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Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas is a professor at St. Louis Christian College and on staff at First Christian Church in Washington, Missouri. He's authored three Bible studies for CSS Publishing and is a contributor to Emphasis Online. He's also written two novellas and a young adult book.
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Bible Study


Can He Still Forgive? -- Mark 2:1-12 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
How Can I Handle The Stress Of Living? -- Mark 6:30-44 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.
Am I Willing To Die To Myself? -- Mark 8:27-38 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked hi
Is Anything More Important Than Jesus? -- Mark 10:17-31 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teach
How Can I Do What I Don't Want To Do? -- Mark 14:32-42 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He
What Am I Worth To Him? -- Mark 15:33-41 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
What Changed Because He Lives? -- Mark 16:1-8 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices
A Rose Among Thorns -- Luke 23:32-34 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.
An Island In A Sea Of Hate -- John 19:26-27 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his moth
A Last-Minute Reprieve -- Luke 23:39-43 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah
Cry Of The Forsaken -- Mark 15:33-34 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
Humanity Revealed -- John 19:28-29 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture
A Voice Of Triumph -- Luke 23:44-46, John 19:30 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while
Jesus: The Teacher -- Matthew 13:16-17 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
Jesus: The Preacher -- Luke 4:18-19 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
Jesus: The Miracle Worker -- John 11:40 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
Jesus: The Outraged -- Mark 11:15-17 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
Then they came to Jerusalem.
Jesus: The Servant Of All -- John 13:14-17 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
Jesus: The Sacrificed -- John 19:16-18 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
Jesus: The Savior -- John 20:17-18 -- Bill Thomas -- 2008
Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father.



The Christmas Stranger -- Bill Thomas -- 2007
The Christmas Stranger Returns -- Bill Thomas -- 2007



Handling Temptation -- Luke 4:1-13 -- Bill Thomas -- 2007
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wildern
Noted By Compassion -- Luke 8:40-56 -- Bill Thomas -- 2007
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him.
Being Radical -- Luke 10:25-37 -- Bill Thomas -- 2007
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.
The Patient Teacher -- Luke 17:1-10 -- Bill Thomas -- 2007
Jesus said to his disciples, "Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by who
The Miraculous -- Luke 4:16-21 -- Bill Thomas -- 2007
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath d
A Small Visit Along The Way -- Luke 19:1-10 -- Bill Thomas -- 2007
He entered Jericho and was passing through it.
The Sacrifice -- Luke 23:36-46 -- Bill Thomas -- 2007
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, "If you are the K


Emphasis Preaching Journal

Sermon Illustrations for Lent 4 (2022) -- Joshua 5:9-12, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - C -- 2022
Joshua 5:9-12
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 5 (2022) -- Isaiah 43:16-21, Philippians 3:4b-14, John 12:1-8 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - C -- 2022
Isaiah 43:16-21 
Sermon Illustrations for Palm/Passion Sunday (2022) -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 22:14--23:56 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Passion Sunday - C -- 2022
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Sermon Illustrations for Maundy Thursday (2022) -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Maundy Thursday - C -- 2022
Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14
Sermon Illustrations for Good Friday (2022) -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1--19:42 -- Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas -- Good Friday - C -- 2022
Isaiah 52:13--53:12
Sermon Illustrations for Easter Day (2022) -- Acts 10:34-43, 1 Corinthians 15:19-26, John 20:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, Isaiah 65:17-25 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Easter Day - C -- 2022
Isaiah 65:17-25
Sermon Illustrations for Easter 2 (2022) -- Acts 5:27-32, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 20:19-31, Revelation 1:4-8 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Second Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Acts 5:27-32
Sermon illustrations for Easter 3 (2022) -- Acts 9:1-6 (7-20), Revelation 5:11-14, John 21:1-19 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Third Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Acts 9:1-6 (7-20)
Sermon illustrations for Easter 4 (2022) -- Acts 9:36-43, Revelation 7:9-17, John 10:22-30 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Acts 9:36-43
Sermon Illustrations for Easter 5 (2022) -- Acts 11:1-18, Revelation 21:1-6, John 13:31-35 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Acts 11:1-18
Sermon Illustrations for Easter 6 (2022) -- Acts 16:9-15, Revelation 21:10, 22--22:5, John 14:23-29 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Acts 16:9-15
Sermon illustrations for Ascension of the Lord (2022) -- Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Ascension of the Lord - C -- 2022
Acts 1:1-11
Sermon Illustrations for Easter 7 (2022) -- Acts 16:16-34, Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21, John 17:20-26 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - C -- 2022
Acts 16:16-34
Sermon Illustrations for New Year's Day (2022) -- Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Revelation 21:1-6a, Matthew 25:31-46 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- New Year's Day - C -- 2022
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Sermon Illustrations for Christmas 2 (2022) -- Jeremiah 31:7-14, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:(1-9) 10-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday after Christmas - C -- 2022
Jeremiah 31:7-14
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany of the Lord (2022) -- Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas -- Epiphany of the Lord - C -- 2022
Isaiah 60:1-6
Sermon Illustrations for Baptism of Our Lord (2022) -- Isaiah 43:1-7, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - C -- 2022
Isaiah 43:1-7
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 2 | OT 2 (2022) -- Isaiah 62:1-5, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, John 2:1-11 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - C -- 2022
Isaiah 6:1-8 (9-13), Psalm 138
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 3 (OT 3) Cycle C (2022) -- Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a, Luke 4:14-21 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - C -- 2022
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 4 (OT 4) Cycle C (2022) -- Jeremiah 1:4-10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Luke 4:21-30 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - C -- 2022
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 5 (OT 5) Cycle C (2022) -- Luke 5:1-11, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Isaiah 6:1-8 (9-13) -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - C -- 2022
Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13)
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 6 (OT 6) Cycle C (2022) -- Jeremiah 17:5-10, 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, Luke 6:17-26 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany 6 | Ordinary Time 6 - C -- 2022
Jeremiah 17:5-10
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 7 (OT 7) Cycle C (2022) -- Genesis 45:3-11, 15, 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50, Luke 6:27-38 -- Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas -- Epiphany 7 | Ordinary Time 7 - C -- 2022
Genesis 45:3-11, 15
Sermon Illustrations for Transfiguration Sunday, Cycle C (2022) -- Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Corinthians 3:12--4:2, Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a) -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Transfiguration Sunday - C -- 2022
Exodus 34:29-35
Sermon Illustrations for Ash Wednesday (2022) -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Ash Wednesday - C -- 2022
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
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Easter 6
28 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
29 – Children's Sermons / Resources
18 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
22 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
28 – Children's Sermons / Resources
15 – Worship Resources
23 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Easter 7
28 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
35 – Children's Sermons / Resources
21 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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New & Featured This Week


John Jamison

The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (vv. 22-23)
John Jamison
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. (v. 49)

* * *

The Immediate Word

Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
For May 29, 2022:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Coffin
The enthusiastic exclamation of Easter Sunday, “He is risen” is a distant echo during the week of the 7th Sunday of Easter, as this season is headed toward the home stretch. A tired pastor in a small to mid-size church enters walks into the church office on Monday to find a thick booklet or church bulletin from a mega church a few hours away, on the desk. A short and sincere sticky pad stuck is on top of the full colored glossy papered bulletin. It reads, “We visited this church yesterday.
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Acts 16:16-34
John Wesley notes how this text testifies to the countercultural character of the Christian message:

But this is a property of the gospel truth: It has something in it peculiarly Intolerable to the world. (Commentary On the Bible, p. 485)
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Acts 1:1-11
In the American judicial system, a witness is a crucial component to attain justice. It wasn’t a big trial, but I was once called upon to be a witness in a Kansas City courtroom. The attorney made clear what I was supposed to do. She wanted me to relay exactly what I’d seen and to answer the questions directly. Being a witness, even in a small trial, seemed like a big responsibility.
Mark J. Molldrem
Note: This installment was originally published in 2001

In golf, Tiger rules. In tennis, Venus. Depending upon which teen you talk with, either Ricky rules, or Brittney does. In Iraq, Saddam rules -- for now. In America, the people rule, despite what some political cynics or party technocrats say. For Christians wherever, Jesus rules!


Peter Andrew Smith
Will stood in line at the cafeteria oblivious to the smells and noise and activity of the other students having lunch. He was still thinking about the scripture passage that had popped up on his phone that morning. He’d never really paid much attention to the story of the Ascension but for some reason the passage caught his attention and imagination today.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
"I think," proclaimed Peter, lying on his back and gazing up at the trees, "we should become bully-busters."

"What?" said Jimmy, lazily. Karl simply rolled over, chewing at the blade of grass in his mouth.

"No, c'mon," said Peter. "Like ghost busters. We could identify all the bullies in school, then go bust them."

Karl laughed. "You mean you could! Jimmy and me'd just pick up the pieces afterwards! Anyway, how you think you're gonna bust a gang like the Robots?"


Elaine M. Ward
Some things we can't explain, and we call them mysteries and trust God's love no matter what. There is an old story about a rabbi taking a trip with his donkey, rooster, and lamp. When it was night, he had no place to sleep, so he slept in the woods. He lit his lamp to read his Bible before going to sleep, but a strong wind blew it over and broke it. "It must be time to sleep," the rabbi said, ending his prayers, "All God does, God does well."
Stephen P. McCutchan
Acts 1:1-11
As they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
-- Acts 1:9b

Stan Purdum
Both Psalms 47 and 93 (the alternative psalm for this day) are enthronement psalms, praise hymns celebrating God's rule over the nations. They were most likely used on festal occasions when Israel again declared that God was its king.

While Psalm 47 was for Israel's celebration, verses 1-2 call all the nations of earth to recognize God as their monarch as well. Verses 3-4, however, return to the specific relationship between God and Israel.

Donald Charles Lacy
When, dear God, shall Christians all be one? It is a first-century inquiry. It is a here-and-now recurring question. Countless programs have been launched. Numerous proposals have been given. Only God knows how many problems have risen in our quest for Christian unity.

Dallas A. Brauninger
More than anything else, Edward wanted God to forgive Keith. More than anything else, he wanted to forgive his son for taking his own life. For several months after his son's suicide, Edward feared that Keith was lost. The father could speak to no one about his heartbrokenness.

Then, prompted by the open, sky-filled space as he drove with friends across the prairie of Nebraska, he turned to the couple in the rear seat and told them the following dream:
Charles D. Reeb
A friend of mine once shared a story about his first visit to Niagara Falls. He said it was magnificent -- the rush and roar of the water -- the display of raw power. But as he looked upon the water gushing forth, he remembered a picture in a textbook. It showed Niagara Falls in the middle of winter, and much of the water was frozen. Big lightning-shaped forms of water were at a standstill. There was no movement, no action, no power.
Frank Ramirez

Call To Worship
If we must suffer, let it be for Jesus. If we are mocked, let it be for the Lord. If we are excluded, or hunted, or cast out from the midst of friends and family, let it be because our service to God upsets the comfortable order and calls all to repentance and service! Let us be God's people today.

Be present with us, Lord, today,
In all your minister might say,
In all your songs call from our heart,
In all your children's scribbled art.
In all the adults' restlessness,

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