Example Sermon Illustrations

Example Sermon Illustrations

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It's Coming

A missionary in China advertised for a servant. A well-dressed lady responded. The missionary hesitated, for she wanted someone to scrub, wash, and make beds. But, yes, the lady understood, and was hired. One day the missionary observed her hiding some small object, to her evident embarrassment. Again it happened, and then the secret was out. "It's coming! The light on my face! I used to see the Christians on their way to chapel, and noticed how bright their faces were. I wanted that look for myself, and thought if I came to work for you I might get some of it. My husband tells me the light is coming, and I was looking in this little mirror to see !" Through accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour she became a bright and attractive Christian.—Selected.


Hopelessness of a Perfect Example

Dr. Joseph Parker, on one occasion, referred to the Unitarian conception of Jesus Christ as a great example only, and then went on to say: "We have been to hear Paderewski play. It was wonderful, superb, magnificent. Then we went home and looked at the piano. We would have sold it to the first man who would have been fool enough to buy it. That is the effect of your great examples upon us. I want not only a great example, but a great Saviour, one who can deliver me from my weakness and my sins." To follow a good example in the future will not blot out the black record of the past; we need the blood of Christ's atoning sacrifice to accomplish that. To hear a Paderewski play will not make us like a Paderewski. Could a Paderewski incarnate himself within one, he could play like himself. So the Christian life is not Christ and I, but Christ in me. We need the Christ from within to live the Christ without.—Courtesy Moody Monthly.


Unawares

They said: "The Master is coming
To honor the town today,
And none can tell at whose house or home
The Master will choose to stay."
And I thought, while my heart beat wildly,
What if He should come to mine?
How would I strive to entertain
And honor the guest divine!

And straight I turned to toiling
To make my home more neat;
I swept and polished and garnished,
And decked it with blossoms sweet;
I was troubled for fear the Master
Might come ere my task was done,
And I hastened and worked the faster,
And watched the hurrying sun.

But right in the midst of my duties
A woman came to my door;
She had come to tell me her sorrows,
And my comfort and aid to implore.
And I said: "I cannot listen,
Nor help you any today;
I have greater things to attend to."
And the pleader turned away.

But soon there came another—
A cripple, thin, pale and gray;
And said: "Oh, let me stop and rest
A while in your home, I pray!
I have traveled far since morning,
I am hungry and faint and weak.
My heart is full of misery,
And comfort and help I seek."

And I said: "I am grieved and sorry.
But I cannot keep you today;
I look for a great and noble guest,"
And the cripple went away.
And the day wore onward swiftly.
And my task was nearly done,
And a prayer was ever in my heart,
That the Master to me might come.

And I thought I would spring to meet Him,
And serve Him with utmost care,
When a little child stood by me,
With a face so sweet and fair;
Sweet, but with marks of teardrops,
And his clothes were tattered and old;
A finger was bruised and bleeding,
And his little bare feet were cold.

And I said: "I am sorry for you;
You're sorely in need of care;
But I cannot stop to give it,
You must hasten otherwhere."
And at the words a shadow
Swept o'er his blue-veined brow;
"Someone will feed and clothe you, dear,
But I am too busy now."

At last the day was ended,
And my toil was over and done;
My house was swept and garnished,
And I watched in the dusk alone;
Watched, but no footfall sounded,
No one paused at my gate,
No one entered my cottage door;
I could only pray and wait.

I waited till night had deepened,
And the Master had not come.
"He has entered some other door," I cried,
"And gladdened some other home!"
My labor has been for nothing,
And I bowed my head and wept;
My heart was sore with longing,
Yet in spite of all, I slept.

Then the Master stood before me,
And His face was grave and fair;
"Three times today I came to your door,
And craved your pity and care;
Three times you sent Me onward
Unhelped and uncomforted;
And the blessing you might have had was lost,
And your chance to serve has fled."

"O Lord, dear Lord, forgive me!
How could I know it was Thee? "
My very soul was shamed and bowed
In the depths of humility.
And He said: "Thy sin is pardoned,
But the blessing is lost to thee;
For comforting not the least of Mine,
Ye have failed to comfort Me."Selected.

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