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Sermon Illustrations: Victorious Living


It was 1944 - WW2. Sub-Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Imperial Japanese army was ordered to stay on Lubang Island in the Philippines and hold it for the glory of the Emperor. So he did. The following year, the Allies bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrendered. Shortly after, the war ended, but unfortunately he didn't know. He kept on fighting the next year, and the next year, and was still fighting 29 years after the end of WW2. He was totally unaware that the war had finished long ago. Even when the police searched through the jungle using megaphones to ask him to surrender and stop shooting the locals, he refused to give up. It wasn't until 1974 when they brought in his wartime commanding officer, to order him to surrender, that he finally stopped fighting. Do you know that it's over for Satan? That he's been defeated? Do you apply the victory of the Cross in your daily life?

Someone could put $1million in your bank a/c and you still live as a pauper. "I don't believe it. If I draw some money I could be in serious trouble."

Victorious living is a struggle between the old man and the new man. It's like a dog-fight. If you feed one, it becomes strong. Starve the other it becomes weak.

Jack Dempsey, former world heavyweight boxing champion said, "A champion is one who gets up when he can't."

Robert Louis Stevenson had not enjoyed a single day of good health in 14 years. One day, when he had been forced to set aside his writing because of violent coughing and wracking, his wife said to him, "I suppose you're going to tell me it's a glorious day." As he watched the sunlight streaming through the window, he said, "Yes, because I refuse to allow a row of medicine bottles to form the circumference of my world."

Many Christians are living in the victory of the cross, but not the triumph of it. E.g. after the Second World War there was victory, but many people were still living with the devastation. They were not experiencing the triumph. Illustration from Trevor Chandler

The winner is always part of the answer. The loser is always part of the problem. The winner always has a program. The loser always has an excuse. The winner says, "Let me do it for you." The loser says, "That's not my job." The winner sees an answer for every problem. The loser sees a problem in every answer.


The enemy is behind us. The enemy is in front of us. The enemy is to the right and the left of us. They can't get away this time. General Douglas MacArthur

You must deal with the giants in your life, otherwise they have children. Phil Pringle

Failure brings you back to reality, but success soothes all memories. Peter Daniels

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty. Lao-Tze