Consecration Sermon Illustrations

Consecration Sermon Illustrations

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In his poem Morte D' Arthur, Lord Tennyson describes how King Arthur, mortally wounded in battle, commanded his knight, Sir Bedivere, to take his sword Excalibur, which he had received from the lake nearby, and go and throw it into the lake, then to return and report to the king what he saw. In obedience the knight took the sword and wended his way to the lakeside by zigzag and rocky paths, and there, drawing out Excalibur, with the bright winter sun shining on it, he gazed long at the sword. Its hilt sparkled with diamonds and jewels which scintillated in the moonlight. So he thought it better to conceal the sword somewhere in the waterflags: and, having done so, returned to the wounded king. In reply to Arthur's question, 'What is it thou hast seen? Or what hast heard?' he replied,

`I heard the ripple washing in the reeds,
And the wild water lapping on the crags.'

Knowing from his reply that his order had not been carried out, King Arthur rebuked his knight for telling this lie and again sent him to carry out his instructions and, having done so, to return and bring him word.

Again Sir Bedivere went to the side of the lake, but again the wonder of the jewelry on the hilt, and the exceeding preciousness of the sword, diverted him from obedience to his king; and he hid it a second time. When he returned to King Arthur and, in reply to Arthur's question, gave the same answer as before, the king was very angry and sent him again with the words:

`A man may fail in duty twice,
And the third time may prosper.'

This time Sir Bedivere hastened to the lake, drew the sword from its hiding-place in the bullrushes, and threw it into the lake. Then there rose 'an arm, clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,' caught the sword by the hilt, brandished it three times and drew it into the lake.

Sir Bedivere had returned the sword to the giver, and the giver had received it back. Thus should redeemed lives, given to those who believe, be yielded to the Giver.

(2 Sam. 23. 15-17; Rom. 6. 13; 12. 1)

There is a fable well known in India of a poor beggar who lived in a State ruled by a Maharaja. The beggar had no home but put up every night in a free choultry—or lodging-house—sleeping on a mat on the floor, and covering himself in the cooler nights with old rags. His clothing was tattered and old, and, having no means of earning a livelihood other than begging, he used to go out in the morning after a meal of cold rice left over from the previous day and sit by the wayside with his beggar's bowl. For `punyam' (merit), passers-by used to throw some grains of rice or copper coins his way, so he usually had enough rice for two meals a day, and enough money to buy sticks for a fire and a few vegetables, fish or dhall for curry, which he ate at the choultry.

One day he heard that on the morrow the Maharaja himself was coming that way in his chariot. That raised his hopes, as he said to himself, 'The Maharaja will not give me a handful of rice or a copper coin, or even a few annas, but nothing less than a golden "Varaha".' The next day he took up his usual position by the side of the road, and patiently awaited the Maharaja's coming. The sun stood overhead and still he waited in the noonday heat, but no sign of the ruler. Patiently he waited, still full of hope, until almost sunset and then he heard the welcome sound of the horses' hoofs and the chariot wheels. Stepping into the road, he brought the chariot to a standstill, approached the Maharaja and begged for alms. Instead of giving him anything, the Maharaja extended his hands and asked the beggar to give him something. Extremely disappointed and disgusted at a wealthy ruler begging from a poor beggar, he counted out five grains of rice from his bowl and placed them angrily in the hands of the Maharaja. Namasthe,' said the Maharaja, and continued his journey.

With a sore heart and very disappointed, the beggar went that evening to his choultry, took out his winnowing fan and began to clean his rice for his meal. As he did so, a small glittering object attracted his attention. Picking it up, he saw that it was a grain of gold. Laying it carefully on one side, he went on winnowing till he found another glittering golden grain, then another. Now the search began in real earnest, and a fourth was found among the rice. After another search he saw a fifth and put it with the others. But, no matter how long he searched after that, he found not another grain of gold.

Then the truth dawned on him. Five grains of rice given to the Maharaja had brought him in return five grains of gold. 'What a fool I was!' he exclaimed regretfully, 'If I'd known I'd have given him it all.'

We lose what on ourselves we spend:
We have as treasure without end
Whatever, Lord, to Thee we lend
Who givest all.

(Mal. 3. 10; Mark 12. 44; 2 Cor. 9. 6)

Consecration of Jewels

The Princess Eugenia of Sweden, a devoted Christian lady and very liberal, had used up all the money she could control in doing good in various ways. Still, in visiting the poor, she found a number of sick persons who never could be cured, but who could be made comfortable, if they only had a hospital home. She wished to establish a hospital for incurables. But her money was all gone. She said to herself, 'May I not sell my diamonds?' She asked her brother, the king, about it. He consented. The diamonds were sold. The hospital was built. It was kept full of patients. With them this noble princess spent much of her time, talking and praying with them, and trying to lead them to Jesus. Among these was an old woman who was very ignorant and had been very wicked. The princess had labored much over this woman and was very anxious to see her a Christian. But nothing seemed to make any change in her.

On one occasion the princess had to be absent for some weeks. She was going among the patients saying 'Goodbye'. The matron pointed to this old woman and said, 'You'll find her greatly changed.' As the princess came up to the bedside of the old woman, now near her end, she was greeted with these sweet words: 'I thank God that the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth from all sin, and that He has cleansed me from mine.'

As she uttered these words, tears of grateful gladness flowed down her cheeks. As the princess herself shed tears of joy when speaking of it to a friend, she said, 'In the tears of that saved soul I saw my diamonds again.'—The Indian Christian

(Exod. 35. 27-29; 1 Chron. 29. 1-5; 1 Tim. 6. 19)

Henry Martyn, a missionary, cried as he knelt on India's coral strands: "Here let me burn out for God."—Selected

Here I give my all to Thee —
Friends and time, and earthly store;
Soul and body Thine to be—
Wholly Thine for evermore.—Anonymous

"See that Jesus gets it all," was the dying wish of a little girl who had saved forty-eight cents to give to the mission school. How different with false consecration!—Selected

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