Encouragement Sermon Illustrations

Encouragement Sermon Illustrations

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When a man ain't got a cent,
And he's feelin' sort o' blue,
And the clouds hang dark and heavy
And won't let the sunshine through;
It's a great thing, O my brother,
For a fellow just to lay,
His hand upon your shoulder,
In a friendly sort o' way.

It makes a man feel curious,
It makes the tear drops start,
And you feel a sort o' flutter
In the regions round your heart.
You can't look up and meet his eyes,
You don't know what to say,
When a hand's laid on your shoulder
In a friendly sort o' way.

Oh, this world's a curious compound,
With its honey and its gall,
With its cares and bitter crosses,
But a good world after all.
And a good God must have made it;
Leastways that's what I say,
When a hand's laid on my shoulder
In a friendly sort o' way.—James Whitcomb Riley.

Provoking Christians

Christians are urged "to provoke" one another "unto love and to good works." The word "provoke" means to arouse, incite, hearten. Is it not a most worthy ambition and privilege to awaken and inspire others to live righteously and godly in this present world?

Few are aware of how much failure is due simply to the lack of incentive and courage or the loss of spirit. When the heart goes out of a person, there is no longer any vision to quicken, to cheer, to lead. So it is Christian to hearten and provoke others unto love and good works.

Singing to the merry ring of his trowel, a bricklayer aroused Carlyle from the stupor of despondency and provoked him to rewrite the second volume of his French Revolution which had been destroyed in the manuscript.

A line quoted from the New Testament and a pat on the head changed the stupid, shy lad, Walter Scott, and kindled in his heart a quenchless flame. A kiss from his mother at the psychological moment made Benjamin West a painter.

Thus a seasonable word, a mother's prayer, a friendly grasp of the hand, the memory of a face, often turn out to be provoking destiny-making acts. —Christian Observer.

Encouragement from Jeremiah

Early in life I fell in love with Jeremiah. I began preaching rather early; much sooner than I think boys should be allowed to preach. My judgment on the matter now is not in keeping with my feelings then; I felt I had been called of God to preach. Others had the same thought, and I was invited to help in a series of revival meetings in a town some distance from my home. After the first service in which I had preached, as I left the church a very fine woman remarked, "What can he know about God? He is only a child." That woman will never know how near I came to fainting; it was the first word I had heard in opposition to my own desire. I at once decided that I should take the first train for home in the morning. I do not remember ever in my life to have felt more dejected and forlorn. My habit was to read a portion of Scripture before retiring for the night. I opened my Bible at random and my eyes espied these words: "But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord" (Jer. 1:7, 8). I will confess I rather fell in love with Jeremiah. The train that would take me from the pulpit had not yet started. I did not run away, but had the joy of seeing many souls brought to God.—Dr. F. B. Stockdale.

Encouragement for God's People

Dr. F. B. Meyer used to say that if he had his preaching ministry to live over again he would preach more sermons of encouragement to God's people. Surely in such a day as this, whatever encouragement can be brought should not be withheld, for it is sorely needed. The Christian faith is basically optimistic because it views the changing scenes of experience in the light of the "unchangeable counsel" of the living God. Because with Him there is "no shadow of turning" we may indeed have "strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us." —Courtesy Moody Monthly.

Why He "Dasn't Quit"

A young man had a class of boys in a mission Sunday school. Little fellows, they were, and their new teacher's kindness and tact and genuine interest in them had won them to him completely. After a while the young man became rather discouraged with his efforts among them. He went down early that last Sunday—he wanted to get his records all in shape — and while he sat working in the office adjoining the Sunday school room, two of his boys came in. One announced that he wasn't coming anymore; teacher was going to quit, and he was going to quit, too. The other one flatly contradicted the first speaker's statement. The two continued to talk, but no argument could convince the one lad that teacher would quit. "Why," he declared, "he dasn't quit. I was the first boy in his class, and one Sunday he told us kids that God sent him to teach us, an' he said God was his boss, and he had to do wot He said. He's God's man, and he dasn't quit." And the young man didn't quit. He took the vision that was given him to heart. He caught the message of encouragement and cheer, of promise that came to him from God, through the medium of the boy who felt that teacher must make good because he was "God's man."—Comprehensive Quarterly.

What Changed Him

When Sir Walter Scott was a boy, he was considered a great dullard. His accustomed place in the schoolroom was the ignominious dunce corner with the high pointed paper cap of shame on his head. One evening when he was twelve or fourteen, he chanced to be in a home where famous literary guests were being entertained. The great Robert Burns was standing admiring a picture under which was written the couplet of a stanza. He inquired concerning the author. None of the great people present knew. Timidly a boy crept up to his side, whispered the name of the author, and quoted the rest of the poem. Burns was surprised and delighted. Laying his hand on the youth's head, he exclaimed, "Ah, bairnie, ye will be a great mon yet in Scotland some day!"

From that day, Walter Scott was a changed lad. One of the greatest men in the world believed that he would do great things!Gospel Herald.

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