Faithfulness Sermon Illustrations

Faithfulness Sermon Illustrations

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Adorning the Doctrine

What kind of Christians do African women make? For answer, read the brief stories of several who know the preciousness of Christ, chosen from among many similar cases mentioned in The Drum Call.

"In Nkolemvolan field women who confessed Christ were beaten by their husbands and cast into the streets with the warning that this would be their constant treatment if they did not forsake their belief in Christ. But these women have proved their faith and loyalty through many years. As an example, take our friend, Moaman. Through patience and prayer she has won her husband to Christ, although at first he tried her by various persecutions. When he died last September, leaving her with five children, her faith still held true. She carries on alone, her face shining with the light of inner faith and joy. Thus by her victory over old superstitions and customs associated with death and widowhood she continues to witness before her townspeople of Him who is her Lord and Master.

"Another example shows how our women suffer for their faith. This particular woman is one of many wives of a man who used to be a Christian but has left the faith. It seems to irk him that this wife with whom he went into the church has remained faithful, and he tries to persecute her and cause her to sin. These who went out from us because they were not of us. are like the evil spirit which took to himself seven other more evil spirits, and the last state of these people is worse than their first, for they verily seem possessed of the Devil and do their utmost to make others fall. One Sunday this particular woman was ordered by her husband to crack palm nuts and prepare them for market. She refused, saying that if he had asked her on Saturday she would have done it, but that she would not work on Sunday. He began to beat her. Still she refused. Her Christian friends, passing on their way to church, stopped to see what was going on. As she related the story later to her missionary friend, she said that she was given strength to endure because these friends had said to her, `Hold out—if he kills you, die for the faith.' It must have been a bit gruesome, though she found it a source of strength. At length the husband evidently began to fear that she would die, so he left off beating her. He still takes delight in giving her the hardest work in the village, but he has never again told her to work on Sunday. She says, `I am a slave, but I am content to suffer because I have a hope that cannot be taken away from me."'—Courtesy Moody Monthly.

A Sunday School of One

A missionary of the American Sunday School Union tells a story that we like. He had organized a Sunday School in the fall of the year in his territory, a portion of the middle west, and one Sunday morning in the following winter he made his way through deep snow to the school-house to see how the work was coming along. Smoke was coming out of the chimney and the bell being rung, as he drew near. Entering the house, he found only one person, a boy of fourteen.

"Was that the last bell for Sunday School?" the missionary asked. He was told it was.

"How has the Sunday School been getting along?" he inquired.

"Oh, it was doing first rate till the bad weather came!" the boy replied, "but since then it has not been doing so well."

They chatted pleasantly by the warm fire the boy had built, and waited, but no one else came. "How many were here last Sunday?" the missionary asked.

"Just me," the boy replied.

"Well, that is not very encouraging."

"No," was the reply, "but I thought if I came and built the fire and rung the bell somebody else might come."

"How many were here two weeks ago?"

"Just me," was the laconic reply.

On further questioning, the missionary learned the boy intended to repeat the process until he was told to quit. He said he did not want to see the Sunday School go down. The incident does not record the further history of the Sunday School of just one boy, but the expression "Just me" means a little more to us since meditating on the faithfulness of the lad. Not all can be great, but all can be faithful.—Life Line.

Like the star,
That shines afar,
Without haste,
And without rest,

Let each man wheel with steady sway
Round the task that rules the day,
And do his best.—Goethe.

Fixed Stars

There is the account of a Negro coachman who, shortly before the Civil War, was taking his owner through a rough stretch of country. Suddenly the sky overhead was full of shooting stars. "Oh, massa, the world's caving in!" the coachman cried. But the master calmly pointed to the North Star. "That star is not shooting," he said. "See how steady it is!"

And surely these are days of shooting stars and of trouble in the earth. Nations are bewildered, groping, fighting, relying upon force.

Churches show growth in membership but too often make small demands as to character or experience. Religious lead­ers in whom we have placed our confidence fail us. Will none be steady? Are there none who can be depended upon to keep the way?

As certainly as there are stars which abide the same and can be used to guide the sailor toward his safe harbor, so God has some men and women who "remain faithful." These are the Abrahams and the Josephs and the Daniels of our times. They shall have their reward; but greater than that, they shall serve well. Timid souls will arise to call them blessed.—The Free Methodist.

Stand Firm

This morning I was reading a circular issued in Great Britain to all residents telling them what to do in case of invasion. The two principal slogans were `Stand Firm' and `Carry On.' The Devil's blitzkrieg is pushing forward aggressively today. Surely all who love the Lord should `stand firm'—.'holding fast the Faithful Word' and should `carry on'—'holding forth the word of life."' Beside these two texts from Titus 1:9 and Philippians 2:16, one may place two others, which, with them, are good for these perilous times: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58) ; "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph. 6:13). It is interesting that this message should come first from those in England, who have suffered so much, and then from the Philippines, now in the furnace of war, and then to us who have just entered. God's grace is as sufficient in America as it has proved to be in England and in the Islands of the Pacific.Sunday School Times.

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