Example Sermon Illustrations

Example Sermon Illustrations

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Their Definition of Christianity

When a group of West Point cadets, some years ago, were confronted with the question, "What is Christianity?" they replied as one man, "Oscar Westover." Oscar Westover was a young man at West Point for whom life meant the Lord Jesus Christ in reality. He walked among his fellows, glad to let the Lord Jesus Christ shine out.—Courtesy Moody Monthly.

The Orthodox Devil

Benvenuto Cellini, when shut up in the Castle of St. Angelo, spent his time in writing comments with angelic fervor on the Pauline Epistles, but when let out he gave himself up to all kinds of wickedness. Nothing can take the place of individual righteousness. Right opinions are no substitute for right conduct. John Wesley once said, "We may be as orthodox as the Devil, and as wicked."—Courtesy Moody Monthly.

Among the People with Whom We Work

The president of a great manufacturing concern was talking with an employee who had made a mistake that cost the firm thousands of dollars. But he wasn't doing much talking. He was listening quietly to the younger man, and when the story was all before him, the president simply nodded as if he understood, and sent the young man back to his work,—and kept him there. The president was a great Christian gentleman, widely known for his good works; but in the works of which he was president he was best known, and best loved. How is it with those of you who have persons working for you? Do they really like you and your ways, and are they happy under your direction, or do they sometimes say when you don't hear them, "Well, if that man is a Christian, I don't want to be"? And if you are working for someone else, do you think every day whether Christ would approve of the way you do your work or not? . . . When you come to think of it, where is there a finer place in which to show a Christian spirit than among the people for whom, or with whom, we work?—Sunday School Times.

One Kind of Recommendation

An Irishman was being tried in a Kansas town. His was a petty offense. The judge asked if there was anyone present who would vouch for his character. "To be sure, your Honor," he declared, "there's the sheriff." The sheriff looked amazed. "Your Honor," he said, "I do not even know the man." "Your Honor," came back the Irishman as quick as a flash, "I've lived in this county for more than twelve years, and the sheriff does not know me yet. Isn't that a character for you?"—Toronto Globe.

The Chinese Girl's Discovery

A group of college girls were discussing, in a Bible study, the Sermon on the Mount, and were asking why Christians are like salt. All thought of course of salt's preservative qualities. Then a Chinese girl in the group suggested quietly, "Salt creates thirst." The truth went home. Christians are not only to bring joy and comfort to the lives of others, they should create thirst for the things of God. Our lives should be such that people would continually come to us and ask us to explain ourselves.Sunday School Times.

Why the Boy Watched

A country clergyman, nailing up a trailing vine, observed a boy watching him for a long time with obvious interest. "Well, my young friend," he said with a smile, "are you trying to get a hint or two on gardening?" "No," said the lad, "I'm just waiting to see what a minister says when he hammers his thumb."—Christian Evangelist.

Her Stumbling Block

A clergyman was kneeling in church, talking with a young woman bowed there, who was seeking Christ at a time of revival. Something seemed to worry her. "What is it?" asked the minister kindly; "have you surrendered your all?" "I have tried," the woman sobbed. "What is the matter, then?" "It's the way Christian people have treated me. I am afraid I shall have to give up my place in the family where I work as a servant. The man is so cross and impatient with me." "Give it up, then. God will supply something better," said the minister; "for whom do you work?" The woman raised her bowed head. "For you, sir." "It's our June!" gasped the minister. Then it all flashed upon his mind—his quick, impatient disposition, his domineering spirit—and with a burst of tears he sought forgiveness there and then.—The Illustrator.

"Even the Dog Knew It"

A woman was telling in a testimony meeting about her husband's conversion. "The first thing that happened the next morning, he built the fire in the cook stove. Ever since our marriage I have brought water from a well outside the house. I had asked him many times if it could not be piped in. He always said, `No.' Right away after he became a Christian he had a pump put in the kitchen. Then he suggested that I could have a new dress and shoes and that our meals should be simpler on Sunday so that we could go to church. The children saw the difference right away. The home was a different place. Even the dog knew it. Where ill will and selfishness had ruled, there was kindness and service for others." That is a home of blessing where God dwells. Baptist Leader.

I'd rather see a sermon,
Than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me
Than merely show the way.
The eye's a better pupil
And more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing
But example's always clear.
And the best of all the preachers
Are the ones who live their creed,
For to see good put in action
Is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it,
If you let me see it done.
I can watch your hands in action,
But your tongue too fast may run.
And the sermon you deliver
May be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lesson
By observing what you do,
For I might misunderstand you
And the high advice you give;
But there's no misunderstanding
How you act and how you live.Selected.

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