Visions Sermon Illustrations

Visions Sermon Illustrations

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In his book The Wilson Era, Josephus Daniels, secretary of the navy under Wilson, relates how he once asked Andrew Carnegie what was the secret of his remarkable success. Carnegie replied, "I owe it all to my flashes."

Mystified, Daniels said, "What do you mean by 'flashes'?"

"All my life," replied Carnegie, "I woke up early in the morning, and always there came into my mind with the waking a flash telling me what to do that day, and if I followed those matin flashes, I always succeeded."

"You mean," said Daniels, "that you have heavenly visions, and like the man in the Scriptures you were not disobedient to your visions?"

"Call it that if you like," answered Carnegie, "or call it flashes; but it was the following of those silent admonitions and directions which brought me the success you say I have achieved."

Whatever may be said about the flashes in the business world, there is no doubt about flashes of divine impulse in the moral and spiritual world. When they come, happy is the man who, like Paul, is not disobedient to the heavenly vision.

"Living Above"

Over the door of a little cabinetmaker's shop in London there hangs this sign, "Living Above." It is a notification to his customers that he can be found above his shop if the door is locked. It is a great thing for a worker to be able to say he is living above his work; that his dreams and hopes and real life are above the level of his day's toil. He may have to work amid the clods and clutter, but at least he can live above. No matter how lowly a man's work, his life can be above.—Courtesy Moody Monthly.

What the Sculptor Saw in the Stone

In an article on "The World of the Unseen," in the Presbyterian, the Rev. Stuart Nye Hutchison, D.D., tells the following incident to illustrate the lure of the unseen. Out in the Black Hills of Dakota the distinguished sculptor, the late Gutzon Borglum, carved in the rocks of the mountainside one of the most stupendous memorials on earth. The greatest thing Borglum ever did, however, is the head of Lincoln in the capitol in Washington. He cut it from a block of marble which had long been in his studio. It is said that into that studio every morning came an old Negro woman to dust. She had become accustomed to seeing that marble block standing there, and for days had not noticed it. One morning she came in and saw to her astonishment and terror the unmistakable lineaments of Lincoln appearing in the stone. She ran to the sculptor's secretary and said, "Am dat Abraham Lincoln?" "Yes." said the secretary, "that is Abraham Lincoln." "Well," said the old woman, "how in de world did Massa Borglum know that Abraham Lincoln was in dat block of stone?" The vision of the unseen is what transforms and glorifies Christian work. The people for whom our missionaries labor are many of them so unattractive; that is what we see. But off in the un seen we see what Jesus saw in those men of Galilee, the men and women they may be and will be when touched by the Spirit of Christ.—Alliance Weekly.

Walking Straight

Some boys were once trying to see which could make the straightest track across a snowy field. One succeeded in making a perfectly straight track. When asked how he did it he said, "I kept my eyes fixed on the goal, while you fellows kept yours on your feet." If "mine eyes are ever toward the Lord," I will walk a straight way.—Earnest Worker

They Looked Up

An article in The Christian Advocate not long ago told of a lesson which a London physician learned from his children in the early days of the present war. His children were playing outside the home one night when one of the sudden blackouts occurred. At first they were terrified by the sudden darkness, and then they looked up.

A short time later they made their way into their father's office, and with faces aglow with happiness, exclaimed: "Look, father, we can see the stars—stars right here in London!" The doctor had always associated those blackouts with the historic words of Sir Edward Grey, uttered August 3, 1914: "The lights are going out all over Europe tonight." To him those blackouts had been inexpressibly depressing, unrelieved by any gleam of grace or ray of hope. In relating the incident, the doctor says: "Now my heart tells me—taught by my children—that the lights of God are still shining. The very darkness makes them more visible, if we will but lift our downcast eyes."
Of course! "The lights of God are still shining." They remind us that the Saviour is still "upholding all things by the word of His power" (Heb. 1:3). They remind us that God has not abdicated in favor of any dictator or combination of dictators. Sometime soon, probably when the night seems darkest, up there in the sky will appear "The Bright and Morning Star," to be seen only by His own, and "to be admired in all them that believe . . . in that day" (Rev. 22:16; II Thess. 1:10).—The Ohio Independent Baptist.

One with a vision of the Lord
Who walks beneath His shining face,
And never will his stand retrace,
And never sheathe his flaming sword.
One all endued with faith, who dares,
With iron in blood, tested nerves;
Who from his vision never swerves,
Whose torch shines steady, never flares.—Gospel Herald.

A Lincoln Story

A good many years ago a young man living eight miles from the village of Charleston, Illinois was employed as a field laborer. When not hired out to neighboring farmers he would go into the forest on his father's homestead and cut cordwood.

In the fall of the year, before the autumn rains set in and made the roads impassable, he would yoke the oxen to an old cart and go to Charleston and sell wood to the residents of that town. Times were hard and quite often selling wood was far from being an easy task. On one occasion darkness came on before he was able to dispose of his wood.

At last the wood was unloaded and he started home. But before he had gone far, rain began to fall. Eight miles was a long journey with an ox team. At a farm house he asked permission to stay overnight. The request was granted.

The farmer was also the horse doctor and a man of influence in that section of the country. That night the farmer and the young man talked until long after midnight.

The next morning the farmer and his wife stood in their doorway and watched the youth and his oxen wind their way over the hill. The man turned to his wife and said, "Someday this country will hear of that fellow." He really meant the community would hear of that fellow. But it would have been correct if he had said, "Some day the world will hear of that fellow.' "

The name of that fellow was Abraham Lincoln.—Clinton M. Hicks.

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