Covetousness Sermon Illustrations

Covetousness Sermon Illustrations

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When Is a Man Rich Enough?

When I was a lad an old gentleman took the trouble to teach me some little knowledge of the world. With this view I remember he asked me one day, "When is a man rich enough?"

I replied, "When he has ten thousand dollars."

He said, "No."

"Twenty thousand?"

"A hundred thousand?"

"Five hundred thousand?" which I thought would settle the business, but he continued to say "no."

I gave up and confessed I could not tell, but begged he would inform me.

He gravely said, "When he has a little more than he has, and that is never."—Youth's Companion.

Greed for Gold

It is very necessary that we keep out of our hearts the greed for gold. Inevi­tably such greed will spoil all our finer and nobler work. The hand of the writer, the hand of the artist, the voice of the minister, the voice of the statesman will be affected by it. Leonardo da Vinci tells this finely illustrative story: "Not infrequently the lust for gold brings even the great masters down to the level of craftsmen. Thus my countryman and comrade, Perugino the Florentine, arrived at such rapidity of execution that once he replied to his wife who called him to dinner, 'Serve the soup while I paint one more saint!' " —Watchman-Examiner.

His Gain But Loss

A preacher was conducting a revival, and a wealthy member asked him for a private interview. Here is what the man said: "My early life was a struggle, and oftentimes I was in need of the necessi­ties of life, but I kept struggling until I got a start. Then I gave my life up to making money. I made lots of it and have lots of it now. My family has grown up into two classes—one set gives all their thought and energy to making money and the other gives practically all their thought and time to pleasure and `going all the gaits of society.' Not one of them cares for the church." Then he said he had been trying to find a place where he could take some time from his vast business interests and give more to the church. "But," he said, "I have so much business and so many demands made upon me that it seems I have less time than ever for spiritual things. I give largely to our church budget, more than any other member, but giving fails to satisfy me. I know I am to die, and I want something to take with me that will be with me on the other side of the grave. What am I to do? Can you tell me how to turn loose from so many demands and give more time to eternal things?" He appeared to be a very sad man in spite of all his wealth, and concluded with the statement: "I wish I had made less money and lived more for the Lord." Are you giving enough time to spiritual things to satisfy your soul? —Courtesy Moody Monthly.

What Are You Listening For?

Evangelist "Dick" Huston once told of two men walking along a busy New York street when one of them asked his companion if he heard a cricket. His friend laughed and replied that no one could hear a cricket with the din of trolleys, motorcars, and trucks. The other stopped, lifted up a stone, and picked up a cricket and showed it to his friend. "How could you hear it?" the incredulous friend asked. "I will show you," and taking a coin from his pocket he tossed it in the air. When the coin struck the sidewalk, several men nearby put their hands to their pockets and looked to see if they had dropped any money. "You hear what you are trained to listen for," the nature lover observed. "My ears are trained to hear birds and insects and all the sounds of nature." Our Lord knew all about the many noises of earth that drown out the still small voice of God's Spirit when He warned, "He that bath ears to hear, let him hear."

Open my ears, that I may hear Voices of truth
Thou sendest clear; And while the wave-notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear. Sunday School Times.

Label Confusion

The leader of the radio devotional program, "Morning Meditations," told some time ago of a woman who, just before rationing began, laid in a large stock of canned goods, thinking she was outwitting the Government. She put them in her cellar and then went away for a month's visit; secure in her belief that her larder was well cared for. Upon her return home, she found rains had flooded the basement and every can had its label off. What confusion! Wishing to open a can of corn, she found it to be peaches; wishing pears, she opened peas. Then the speaker asked if there was confusion like that in our lives. Are we easily identified as Christians, or have the labels worn off? — Sunday School Times.

Sensitive Pocketbooks

Self-interest often leads men to oppose the truth. A missionary wrote: "One man was very indignant on hearing the sin and folly of idol worship exposed; the native brother who was speaking coolly replied, `I suppose you are a mak­er of images?' 'Yes!' exclaimed a voice from the crowd; `he makes and sells them for four annas apiece.' `I thought so,' said the native brother; `he is afraid lest any should be persuaded not to buy his images; that is the reason he is so angry with us.' This remark excited such a general laugh at the idol maker that for shame he retired from the crowd and gave us no more trouble." —Selected.

Money Getting

A millionaire in New York died. On his deathbed he gave continual expression to his remorse for what his conscience told him was an ill-spent life. "Oh!" he exclaimed, "if I could only live my years over again! If I could only be spared for a few years I would give all the wealth I have amassed in a lifetime. It is a life devoted to money-getting that I regret. It is this which weighs me down and makes me despair of life hereafter!" His pastor endeavored to soothe him, but he turned his face to the wall: "You have never reproved my avaricious spirit," he said to the clergyman; "you have called it a wise economy and forethought; but now I know that riches have been only a snare for my poor soul. I would give all I possess to have hope for my poor soul!" (Mk. 8:36).— Bible Expositor and Illuminator.

What His Money Bought

It is recorded of one of America's richest men, that before he died he said to a friend: "I don't see what good it does me—all this money that you say is mine. I can't eat it, I can't spend it, in fact, I never saw it, and never had it in my hands for a moment. I dress no better than my private secretary, and cannot eat as much as my coachman. I live in a big servants' boarding house, am bothered to death by beggars, have dyspepsia, cannot drink champagne, and most of my money is in the hands of others, who use it mainly for their own benefit." This is the testimony of one who put his treasure in "a bag with holes."—Gospel Herald.

Modern Idolatry

A millionaire, who had been born a poor boy, and whose money was now his idol, after showing his palatial mansion and beautiful grounds to a Quaker, said "And the almighty dollar has done it all! What cannot money do?"

"Ah, friend," replied the Quaker, "thou remindest me of the Israelites who worshiped the golden calf, saying it brought them out of the land of Egypt. In reality, it hindered rather than helped them in their journey to the promised land, and maybe thy dollars will do the same for thee."—Evangelical Visitor.

Working for Arteriosclerosis

A rich man makes a confession in Collier's: "Sometimes it seems to me," he says, "that I have worked all these years just to gain hardening of the arteries, and a few houses I don't want to live in. I am no more at home in my gar­den than I am in Central Park. And one of these days I shall die and all that will be left of me will be an estate for someone to spend or quarrel over." How different his life would have been had he spent his wasted life in the service of God!—Sunday School Times.

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