Consecration Sermon Illustrations

Consecration Sermon Illustrations

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William Booth's Hunger

Years ago, a plain Methodist minister fell in love with the world's unlovely. In his very own picturesque phrase, he came to where he actually hungered for hell. He pushed out into the midst of it in the East End of London. For days he stood in those seething streets, muddy with men and women. He drank it all in, and loved it because of the souls he saw.

One night he went home and said to his wife:

"Darling, I have given myself, I have given you and the children, to the service of those sick souls."

She smiled, and took his hand, and to­gether they knelt and prayed. That was the beginning of the Salvation Army, and of the great work of Wm. Booth. Selected.

"I Want You"

A touching incident has been told of a sixteen-year-old girl who was a chronic invalid and whose mother was a pleasure-loving woman who could not endure the idea of being so much with her shut-in daughter. While the mother was traveling abroad in Italy, she remembered the coming birthday of her daughter, and sent her a rare and beautiful Italian vase. The trained nurse brought it to the girl, saying that her mother had sent it so carefully that it came right on her birthday. After looking at its beauty for a moment, the girl turned to the nurse and said: "Take it away, take it away. 0 Mother, Mother, do not send we anything more; no books, no flowers, no vases, no pictures. Send me no more. I want you, you!"

Don't give Christ things—only things. He wants you. "Son, daughter, give Me thy heart." That daughter wanted her mother. She wanted her presence, her companionship, her love. Christ wants you. He wants you first of all. He wants your yielded heart, your confidence, your trust, your union with Him. He wants your love, prompting you to the best possibilities you have. He says, "I want you, you." Your heart fully given, He knows all else will follow.—Selected.

Livingstone's Dedication

When Henry M. Stanley found Livingstone, the great missionary who spent thirty years in darkest Africa, and who had been lost to the world for over two years, he wanted him to come back home to England with him, but Living­stone refused to go. Two days later he wrote in his diary, "March 19th, my birthday. My Jesus, my King, my Life, my All, I again dedicate my whole self to Thee. Accept me, and grant, O gracious Father, that ere the year is gone I may finish my work. In Jesus' name, I ask it, Amen" A year later his servants found him on his knees dead. It was said of him:

He needs no epitaph to guard a name
Which men shall prize while worthy work is known:
He lived and died for good—be this his fame;
Let marble crumble: this is Living Stone. —Hugh T. Kerr, D.D.

What Self-Denial Is

A clergyman once said, "Do you know that Campbell Morgan came to this country, and preached one sermon that destroyed forty years of my sermons? For forty years I have been preaching on the duty of sacrifice—denying things to ourselves, giving up this and that. We practiced it in our family. We would give up butter one week and try to use the money in some way that God might bless. Another week we would give up something else, and so on. Campbell Morgan said that what we needed to give up was not things but self; and that was the only thing we had not given up in our home. We had given up everything under the sun, but self."—Sunday School Times.

Christ's Hands

Skilled in the use of illustrations, the Rev. Dr. J. H. Jowett, who exercised a distinguished ministry in both England and New York City, once told of the time when he went to conduct a village wedding. A great London organist was asked to play an asthmatical little organ, with but one pedal. Yet those fingers of the master-musician managed, somehow, to produce a wonderful wedding march from the defective instrument. Gypsy Smith narrating the incident said to his audience, "You let Jesus come with the fingers that painted the lily and the rosebud and the rainbow, the fingers that were nailed to the cross, and let those fingers touch the keys of your life and see what happens." Christ transforms and glorifies life.—Sunday School Times.

An Indian's Choice

Mr. H. Carrol Whitener, director of the Pueblo Indian Mission in New Mexico, tells this story. "The first Gospel was printed in the Acoma dialect, and soon after distribution was begun a Laguna Indian sheep herder secured a copy from one of the Acomas who took it with him to his sheep tent. After returning home read it to his family and neighbors many times, but, finally, because his wife was an Acoma, the Roman priests insisted that the council compel him to desist. Out of fear, they had a mock trial, and gave him the choice of giving up his Gospel or leaving his home and family and the reservation. After thinking it over, he accepted the alternative of leaving all for Christ's sake, and did so. He is still ostracized from that reservation, but continues a fine, faithful Christian, waiting for the day when, his faith still intact, he can again be united with his wife and children. No martyrs ever bore their stripes more firmly than some of these Indians are doing today here in the U. S. A., `the land of the free and the home of the brave,' for the sake of their faith and the precious Word."—Sunday School Times.

Whose Possession?

The story is told of a wealthy Englishman who had added to his valuable collection a rare violin which was coveted by Fritz Kreisler, the celebrated virtuoso. When the owner persisted in refusing to part with the instrument, Kreisler begged permission to play it just once. The opportunity was granted and he played as only a genius can play. He forgot himself. He poured his soul into his music.

The Englishman stood as one enchanted until the playing had ceased. He did not speak until Kreisler had tenderly returned the instrument to the antique box, with the gentleness of a mother putting her baby to bed.

"Take the violin," the Englishman burst out; "it is yours. I have no right to keep it. It ought to belong to the man who can play it as you did."

That was odd reasoning, to be sure; and yet it has something compelling about it. In a sense, ought not an instrument to belong to the master who can draw the finest music from it? And ought not your life and mine to belong to the Master who can draw the noblest harmonies from them?—A. B. Rhinow, in The Watchman-Examiner.

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