Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

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The Power of Forgiveness

A young Christian working man told me that he lost a valued tool from his tool kit and recognized it later in the kit of his fellow workman. Being the only Christian at work in the room he felt it incumbent upon him to show forgiveness. So he went to the thief and said, "I see you have one of my tools, but you can keep it if you need it." Then he went on with his work and put the incident out of his mind. During the next two weeks the thief three times tried to give the value of the tool to its rightful owner—once by offering to give him something else of equal value, again by offering his services between hours, and again by slipping money into his coat pocket. The incident closed with a lasting friendship between the two men, because, said the thief, "I couldn't stand being forgiven." —Henry and Tertius van Dyke in Light My Candle; Fleming H. Revell Company.

The Unforgiving Spirit

Nothing will hinder prevailing prayer more than an unforgiving spirit. A child was walking along a street and a large dog came out barking. She stood terrified. Soon a stranger came to her and said, "Come on, little girl, the dog has stopped barking." "Yes, she said, "but the bark is on the inside." She saw in the eyes of the dog an unfriendly spirit. We Christians are too civilized today to quarrel outwardly, but is there not sometimes a bark inside—an unforgiving spirit?—Robert P. Wilder, in Christ and the Student World.

How oft shalt thou forgive thy brother?
That depends:
How often has thy Lord forgiven thee?
Thy debt was great; it could not greater be,
And yet thou art forgiven and set free!

Wilt thou not then forgive thy brother
Who offends?
Or, wilt thou thrust him in the darksome jail
And cause him at thy ignominy to quail
Until he pays thee all thou dost entail?

If thou wilt not forgive thy brother,
What impends?
As thou hast done, thy Lord will do to you:
He'll punish thee till thou hast paid His due;
In all His dealings God is righteous, true.—Selected.

Nursing Not the Cure

A man who suffered from a grievance, and who could talk of little else, was one day having a chat with a doctor. "I suppose your experience tells you it is possible to cure almost anything by careful nursing?" he asked. The doctor, who had a keen sense of humor, looked quietly at his questioner. "One thing can never be cured by nursing," he said emphatically. "What might that be?" "A grievance," said the doctor, with a laugh.Christian Herald.

She Brought Her Answer

A man about thirty years old confessed Christ in a Sunday night service, and on Tuesday he came in and asked if I'd do him a favor. He said that he had to write a letter; that he didn't know how to go about it, and wanted some help. We went into the writing room, and I told him to tell me what he wanted to say, and I would try to express it for him properly. He had some trouble starting, but finally informed me that he had deserted his wife and baby daughter six months before, and had run off with another woman. He wanted his wife to forgive him, because he was a Christian now, and didn't want to die deserving her hatred. The poor fellow wept like a child as he unfolded his tale. He offered no excuses, asked for no favor, just begged for forgiveness. I somehow phrased his pitiful pleas, and we mailed it together. Two weeks later he came in accompanied by his wife and wee daughter. I never saw a happier man in all my life. When his wife got his letter she wasted no time writing; she answered it in person.... She said that she had prayed for her husband daily after he left her. She did not ask God to bring him back; only to save him. She got her answer, and her husband!—Harry Rimmer, in Miracles at Morning Cheer.

A Startling Title

The author of the famous tract, "Come to Jesus," at one time engaged in a theological dispute. He at last sat down and wrote to some publication of his opponent, an answer, bristling with sarcasm and invective, sharp and cutting as a razor. Reading it to a friend, he asked: "What do you think of it?" "It is a masterpiece of invective," was the reply. "You fairly flay him alive. What have you decided to call it?" "I have not thought of a title. Can you suggest one?" "Well," came the response, "how would it do to call it, 'Go to the Devil,' by the author of `Come to Jesus'?"—The King's Business.

Dear Lord, and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.—Whittier

O God! my sins are manifold; against my life they cry,
And all my guilty deeds foregone up to Thy temple fly.
Wilt thou release my trembling soul, that to despair is driven?
"Forgive!" a blessed voice replied, "and thou shalt be forgiven!"

My foemen, Lord, are fierce and fell; they spurn me in their pride;
They render evil for my good; my patience they deride;
Arise! my King! and be the proud in righteous ruin driven!
"Forgive! the awful answer came, "as thou wouldst be forgiven!"

Seven times, O Lord, I've pardoned them; seven times they've sinned again;
They practice still to work me woe, and triumph in my pain;
But let them dread my vengeance now, to just resentment driven!
"Forgive!" the voice in thunder spake, "or never be forgiven!'"—Selected

During his lifetime the pious Archbishop Tillotson was often maligned, slandered, and villified by his opponents. All this he bore with puzzling patience. Upon his death there was found a large, bulging envelope on which he had written: "These are libels. I pray God to forgive the authors, as I do."—The Biblical Illustrator

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