Giving Sermon Illustrations

Giving Sermon Illustrations

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Whose Loss Comes First?

A little boy started to Sunday-school with two nickels, one for the Lord, and one for himself. On the way to church he lost one of them. "There goes the Lord's nickel," he said. What the boy uttered concerning his loss is a reflection of the mind of many grown-ups. It is always the Lord's money that is lost.

Power will come upon the church that plays square with God. —The Watchword.

The Difference

A country squire, rich but godless, heard of the triumphant death of an aged Christian who had been associated with him in early life. "Yes, yes," said he, "you all wonder that I cannot be as quiet and happy, too. But think of the difference! He is going to his treasure, and I—I must leave all mine behind!" Treasure in Heaven is more to be desired than all the treasures of earth. —The British Weekly.

How to Get a Start in Life

A man in a New England town had been unemployed so long that he came to his last dollar. He laid fifty cents of it on the offering plate on Sunday. The following morning he heard there was a possibility of obtaining employment in a neighboring town. The railroad fare to the town was a dollar. It looked as if he should have kept the fifty cents he laid on the offering plate; but with the fifty cents he had he bought a ticket and rode half way to his desired destination. He stepped from the train and started to walk to the town. But God had something better for him. Before he had gone a block he learned of a factory near at hand that needed help. Within thirty minutes he had a job with a wage of five dollars more a week than he would have received had he gone to the other town. The first week's pay brought back hi' fifty cents tenfold. The man was W. L. Douglas, the shoe manufacturer.—One Besetting Sin, by Charles F. Weigle.


"I was born with music in my system. I knew musical scores before I knew my A B C's. It was a gift of Providence. Music is too sacred to be sold. I never look upon the money I earn as my own. It is only a fund entrusted to my care for proper disbursement. I reduce my needs to the minimum. I feel morally guilty in ordering a costly meal, as it deprives someone else of a slice of bread —some child, perhaps, of a bottle of milk. My beloved wife feels exactly about these things as I do. In all these years of my so-called success we have not built a home for ourselves. Between it and us stand all the homeless in the world."—Testimony of Fritz Kreisler, the great violinist, in Gospel Herald.

Small Son's Awkward Question

When the family returned from Sunday morning service, father criticized the sermon, daughter thought the choir's singing atrocious, and mother found fault with the organist's playing. But the subject had to be dropped when the small boy of the family piped up: "But it was a good show for a nickel, don't you think, Dad?"—The Illinois Farmer.

The Vain man says, Win gold and wear it;
The Miser says, Win gold and spare it;
The Usurer says, Win gold and lend it;
The Prodigal says, Win gold and waste it;
The Spendthrift says, Win gold and spend it;
The Thrifty man says, Win gold and save it;
The Wise man says, Win gold and use it.—Selected.

Practical Christianity

A story is told of an old colored preacher who was exhorting his congregation to give freely to the church; he was interrupted by a deacon, who rose and said:

"Pahson, you done told us dat salva-tion am free—as free as the aih we breathe and as free as the watah in the rivahs. If dat am true, how come you always asking for money?"

The old preacher adjusted his specter Iles and solemnly replied:

`Brothah Jones, you am right. Religion am free—salvation am free—like de aih am free and do watah am free; but if you wants watah in youah kitchen you gotta have watah pipes, and somebody has got to pay for de plumbin'."—Earnest Worker.

He Doesn't Depend on Bridge Parties

A few years ago, a young minister was interviewed by the pulpit committee of a large church. They were anxious to call him as their pastor, and they boasted of the accomplishments of their church, and especially of their gifts to missions. The minister asked how these missionary funds were raised, and he was told that the feat was accomplished by bridge parties, which had been very successful! The candidate's reply was, "Gentlemen, I love the cause of missions, but the Lord whom I serve is not in such need of funds that He has to depend on bridge parties for the spread of the Gospel!" To what strange methods men have turned to finance the work of Christ! In the energy of the flesh, they have resorted to every possible scheme and plan. Our God is not in need of such carnal efforts.—See.

Practical Exposition

John Wesley heard that a man named Tommy was ill and he wrote to him: "Dear Tommy, I pray that you may soon be restored. `Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed."' With the letter Wesley enclosed a five-pound note. Replying, Tommy wrote: "Dear Mr. Wesley, I have often been struck with the beauty of the passage you quoted, but I have never seen such a useful expository note upon it." — Sunday School Times.

A Cablegram from Heaven

A secretary of a British Missionary Society called on a Calcutta merchant and asked him to help in the work. He drew a check for $250 and handed it to the visitor. At that moment a cablegram was brought in. The merchant read it and looked troubled. "This cablegram," said he, "tells me that one of my ships has been wrecked and the cargo lost. It makes a very large difference in my affairs. I shall have to write you another check."

The secretary understood perfectly and handed back the check for $250. The check book was still open and the merchant wrote another check and handed it to him. He read it with amazement. It was drawn for $1,000. "Haven't you made a mistake?" the secretary asked. "No," said the merchant, "I haven't made a mistake." And then, with tears in his eyes, he said, "That cablegram was a message from my Father in heaven. It read, `Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth."'—The King's Business.

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