Influence Sermon Illustrations

Influence Sermon Illustrations

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I rejoice, now that our beloved brother, Harold St. John, has been called into the Lord's presence, to recount an incident that could happen only to a man who 'walked with God'.

He was staying in an hotel in Rome and when an English lady approached him, and said, 'May I presume to speak to you without an introduction on the basis that we are both British people in a foreign country?"Why, madam, certainly,' he replied, to which she responded, 'I wish to ask you a personal question. Will you please tell me the secret of your serenity? I have been watching you for two days and I perceive you live in a different world from mine.' This led to a conversation which ended in her kneeling in a secluded corner of the hotel lounge and accepting his Lord as hers.—R. A. Laidlaw

(1 Pet. 2. 9)

Spiritual Influence

When I was saved, during a mighty movement of the Spirit of God in Glasgow, Scotland, a young lady was also saved. Her name was Helen Ewing. She was just a slip of a girl, but at the very threshold of her new life in Christ, she crowned Him as absolute Lord and was filled with the Spirit. The rivers of living water just simply flowed from that young girl's life. Although she died at the age of twenty-two, all Scotland wept. I know hundreds of missionaries all over the world wept and mourned for her.

She had mastered the Russian language and was expecting to labor for God in Europe. She had no outstanding personality; she never wrote a book, nor composed a hymn; she was not a preacher, and never travelled more than two hundred miles, so far as I know, from her home. But when she died people wrote about her life story. Although she died so early in life, she had led a great multitude to Jesus Christ. She arose early each morning about five o'clock to study God's Word, to commune, and to pray. She prayed for hundreds of missionaries. Her mother showed me her diary—one of her diaries—and there were at least three hundred different missionaries for whom she was praying. It showed how God had burdened that young heart with a ministry of prayer. She had the date when she started to pray for a request and then the date when God answered her petition. She had a dynamic prayer life that moved God and moved man.

I was talking one day with two university professors in London City. We were talking about dynamic Christianity, when one of them suddenly said, 'Brother Stewart, I want to tell you a story.' And he told me that in Glasgow University there was a remarkable young lady who, wherever she went on that campus, left a fragrance of Christ behind her. For example, if the students were telling dirty stories, someone would say, `Sh—Helen is coming—quiet,' and then she passed by and unconsciously left the power behind her.—James Stewart

(Gal. 2. 20; Eph. 5. 18; Phil. 1. 21)

One sickly sheep infects the flock,
And weakens all the rest.—Unknown

The deeds we do, the words we say—
Into still air they seem to fleet,
We count them ever past;
But they shall last—
In the dread judgment they
And we shall meet!

I charge thee by the years gone by,
For the love's sake of brethren dear,
Keep thou the one true way,
In work and play,
Lest in that world their cry
Of woe thou hear.—John Keble

Do not say your influence is confined to a narrow sphere. Yon little candle is not a sun; yet observe how bright it shines, how far it spreads its rays in the dark night! Hide not then your light, whatever it be, under a bushel; nor keep your talent, because it is a single one, wrapped up in a napkin. Of this I can assure you, that if you adorn the Gospel by a holy conversation, you will give light to some who sit in darkness, and prove a blessing to your relations, friends, and neighbors. You will preach to the eyes what we preach to the ears. You will be living epistles known and read of all men.—E. Ward

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