us into instruments which will be of greater use to God. For example, a lump of iron ore is violently ripped from it's comfortable place in the earth, shipped to a place far away, exposed to melting heat, poured out into a mold, squeezed by rollers, smashed and pounded in a forge, subjected to electric shock to bond other metals to it and later scraped against grindstones to give it a final shape. The resulting screwdriver or exquisite piece of tableware could never have existed except for the difficult experiences it endured along the way.

As so elegantly described in this illustration passed along by Mr. Wally Loder:

Malachi 3:3.
There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three, which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.

That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God, holding us in such a hot spot -- then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy--when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Admonishment to attend Church Services

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for he is faithful that promised), and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day coming.
Hebrews 10:23-25

As anyone who has built a campfire has learned, it is better to use multiple pieces of firewood. The heat given off by each stick reinforces the others and the fire burns brightly. Separate the sticks so that each stands alone and the campfire cools off. It is more easily extinguished.

More reason to attend Church Services

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for he is faithful that promised), and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day coming.
Hebrews 10:23-25

Witness the effect of a rock tumbler. Ordinary-appearing stones, along with some grit and water, are placed into a machine which rotates, causing the stones to continually bump against one another over a long period of time. At the end of the cycle the stones have been ground and polished and their inner beauty revealed.
God intends for people to be social. The interactions among Christians have a polishing effect not available to those who avoid contact with others of like faith.

Continuing Thoughts Regarding Church Attendance

Long ago, in the twentieth century, there was a device called a clothes line. It consisted of two stout posts between which was strung a strong rope. Clothing which had been recently washed was hung upon the rope to dry in the fresh air and sunshine. However, the weight of the heavy, wet clothing would cause the rope to sag almost to the ground. To counter this effect a clothes pole, a length of wood with a notch at the top, was used to support the rope midway between the posts.

Sunday church services provide us with strong support for our Christian lives, but, during the period from Sunday to Sunday, the weight of the world tends to cause us to sag a little. Midweek services and the fellowship they provide are just what we need to prop up our sagging spirits.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
1 Thessalonians 5:14.

Faith and works

James 2:14-26 presents a picture of the relationship between faith and works. Genuine faith, as opposed to mere intellectual assent, produces works.
D.L.Moody illustrated this point by describing a situation where a person is on an upper floor of a building. The person presses the button to call an elevator and, when it arrives, begins interrogating the elevator operator regarding the safety and reliability of the device. The operator assures him that the elevator is safe and reliable and invites him to step on.
"I believe you, young man, but I cannot bring myself to step onto this elevator."

I regret that I do not know the author of this story but it is a good illustration of Ephesians 2:8&9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not of works, lest any man should boast.

A missionary spent most of his adult life in India, working among the pearl diving community. While there the missionary developed a deep friendship with with a retired diver. To his disappointment he was never able to convince his friend of his need to receive Christ. "In my mind, salvation is too valuable to be simply given to a person, it must be earned. I have lived a good life. Surely God will count that in my favor." was his friend's reply.

Eventually it was time for the missionary to retire and return to America. When he visited his old friend to say goodby, the old diver pressed an object into his hand and told him, "This is my most precious possession. I want you to have it." The missionary looked down and there, resting in his hand, was a large black pearl of immense value.

"I cannot accept this gift, it is far too valuable. I will sell all that I have and pay you for it, or if that is not enough, I will work for you as your servant until I have earned enough to cover the value of it."

The old diver was shocked. "This pearl was found in the hand of my son who drowned retrieving it. There is not enough money in the world to pay for this. It cost the life of my son! I want to give it to you because of my love for you."

"Exactly! That is what I have been telling you all these years about God's love for you!"


But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:8-9

One difficulty we face is our impatience with the slow march of time. We believe that certain things are going to happen as God has promised, but we cannot see how or when. Dr. Charles Stanley, in his TV program, In Touch, described God's view of history as if one were watching a parade from a tall building. From His viewpoint the entire parade is visible at one time, from beginning to the end.

Mankind's Rebellious Spirit

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Jeremiah 6:16-17.

When we stand at the foot a mountain on Earth we are often moved to remark about how the mountain makes us feel so insignificant. Yet, to an astronaut in a space ship just a few hundred miles above the earth, the mountains are diminished and the earth appears smooth. Why do these tiny creatures clinging to the sides of those mountains feel empowered to shake their collective fists at God and shout, "We will not!"?

For the unsaved, even Heaven would not be Heavenly

Notice this fine distinction in attitude: everybody is hoping to go to Heaven and enjoy all sorts of good things for themselves, but to the born again Christian the best thing about Heaven is the presence of God. Even if it were possible for an unsaved person to enter into Heaven, it would not be much fun for him or her. John 7:7.

Pastor's Paycheck

Gentlemen, how often do you go to the barber shop and, after receiving a haircut, offer the barber a single dollar bill with the explanation, "Sorry. This is all I can afford. I know it is not enough to provide you with a living but perhaps you could get a second job driving a school bus to make up the difference."? Or try that same routine on the physician who just performed lifesaving surgery on you. "Thank you for prolonging my life. Perhaps your wife could take a job to make up the shortfall in meeting my financial obligation. After all, if you have enough faith the Lord will provide."

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward
1 Timothy 5:17-18.

Secret Christians

An old grizzled lumberjack was on vacation during the off season and attended church with his family. During the sermon he came to believe in Jesus Christ and at the close of the service made a public profession of his faith. The pastor warned him that living a life for Christ among the other lumberjacks was going to be difficult.

A year later the lumberjack was home again and his pastor asked him how it went. "Oh, no problem. They never guessed that I was a Christian."

Sadly, many of us are tempted to follow the same rule. Keep your head low and do not risk provoking others by professing your faith. This is not what Christ had in mind when he told the disciples they would be "Fishers of men" and the "Light of the world."
Matthew 4:19, Matthew 5:14-16, Matthew 5:10-12.

Giving and Receiving

The Reverend John Hagee tickled my funny bone the other day when he explained that when a person visits a mall and tries on some clothing, "If you find something you like and are willing to pay the clerk some money you get to take the item home. If you do not give some money but still take the item home, you are guilty of shoplifting." He then went on to note that many Christians go to church on Sunday and receive the benefits of the church service but are unwilling to give anything in return when the offering plate comes around. Spiritual shoplifting???

"Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase; So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." (Proverbs 3:9-10).

The concert

Twenty minutes before the concert is to begin musicians wander in one or two at a time and begin to warm up. Many different instruments play scales and other pieces of practice music at the same time. The result is cacophony.

At the appropriate time the conductor enters and the concert hall is hushed. The conductor makes a big bow to the audience, taps his baton on his music stand and begins to direct the orchestra in a coordinated activity which produces music pleasant to the ears. The difference is the conductor. He has a plan (the music score) and guides the musicians through the performance.

There are a few misguided anti-God enthusiasts who seriously believe that the world can successfully operate without a conductor; that everything good occurs randomly, independently, and by chance. If you should meet one of these unfortunates, take him or her to a concert.

"The fool hath said in his heart there is no God." (Psalm 14:1).

Operator Manual

Imagine a happy customer stopping by an automobile dealership to take delivery of his new car. In a moment of euphoria he asks the salesman to, " Tell me everything about my new car!" The salesman and his associates begin rolling out wheelbarrow loads of parts lists, design specifications, engineering drawings, safety data, metallurgical reports and so on. The customer quickly begs off and restates his request. "Please, I just need a compact manual to tell me how to operate the vehicle and when to change the oil."

So it is with life. God has provided us with a compact operator's manual, the Bible, which contains the information we need to thrive on Earth. The Bible is entirely accurate in what it tells us, but does not attempt to drown us with the infinite details of everything there is to know.

"Oh, how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day. ... Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:97-105).

Setting Priorities
Thanks to my sister, Sue Leatherman, who forwarded this to me. I have modified the original to fit the purpose of this illustration..

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes".

"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things -- God, your family, your children, your health, your friends -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff."
"The secret to a happy and full life is priority. If you put the sand into the jar first there is little room for the pebbles or the golf balls. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).

Home Page | Bible Text | Commentary | Concordance

Buy Christian Bumper Stickers Online

Christian Printed Car Bumper Stickers

Copyright (C) 2002 - 2010 Robert C Denig, All rights reserved.

This page updated 06/30/2010