Gifts Sermon Illustrations

Gifts Sermon Illustrations

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Gifts of Grace.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when labours increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials—His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half-done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men,
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

(2 Cor. 9. 8 ; 12. 9)

The Gift to The Emperor

Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is a ruler for whom many Americans still feel strong sympathy because of the terrible aggression committed against his nation by Benito Mussolini. But this fact is hardly a logical explanation for an occurrence which has brought Haile Selassie into the news recently. And this time the sympathy should lie not with the Ethiopian emperor, but with the American taxpayer.

What's happened is this: The United States, through typical generosity of our State Department with the taxpayers' money, has hauled a World War II seaplane tender out of mothballs and converted it into a modern patrol ship with air conditioning and gold wallpaper for presentation to Haile Selassie as a flagship. Needless to say, there was hot controversy about just how much the project was costing American taxpayers. Critics said $2,000,000, but the State Department announced that the job cost only $175 000. Now Congressional testimony shows that the yacht actually cost U. S. taxpayers, not $175,000, not $2,000,000, but a whopping $3,000,000 - including $500,000 to train its Norwegian crew.

Now, it isn't exactly as if Ernepror Haile Selassie were a pauper. Rep. Wayne Hays, D-Ohio, who sharply criticizes the gift on the grounds that if the Ethiopian ruler needs a boat he is able to pay for it himself, points out that Haile Selassie is reputed to have more gold bullion in his own personal fortune in Swiss banks than any country except the United States.

What earthly reason, then, is there for our State Department to be spending one penny of the taxpayers' money—much less $3,000,000 of it—on a luxury yacht for a ruler with so much personal wealth?

This editorial about Emperor Selassie made me think of what Eugene O'Neill wrote under a title, The Emperor Jones: "Wes all poor nuts and things happen, and we just get in wrong, that's all. Fer de little stealin' dey gits you in jail soon or late. Fer de big stealin' dey makes you Emperor and puts you in de Hall o' Fame when you croaks. If dey's one thing I learns in ten years on de Pullman cars listenin' to de white quality talk, it's dat same fact."

Emerson wrote: "Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous."

When Lawrence Barrett's daughter was married Stuart Robson sent a check for $5000 to the bridegroom. The comedian's daughter, Felicia Robson, who attended the wedding conveyed the gift.

"Felicia," said her father upon her return, "did you give him the check?"

"Yes, Father," answered the daughter.

"What did he say?" asked Robson.

"He didn't say anything," replied Miss Felicia, "but he shed tears."

"How long did he cry?"

"Why Father, I didn't time him. I should say, however, that he wept fully a minute."

"Fully a minute," mused Robson. "Why, Daughter, I cried an hour after I signed it."

A church house in a certain rural district was sadly in need of repairs. The official board had called a meeting of the parishioners to see what could be done toward raising the necessary funds. One of the wealthiest and stingiest of the adherents of that church arose and said that he would give five dollars, and sat down.

Just then a bit of plastering fell from the ceiling and hit him squarely upon the head. Whereupon he jumped up, looked confused and said: "I—er—I meant I'll give fifty dollars!" then again resumed his seat.

After a brief silence a voice was heard to say: "O Lord, hit 'im again!"

He gives twice who gives quickly because the collectors come around later on and hit him for another subscription.—Puck.

"Presents," I often say, "endear Absents."—Charles Lamb.

In giving, a man receives more than he gives, and the more is in proportion to the worth of the thing given.—George MacDonald.

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