Giving Sermon Illustrations

Giving Sermon Illustrations

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Stomach Money

Upon passing a church building a short time ago, a friend said, "There is a church which is supported by `stomach money.'" Oyster stews, candy-pulling, ice cream socials, and suppers have become the props upon which the churches lean to get money with which to conduct the work of the Lord. Over and over again it is said, "Why, we simply couldn't raise the money for our church if we didn't have suppers!" In other words, the Lord's work would go by the board if it were not for "stomach money." Thank God, that is not true. When the people of God look to Him in faith and repudiate every worldly method with which they may be tempted to support the work and determinedly say, "We will give, give, give"—did you hear it? give, not buy—"as the Lord hath prospered us," then and then only is His cause on a scriptural financial basis.

When believers lean on "stomach money" they make a burlesque of their own faith, they humiliate God's cause before an already skeptical world, depart from the teachings of the Bible, and strip the message of salvation of its glory and power.

But the cause of Christ must be supported. Never was the need greater for financial backing in every department of God's work than at this present hour in this present evil age. The need will never be met by "stomach money." The need, however, will be met. God will lay it upon the hearts of His dear children. The need will be met by heart-money.—Clinton L. Fowler, in Grace and Truth.

Your Ship

Guy L. Morrill, in his book, Stewardship Stories, tells of a Sunday school class of boys, who for a number of weeks had studied stewardship. As they came to the end of their study of this subject, their teacher asked them to write out what they thought stewardship meant. One boy wrote this: "Stewardship means that life is a great ship, loaded with a rich cargo of many things to be delivered to many peoples in many places. God is the owner, but I am the captain of the ship." How do you think of yourself? As owner or as captain of the things you possess? Are you delivering the goods?—Forward.

The Things Money Cannot Buy

The late George Horace Lorimer, for many years editor of The Saturday Evening Post, once wrote these words: "It is a good thing to have money and the things that money can buy; but it is good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."

The things that money can't buy would make a long list—here are some of them:

Money can't buy real friendship — friendship must be earned.
Money can't buy a clear conscience—square dealing is the price tag.
Money can't buy the glow of good health—right living is the secret.

Useless Money

Tightly clasping a penny in her small hand, a little girl, so we are told, entered a candy store intending to make a purchase. Laying her penny on the counter, she lingered over the different kinds of sweets temptingly displayed, and finally made a choice. Pointing one chubby finger, she said to the clerk, "I'll take that one."

"I'm afraid that's two cents," answered the clerk consolingly.

Again the child inspected the different candies and again indicated her selection.

"That one also is two cents," the clerk was forced to repeat.

Ruefully she turned away and started to leave. "Wait," little girl," called the man behind the counter, "you've forgotten your penny."

"I don't want it," was her reply, "it won't buy anything."

The story reminded us of that prophecy of the day when our gold shall be removed from us, and men will cast their silver in the streets (Ezek. 7:17-19). Yes, the day will come when men will become so exasperated over the uselessness of their money, that they will cast it in the streets!—Prophecy Monthly.

How the African Gives

The African native is poor beyond words to describe—no house but a mud hut; no furniture but a reed mat; no dishes but clay pots; no clothing but a goat's hide; no food but corn meal porridge; no machines; no implements. Really you would say he has nothing that makes life comfortable and strong.

Yet he gives to God's work. At the outstation he builds the church, the schoolhouse, the pastor-teacher's house and kitchen, and a house for the mis-sionary to live in when he visits the place. He gives of what money he can earn. He gives grain or anything else he may possess. In a recent offering one native brought a good helmet that he had bought with his hard-earned money, and which was the pride of his life.—Missionary Voice.

A Heart Full of Love

Dr. Grenfell tells of an old fisherman, rich in trust, who was "given to hospitality." He was seventy-three years of age, and had fed many hungry folk during the "hard" winters; and when times grew unusually hard this old man of faith brought forth twelve dirty, well-worn five-dollar bills, as a last resort. This money, his entire savings, he gave to the missionary to buy food for needy neighbors. But Dr. Grenfell remonstrated: "You are getting old, and you shouldn't cut the last plank away yet." Then the hardy fisherman of many perils answered: "He'll take care, doctor, guess I can trust Him. It wouldn't do not to have used that sixty dollars, and have sent folks away hungry, would it, doctor? It would look as if I didn't much trust in Him."—Southern Churchman.

"Nothing Kept Back"

Some of you remember that beautiful scene in the life of General Gordon. He had just returned from China after the distinguished Taeping campaign. He went as a poor man, and he came back as poor—lots of honor, but nothing more substantial. When leaving China, the emperor, out of gratitude for the services he had rendered the empire, presented to him a large gold medal. When Gordon reached Plymouth, and saw the first copies of the English papers, he read of the famine among the silk weavers in and around Coventry. The people were starving, some were dying, and public funds were being subscribed for the relief of the distress. Gordon had nothing but his gold medal, which was his most highly cherished possession; and yet he took the medal, erased the inscription, and then sent it anonymously to the treasurer of the Coventry relief funds: and he adds: "After all, this is the secret of bliss—to give away your medal!" Nothing kept back, everything given! So it must be with you!—Charles Inwood

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