Choosing Sermon Illustrations

Choosing Sermon Illustrations

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If God Gave Me the Choice?

May God bring us all to the mind of an old writer who said, "If God gave me the choice, I should ask Him to choose for me." Apart from all personal desires or feelings, we surely agree that God's will and God's glory must be put before man's wants.—Sunday School Times.

Signing Away His Interest

It was in a country store one evening. A number of young men were sitting together about the stove, telling what they didn't believe and what they were not afraid to do. Finally the leader of the group remarked that, so far as he was concerned, he would be willing any time to sign away his interest in Christ for a five-dollar bill.

"What did I understand you to say?" asked an old farmer, who happened to be in the store, and who had overheard the remark.

"I said that for five dollars I would sign away all my interest in Christ, and so I will."

The old farmer, who had learned to know the human heart pretty well, drew out his leather wallet, took there from a five-dollar bill, and put it in the store­keeper's hand. Then calling for ink and paper, he said: "My young friend, if you will just step to the desk now and write as I direct you, the money is yours."

The young man took the pen and began:

"In the presence of these witnesses, I A— B—, for the sum of five dollars, received, do now, once for all and forever, sign away all my interest—"

Then he dropped the pen and with a forced smile said: "I take it back. I was only fooling."

That young man did not dare to sign that paper. Why? He had an accusing conscience. He knew that there was a God. He believed in religion. He meant to be a Christian some time.

And so do others. Notwithstanding their apparent indifference, their trifling conduct, their boasting speech, they would not today for ten thousand dollars sign away, if such a thing were possible, their interest in Jesus Christ.—Congregationalist.

Rowland Hill, a preacher of renown, was one day preaching to a large crowd of people in a main highway. A magnificent chariot, in which sat a titled lady on her way to the royal palace, approached and the outrider walked ahead to clear the way. The preacher told him that, though it was the King's highway, he was for the time being occupying it in the name of the King of kings. The incident continues in verse—

Then, bending his gaze on the lady and marking her soft eye fall—
`And now, in His name, a sale I proclaim and bids for this fair lady call.
Who will purchase the whole, her body and soul, coronet, jewels and all?
`I see already three bidders; the World steps up as the first.
"I will give her my treasures and all the pleasures for which my votaries thirst.
She shall dance each day, more joyous and gay, with a quiet grave at the worst."
' But out speaks the Devil boldly: "The kingdoms of earth are mine.
Fair lady, thy name with an envied fame on their brightest tablets shall shine.
Only give me thy soul, and I give thee the whole, their glory and wealth to be thine."
'And pray, what hast Thou to offer, Thou Man of sorrows unknown?'
And He gently said, "My blood I have shed to purchase her for mine own.
To conquer the grave and her soul to save I trod the winepress alone.
"'I will give her my cross of suffering, my cup of sorrow to share,
But with endless love, in my home above, all will be righted there.
She shall walk in light in a robe of white, and a radiant crown shall wear."
`Thou hast heard the terms, fair lady, that each has offered to thee.
Which wilt thou choose and which wilt thou lose -this life or the life to be?
The fable is mine but the choice is yet thine. Fair lady, which of the three?'
She took from her hands the jewels and the coronet from her brow:
`Lord Jesus,' she said, as she bowed her head, `the highest bidder art Thou.
Thou gav'st for my sake Thy life, and I take Thine offer and take it now.'
`I know the world and its pleasures: at best they weary and cloy;
And the tempter is bold, but his honours and gold prove ever a fatal decoy.
I long for Thy rest-Thy bid is the best; Lord, I accept it with joy.' (Josh. 24. 15; John 1. 12) 147.

Implications in Choosing

Portia, a beautiful lady of wealth, is the heroine of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. There were many suitors of noble birth and fame who wanted to marry her. But it had been decreed that her hand would be won by that suitor who chose the right casket of three in her possession. The winning casket was the one that contained her portrait. A silver casket had for its inscription—'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves'—and the suitor who made that his choice found a fool's head inside. A golden casket bore the inscription—'Who chooseth me shall get what many men desire'—and contained a skull. The other casket was of lead, and bore the words-'Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath'. This was the choice of the successful suitor, Bassanio, who won Portia's hand. For those who, like Paul, desire to win Christ, there is the choice that involves the full renunciation of self and of all they possess. (Luke 14. 33; Phil. 3. 8; Heb. 11. 24-26)

Necessity of Choosing

O lads, as ye stand at the break of day,
As it were at the foot of the hill,
Will you halt and think 'ere you choose your way,
For choose you must—not choose you may:
Yes—choose you must, and will.

There are roads leading high to worldly fame,
There are paths where pleasures devour,
There are prizes of glory and wealth and name,
There are prizes of princely power.
There are rivers that flow with a mighty rush,
There are lakes that mirror Heaven's calm;
There are bowers just bathed in a holy hush,
There are rooms of odorous balm;
There are roads that are heavy and oft untrod,
There are steps that are rough and bare;
There are pathways so narrow that only God
And His pilgrimage knight may share.
There are altars which call for a sacrifice,
There are crosses that promise pain;
There's a refuge of love which will e'er suffice,
There's a loss that is but a gain.'

Let us look once again, dear lads, right out,
Right out to the top of the hill,
Since choose you must—not choose you may;
Yes—choose you must and will.—F. Howard Oakley

(Josh. 24. 15; Heb. 11. 25, 26)

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