Preachers Sermon Illustrations

Preachers Sermon Illustrations

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Dr. J. H. Jowett says the path over which a sermon must travel to produce action is:

First—enlighten the mind
Second—captivate the judgment
Third—arouse the conscience
Fourth—conquer the will

When you are complimented for a message, don't be too well satisfied. Somebody says, '1 learned some new things today.' That is only the first step. Another says, 'I see that truth more clearly: you have convinced me.' That is only step number two. You see a man moved to tears and he shakes with emotion under the message. He is aroused, he is stirred, but the one thing most needful for him is to yield—to obey—to act. Soul-winning preachers aim at action.

(1 Thess. 1. 5, 9, 10)

A Christian of discernment had the privilege of hearing Dr. Talmage. When asked his opinion of the preacher, he remarked, 'A wonderful preacher.'

The same man went to hear C. H. Spurgeon, and when asked concerning him, he gave his opinion expressing it in the words, 'What a wonderful Saviour!' The man had not been impressed so much by Spurgeon's oratory as by the Saviour Whom he preached.

(1 Cor. 1. 23, 24; 2 Cor. 4. 5; 1 Thess. 1. 5)

A Negro Preacher on Missions

"I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened" (II Cor. 8:13).

We often hear it said by short-sighted Christians that the work at home is likely to suffer if the church pays too much attention to missions and missionary giving. This has been disproved over and over again. A colored preacher was taking an offering for missions, when a close-handed deacon in his congregation called, "Preacher, you is gwine to kill this church ef you keeps on taking up money for missions."

"Brother," was the reply, "Let me tell you somethin'. Churches don't die that way. An' ef you evah can show me a church what died of giving to missions, I'll go out an' climb upon the ruins of dat church in de light of de moon and preach on de tex "Bressed am the dead what dies in de Lawd!' "

The Preacher and Fried Chicken

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man als on the things of others" (Phil. 2:4).

I have never been able to forget a story I heard evangelist Paul Rader relate on one occasion. I may not now be able to recall all the details, but so nearly as I remember, it was as follows:

Mr. Rader mentioned having known three ministers, all of whom came from a particular part of the South and were all characterized by a spirit of intense self-abnegation and kindly interest in the needs of others. To one of these Mr. Rader said, "I have known two other men from your part of the country and you have all commended yourselves to me by your unselfishness. How come that you are all so much alike?"

Modestly the preacher answered, "If we have any such marks as you speak of, we owe our unselfishness to a circuit-rider. When we were just boys he used to come to our section every two weeks."

He then went on to describe him as a lean, cadaverous-looking man of the Abraham Lincoln type who, on the first Sunday he preached in the country schoolhouse, gave a sermon in the morning and another in the afternoon. Between the services the ladies of the congregation served a picnic lunch in the open air. Great platters of fried chicken, ham, and other meats were laid out on gleaming white tablecloths; these were surrounded by stacks of biscuits, corn pone, hard-boiled eggs, cakes and other delicacies. When all was ready, the assembled group sat down on the greensward to enjoy the repast.

A number of lively boys were always at the front, hoping to get nearest to the platter of chicken. But on this particular occasion, so great was the crowd, the boys were told to wait until their elders were all served. Angrily they went off back of a nearby shed and indulged in the pastime of shooting dice, in revenge for the unkind way they felt they had been treated. They appointed one lad as a watcher, to keep tab on the way the viands were disappearing.

Ruefully, he told of piles of chicken disappearing: still, more came in from nearby wagons. Suddenly, in great excitement he exclaimed, "Say, look at that preacher! The old squirrel! He's eaten all he could and now when he thinks no one sees him, he's filling those big pockets in the tail of his long coat." All looked angrily and saw it was indeed true.

Just then one of the women exclaimed, "Why, look at the preacher's plate. You all are neglecting him. Hand over the fried chicken." And she heaped his plate up with appetizing pieces; he nibbled a few minutes—then surreptitiously took two bandana handkerchiefs out of each breast pocket and, filling them with select pieces, stored them away.

Rising with the rest, the preacher backed off, as the boys thought, to hide his "loot" in his baggage. But after moving away from the crowd he turned, and hurried down to the back of the barn where the angry boys were waiting for the second call to lunch. "Boys," he exclaimed, "I was afraid they were forgetting you, so I saved a lot of the white meat and the drumsticks for you." Out came the four clean handkerchiefs and he passed the tender morsels around. The boys were captured. Amazed, they eagerly accepted the proffered dainties.

"This was characteristic of that preacher," said Mr. Rader's friend. "We felt we had found a real friend—a man who loved other people better than he loved himself. He could do anything with us. He led us all to Christ during the years of his ministry among us, sent several out as foreign missionaries, and we three into the ministry at home. It was the unselfish spirit he manifested that gripped our hearts and won our confidence; so that his sermons reached our consciences and brought us to know his Saviour as ours."

An aged Christian sent the following lines to his son:

You want to be a preacher, lad, to tell the Old, Old Story,
The story that is ever new, that leads men on to glory.
Our Master left instructions clear, to go to every creature,
So, if you would be faithful, you must also be a 'Reacher'.
Yes, we must all be reachers, lad, whatever be the distance.
The Shepherd sought until He found; and should you meet resistance,
Don't be put off—seek on—if crowds won't have you as a teacher,
Seek out some lonely soul and make yourself into an 'Each-er'.—Indian Christian

(Mark 1. 39; John 4. 4-7; Acts 8. 5; 26-27)

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