Example Sermon Illustrations

Example Sermon Illustrations

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The Power of Example

A great preacher closed his sermon with an earnest and eloquent Gospel appeal. Among the score or more who responded was a woman of wealth and social distinction. She asked permission to speak a few words to the audience.

"I want you to know," she said, "just why I came forward tonight. It was not because of any word spoken by the preacher. I stand here because of the influence of a little woman who sits before me. Her fingers are rough with toil; the hard work of many years has stooped her low; she is just a poor, obscure washerwoman, who has served in my home for many years. I have never known her to be impatient, speak an un­kind word, or do a dishonorable deed. I know of countless little acts of unselfish love that adorn her life. Shamefacedly, let me say that I have openly sneered at her faith, and laughed at her fidelity to God. Yet when my little girl was taken away, it was this woman who caused me to look beyond the grave and shed my first tears of hope. The sweet magnetism of her life has led me to Christ. I covet the thing that has made her life so beautiful."

At the request of the minister, the little woman was led forward, her eyes streaming with glad tears, and such a shining face as one seldom sees on this earth.

"Let me introduce you," said he, "to the real preacher of the evening," and the great audience arose in silent, though not tearless, respect.

Oh, ye obscure toilers of the world, ye patient "doers of the Word," think not that no one sees; I say unto you that a great cloud of witnesses will rise up on that great day, and call you blessed!Watchword from First Baptist Beacon.

What Made Him Understand

One time in Hangchow, Mrs. Paxton was, in the absence of the regular physician of the compound, called on to dress the arm of a native policeman, who, in an encounter with a thief, had had an artery severed. After dressing the arm, she told him to go to a surgeon in the morning, but to her surprise he returned to her. She told him that she would treat him only on condition that he take everything that she gave him. He consented reluctantly, and every morning as she slowly dressed his arm she told him the story of Christ's love. One day he said, "I will believe this story if I can see it written in a book so that I can read it." She gave him the Gospel of John in Chinese, but he seemed unable to understand why Christ had left His home to come to a life of trial to save sinners. At last one day he came with a shining face, and said: "Now I understand; and it is you who have made me see it. Christ gave up His Home in Heaven, and came to save us, just as you have left your beautiful home in America, and all your friends, to come here to a life of hardship to tell us how we may be saved."—The Wonderful Word.

Watch Him and See!

A certain evangelist sometimes uses this illustration:

Two merchants went to a revival service to listen to the preacher, a man of some reputation. These men were competitors in business, and each one knew the heart-burnings that arose in their business life. After some nights, one of them went forward as a seeker after life in Christ. The other was under a measure of conviction, but unyielding. As he saw his competitor go forward, he said within himself: "I will watch him. If he lives it one year I will believe there is really something in it, and will become a Christian myself."

For one year he watched that man and saw a complete change in his business life, social life, everyday life. At the end of the year, the watcher sought and found God and the forgiveness of sins through Christ. He then went to the merchant whose life he had watched so closely, and said: "For one whole year I have watched you, and your life has convinced me there is something real in your Christian faith."—Presbyterian.

Value in Evidence

A brick manufacturer, who was a very substantial man, advertised for a boy. A boy appeared, and he was running over with questions. "How much wages do you pay?" was the first question. "Five dollars a week and board," was the reply. "What kind of board?" said the sharp applicant for a position. "Well," said the corpulent and good-natured manufacturer, "I eat it." "Give me the job," said the boy, with a smiling glance at his prospective employer. The brick manufacturer was a good advertisement of the food that he gave his workmen. If you and I should ask someone to become a Christian, would he look at the gospel's results in our lives and say, "I want it"?—S. S. Chronicle.

How She Knew

A humble servant girl arose and went down the aisle to the front during one of Charles Haddon Spurgeon's great sermons.

"I have been converted," she said simply.

"How do you know," he asked, his keen eyes searching her face, "that you are converted?"

The little servant girl looked up at him shyly.

"I am quite sure," she replied, "because now I sweep under the rugs! I used to be careless when I did the sweeping."

Under the rugs!

Not lightly over the top or around the edges, but under the rugs. Christ's love had so filled her heart that she was expressing it in the best way she knew. She wasn't a great singer with a golden voice who could hold vast audiences spellbound with her music. She could paint no pictures nor write a piece of literature. But she could sweep under the rugs!

She was only a poor servant girl with toil-hardened hands who worked in other people's kitchens, but in her poverty how really rich she was! For Christ had become so close to her, so very near, that she felt He wanted her to do the very best she could—that He cared how she swept the rugs.

Can we not, all of us, then be guided by her as we go about our own daily tasks, whatever they may be? And, as we do them wholeheartedly and gloriously as "to the Lord, and not to men," let us try to be happy in our place, because He has seen fit in His great wisdom and love to put us where we are.

Each one of us is included in His eternal plan. If we are washing dishes, caring for the sick or working in an office, that is just where we can best serve Him. We belong to Him and it must be right.

She was a little servant girl
Doing her work each day,
With all her heart, because she felt
She could show her love that way.

All together now—join hands. Let's begin by sweeping under the rugs.—Beatrice Fugate in The Friend (Dayton).

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