Selfishness Sermon Illustrations

Selfishness Sermon Illustrations

[1] [2]

Selfish Ambition

I wanted to walk in the beaten path
That was trod by the feet of men.
I wanted to thrive by the sweat of my brow,
And rove in the valley of gain.
But the Master said,
"'Twas not thus I walked, nor lived;
If so, I lived in vain."

I wanted to live with a selfish will.
My logic was surely sane;
No thought had I for a hungry world
Nor for those who suffered pain.
But the Master said,
"'Twas not thus I loved, nor gave;
If so, I gave in vain."

I wanted to climb to a lofty height,
To be known by the fame of men.
No care had I for the souls of men,
Nor for death at the end of the lane.
But the Master said,
"'Twas not thus I lived, nor died;
If so, I died in vain."

And so my all to Him I gave
In consecration deep. For me
He loved and lived and gave
And died. Then self died out of me.—Zech Ford Bond, in Western Recorder.


A Very Small Parcel

J. Stuart Holden once said: "We sometimes speak of men and women—even Christian men and women—being wrapped up in themselves, and when a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a very small parcel. When he has shrunk to that size so that he can be wrapped up in himself, there is not much to wrap up." Selfishness shrivels the soul and the effect is like a boomerang. There is a parable in India of the Selfish Fool, to whom a rice field was bequeathed. The first season the irrigation water covered his field and made it fruitful, then flowed on to his neighbor's fields, bringing fertility everywhere. But the next season the Selfish Fool said in his heart, "This water is wealth, it is liquid harvest. I was a fool to let this treasure escape to my neighbor's land. He robbed his neighbor—and he spoiled his own crop; for the irrigation water brought blessing while it flowed, but when it became stagnant it bred a marsh. Paul's injunction applies to me today, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man on the things of others."—Gospel Herald.


Safety First—But Whose?

This article is being written on a westbound train. On its steps and elsewhere is the oft-seen reminder, "Safety First!" An unselfish soul had the following reaction to such a sign: "Safety first may be good for a railroad crossing but its mighty bad for a human life." Miss Margaret Slattery once told of a visit to the home of a childhood friend who had grown very rich. She said that as she looked beyond the roses in his conservatory she saw a poor woman searching for coal in the snow and that, while she wanted her friend to have abundant joys, she longed also for the essentials for others.—Gospel Herald.


Disturbing the Sunday Peace

A generation ago, it was a rare U. S. town that grew up without at least one church in its midst. Even the smallest settlements could support churches of two or three Protestant denominations. Today the trend, observable particularly in new TVA towns in the South, and in such Government developments as Greenbelt in Maryland, is toward Community churches, one to a locality. Away out in front of this trend last week marched a suburb of Richmond, Va.. named Hampton Gardens. As an inducement to the congregation to move to Hampton Gardens, Mrs. William Smith Morton had offered her house and lot, worth $100,000 to St. Giles Presbyterian Church of Richmond. Other residents promptly got up a petition declaring they would not welcome a church because "the peace and quiet of the locality would be disturbed . . . clustering of a large number of cars on Sunday would constitute a traffic inconvenience and hazard." To preserve their Sabbath peace, the Hampton Gardens Association thereupon voted, 51 to 7, against allowing St. Giles or any other church to build there.—Time.


A Suggestive Sign

In a city that he visited during one of his many journeys preaching the Word of God, Dr. A. C. Gaebelein noticed a sign in a small tailoring and dyeing establishment which read:

I LIVE TO DYE, I DYE TO LIVE
THE MORE I DYE THE MORE I LIVE
THE MORE I LIVE THE MORE I DYE

Read these words aloud, and you will hear a great spiritual truth. The more there is death to self, that much more fully is the Lord Jesus Christ able to live His life in us. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). This kind of living is possible to every believer by full appropriation of all that is his in Christ. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:11).—Reveletion.


Working in the Light

Michael Angelo, we are told, carried a lighted candle in the front of his cap when at work on his matchless pieces of sculpture that his work might not be hindered even by his own shadow. His work in marble endures, but not eternally. The humblest life at work in carving out its present and future has a task even more difficult than Angelo's creations, for we must stand or fall with it throughout eternity. Have we the true light bearing down upon the work? The light of God's Word has illuminated millions of human lives as they toiled away in the making of a life, and we cannot do better than to bring it daily into use in our tasks.—Selected.


A Common Malady

A Springfield neighbor of Lincoln's was drawn to his door one day by the sound of the crying of children. He saw Lincoln passing by with his two sons, both crying lustily. "What is the matter with the boys?" asked the man. "Just what is the matter with the whole world!" answered Lincoln. "I have three walnuts, and each boy wants two." Sure ly, this spirit is still abroad today.—London Christian Herald.

[1] [2]

| More