Influence Sermon Illustrations

Influence Sermon Illustrations

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Niemoller and the Atheist

Here is an interesting item about the conscientious German pastor who would not bow to Hitler, and for that reason was confined in a concentration camp.
"It is reported that the concentration camp commander at Sachenhausen, where Martin Niemoller is being held, is determined to make an atheist of his famous prisoner, and to this end placed a communist atheist in the cell next to him, with permission for them to talk. He also arranged for these two men to take their daily half hour walk at the same time and in the same yard. The atheist was a very intellectual person, skilled in argument. He had been promised all sorts of `favors' if he could make Niemoller lose his faith. Each prisoner enjoyed presenting his own viewpoint. This lasted four days. On the fifth day, the atheist begged Niemoller to lend him his Bible, a Book that now assumed a new meaning to him. The very same day the atheist was moved to another cell."—The News Chronicle.

You Tell on Yourself

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
By the very manner in which you speak,
By the way you employ your leisure time,
By the use you make of dollar and dime.

You tell what you are by the things you wear,
By the spirit in which your burdens bear,
By the kind of things at which you laugh,
By the records you play on the phonograph.

You tell what you are by the way you walk,
By the things of which you delight to talk,
By the manner in which you bear defeat,
By so simple a thing as how you eat.

By the books you choose from the well­filled shelf:
In these ways and more, you tell on yourself;
So there's really no particle of sense
In an effort to keep up false pretense.The Lighted Pathway.

Life More Than Words

A man's life is always more forcible than his speech; when men take stock of him they reckon his deeds as pounds and his words as pence. If his life and his doctrine disagree the mass of lookers-on accept his practice and reject his preaching.—C. H. Spurgeon, in the Keswick Calendar.

Influence Is the Effluence of Affluence

There came over the air a few nights ago a radio voice telling the story of a young woman who went to the superintendent of her Sunday School and said: "I can't do a thing with my class of boys. I don't seem to have a bit of influence over them." And what could a mere man do in face of a determined young woman? He let her resign. Later one of her boys was in a group where the discussion turned upon the credibility of the story of Jonah and the big fish. With challenge burning in his speech he said: "I'll bet if you heard my Sunday School teacher tell it, you would have believed!" Someone who was present caught fire from that declaration and told the young woman. She called up her superintendent and said: "I want my class of boys back; I did not know until now what influence I have over them." And what could a mere man do in face of a determined young woman? She got her class back! Influence is the effluence of affluence—the outflow of the wealth of a convinced personality intensely in earnest.—John R. Riebe.

The Light of the World

A high-caste Hindu in Jamaica watched a lady missionary living on the opposite side of the road for twelve months, unknown to her. At the end of the year he became a Christian, and is now an elder in the Friends' Meeting of his town, for, as he said, if Christianity can make anyone live as that lady lives it must be the true religion. One slip or one word amiss, he added, would have left him a Hindu. The ter­rible thing is that if our light be hid, it is hid "in them that are perishing."W. P. Clark.

A Servant Like His Master

That is a beautiful testimony which a Glasgow blacksmith gave concerning the saintly Dr. Norman McLeod: "He never came into my shop without talking to me as if he had been a blacksmith all his life; but he never went away without leaving Christ in my heart."—United Presbyterian.

An Obstacle Removed

The story is told of a well-known Welsh preacher who went to deliver the address at the funeral of a pious and venerable village minister in South Wales. Hundreds of miners assembled in silence around the grave, and these were the first words that fell upon their ears: "My brethren, the greatest obstacle on your road to hell has been removed."Sunday School Times.

How an Indian Saw Christ

A Navajo Indian woman who had been healed of a terrible ailment by a missionary doctor, was so impressed by the love he manifested that she said, "If Jesus is anything like the doctor, 1 can trust Him forever." There is no danger of loving too much, for Christ has set the limit.— "As I have loved you."—Sunday School Chronicle.

To Be Near

There is a story of a young artist in the studio of a great painter at Rome many years ago. He had much talent, and his friends urged him to establish an independent studio of his own, and predicted for him wealth, success and fame. But he said: "No, I have found my master. I want to paint like Raphael, and to do that I must be near him so that I may study his method and catch his spirit and listen to his instructions. I have no other ambition than to be like him."

This is the Christian ideal also, to be near Christ that we may be like Him, finding greatness in service with Him who came not to be ministered unto but to minister.—Homiletic Review.

The Gospel of the Face

It is said of Fenelon that his communion with God was such that his face shone. Lord Peterborough, a skeptic, was once compelled to spend a night with him at an inn. In the morning he hurried away saying, "If I spend another night with that man, I shall be a Christian in spite of myself."

Fenelon's manner, voice, and face reflected so perfectly the glory of Christ that he was irresistibly attractive to even the worldliest men and women.—Earnest Worker.

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