Giving Sermon Illustrations

Giving Sermon Illustrations

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Where Are Our Treasures?

Two friends were talking. One told the other of a "good man" who died and left $30,000. "What a pity," said the other, "that he left it behind when he might have sent it on ahead? He is not likely now to ever hear of it again."—Sunday School Times.

The Church Plate

Someone dreamed that she went to church, and after the service was over, a plate was held at the door for the contribution of the people. This plate had the power of changing each person's gift into its real value in the sight of God. A gentleman put in a gold coin, which immediately turned into brass! He had given it in order to be thought well of by others. A lady put in a quarter, which turned into a penny. She could have given far more, but only gave because it was the custom. A little girl, coming up with her Sunday School teacher, dropped in a penny, which turned into a daisy. She had given it only to please her teacher. The dreamer felt sad to think that these gifts were not accepted by God. Just then a poor girl came up and dropped in her penny. It changed into gold! She was very poor and had denied herself to give it, because she loved the Lord Jesus Christ. This gift was well pleasing to God.—Selected.

The sixpenny piece tells its story:

I'm only a sixpence, a very small coin. I am not on speaking terms with the butcher. I am much too small to buy a pint of beer or even a lemon squash. I am not large enough to purchase a quarter pound of chocolates. A permanent wave won't look at me. They won't even let me in at the cinema show. I am hardly fit for a tip. But, believe me, when I go to church on Sunday, I am considered some money.

(Mal. 3. 8; 1 Cor. 16. 1, 2).

From the sale of books alone John Wesley gave away between £30,000 and £40,000. He told Samuel Bradburn, one of his preachers, in 1787, that he never gave away anything less than £1,000 a year, and yet, when he died, his personal estate amounted to only a few pounds.

When earning £30 a year, he lived on £28 and gave the remaining £2 to the Lord. Next year his salary was doubled. He found that he lived comfortably on £28 a year, so, instead of raising his standard of living, he continued to live on £28 a year and gave the whole of his increase to God. So later God entrusted him with large and larger amounts.

(1 Chron. 29. 2-5; 2 Cor. 9. 8, 9).

There stood thirteen chests, each with a brazen, trumpet-shaped receiver into which the worshippers dropped their offerings; nine of them were marked 'for Jehovah', and four 'for the poor'. (In the temple court in Jerusalem).

The widow would fain manifest her love to the Lord and to her neighbor as well. If she casts the mite into His chest it will be known in heaven that one of the Lord's lovers has been in the treasury that day; if she casts it into the box marked 'for the poor' it will show her care for her fellows, but will it not seem to place human need above divine worship? The solution she adopts is both simple and costly; she will balance the claims of heaven and earth, and drop two mites into separate chests.

With eager joy the Lord called the attention of the twelve to her actions, and offers them a problem in the arithmetic of heaven.

She loved God and her neighbor.—H. St. John

(Mal. 3. 10; Mark 12. 41-44; Gal. 2. 10).

Give all thou canst,
High heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely calculated less or more.

(Mark 14. 3-9; 1 Cor. 16. 2; 2 Cor. 8. 12).

If you want to be rich, give; if you want to be poor, grasp! if you want abundance, scatter; if you want to be needy, hoard!

A man there was, and some did count him mad:
The more he gave away, the more he had.

(Prov. 11. 24, 25; 2 Cor. 9. 6).

The wealth of earth, of sky, of sea,
The gold, the silver, sparkling gem,
The waving corn, the bending tree,
Are Thine: to us Thou lendest them.

And when Thine Israel, travel-sore,
With offerings to Thy court would come,
With free and willing hearts they bore
Gifts, even from their desert home.

We, Lord, would lay at Thy behest
The costliest offerings on Thy shrine;
But, when we give and give our best,
We only give Thee what is Thine.

(Exod. 35. 21-24; 2 Chron. 31. 10; 2 Cor. 5).

A poor, blind woman in Paris put twenty-seven francs into a plate at a missionary meeting. 'You cannot afford so much,' said one.

`Yes, sir, I can,' she answered.

On being pressed to explain, she said, 'I am blind, and I said to my fellow straw-workers, "How much money do you spend in a year for oil in your lamps when it is too dark to work at nights?" They replied, "Twenty-seven francs." So,' said the poor woman, 'I find I save so much in the year because I am blind and do not need a lamp. I give this money to shed light to the dark, heathen lands.'—Prairie Overcomer

(Exod. 35. 21-24; 2 Citron. 31. 10; Matt. 4. 16).

When the British Government sought to reward General Gordon for his brilliant service in China, he declined all money and titles, but accepted a gold medal inscribed with the record of his thirty-three engagements. It was his most prized possession. But after his death the medal could not be found. Eventually it was learned that he had sent it to Manchester during a severe famine, directing that it should be melted down and used to buy bread for the poor. Under the date of its sending, these words were found written in his diary: The last earthly thing I had in this world that I valued I have given to the Lord Jesus Christ.'—Indian Christian

(Ps. 112. 9; 2 Cor. 9. 11)

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