Service Sermon Illustrations

Service Sermon Illustrations

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In the Tate Gallery in London you will see one of the last and most notable of the paintings of Frederic Watts, his "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi." A shrouded form lies upon a bier in the middle of the room. On a table near by is an open book, and against the table leans a voiceless lyre. In one corner of the room is the rich mantle of a nobleman and in the other corner a lance and shield and divers pieces of armor, with roses strewn over them to show that the arts and tastes of life were mingled with the sterner duties. But now all is over. The still form cannot read the book, nor seize the lance, nor touch the lyre, nor don the mantle, nor catch the odor of the roses. On the wall in thee background are three sentences of a German proverb: "What I spent I had. What I saved I lost. What I gave I have." Whatever you give in the ministry of your profession—of your hopes, your enthusiasms, your tears, your labors— that and that alone is yours, and yours forever.


The great enemy of the slave trade, the one who above all others accomplished its outlawry in Great Britain, was Wilberforce. After Parliament had passed the bill, a member, referring to Wilberforce, said that the pillow upon which he could rest his head at night, and know that the slave trade was no more, was a greater throne of splendor and glory than that of his contemporary, the Emperor Napoleon. Wilberforce was rich in what he had done for mankind.


"I Have Done So Little"

One time Ian MacLaren went to a certain house and saw an old Scotch woman standing in her kitchen, weeping. She wiped her eyes with the corner of her apron, and when the minister asked her what was the matter, she confessed, "I have done so little." She further said, "I am so miserable and unhappy." "Why?" "Because I have done so little for Jesus. When I was just a wee girl the Lord spoke to my heart and I did so much want to live for Him." "Well, haven't you?" asked the minister. "Yes, I have lived for Him, but I have done so little. I want to be of some use in His service." "What have you done?" "I will tell you. I have washed dishes, cooked three meals a day, taken care of the children, mopped the floor, and mended the clothes. That is all I have done all my life, and I wanted to do something for Jesus." The preacher, sitting back in the armchair, looked at her and smiled. "Where are your boys?" he inquired. She had four sons and had named them after Bible characters. "Oh, my boys? You know where Mark is. You ordained him yourself before he went to China. Why are you asking? There he is preaching for the Lord." "Where is Luke?" questioned the minister. "Luke? He went out from your own church. Didn't you send him out? I had a letter from him the other day." And then she became happy and excited as she continued, "A revival has broken out on the mission station, and he said they were having a wonderful time in the service of the Lord!" "Where is Matthew?" "He is with his brother in China. And isn't it fine that the two boys can be working together? I am so happy about that. And John came to me the other night—he is my baby and is only nineteen, but he is a great boy. He said, 'Mother, I have been praying and, tonight in my room, the Lord spoke to my heart, and what do you suppose He told me? I have to go to my brother in Africa! But don't you cry, Mother. The Lord told me I was to stay here and look after you until you go Home to Glory.' "The minister looked at her: "And you say your life has been wasted in mopping floors, darning socks, washing dishes, and doing the trivial tasks. I'd like to have your mansion when we are called home! It will be very near the throne!"—Selected.


Divine Paradoxes

The way to be master is to be servant;
The way to get up is to get down;
The way to receive is to give;
The way to be rich is to be poor;
The way to be wise is to be a fool;
The way to be exalted is to abase yourself;
The way to live is to die.—Sunday School Times.


Disease or Service

"Goiter was common in Savoy, and the government took notice of it to the extent that young men afflicted with it were excused from military service. It was found that iodine lozenges would prevent goiter, and they were given free to the people. But the mothers of the boys in Savoy used to hide these lozenges, preferring the terrible mark of goiter to having their sons drafted for military service. There is many a man who would rather be marked by sin than to be absolutely at the disposal of Christ and drafted for His service."—Record of Christian Work.


Clara Barton's Fears

"People say that I must have been born brave. Why, I seem to remember nothing but terrors in my early days. I was a shrinking bundle of fears—fears of thunder, fears of strange faces, fears of my strange self." Such is Clara Bar-ton's confession of her girlhood. It speaks volumes for her that she was able to overcome these fears so as to become the "angel of the battlefield." She managed the rebellious drivers of the army wagons which carried her supplies of food, bandages, and medicine. She ministered to thousands of wounded on the firing-line amid such scenes of blood and carnage as made veteran surgeons and soldiers pale at the very sight. She was in Fredericksburg when "every street was a firing line and every house a hospital." General Patrick caught sight of her and thought her a refugee. "Do you want protection?" asked the General chivalrously. "I believe I am the best protected woman in the United States," answered Miss Barton with a smile.—Young People's Delight.


Why Not Happy Now?

That farsighted man of a past generation, Theodore Cuyler, never gave a more telling message than when he said: "We hope to be happy in Heaven; why not now? Why parse the word 'Heaven' in the future tense? The unselfish service of Christ and of our fellow creatures is the beginning of paradise; the more we do for him here, the more we shall have of Him up there. Open your ear to every call of duty; open every door and window of your soul to the instreaming light and love of Jesus, and your joy shall be full."—Christian Endeavor World.


She Did What She Could

At a mission hall in London, a wealthy lady, who was unfortunately deaf, made good use of her riches by providing for the poor some excellent Gospel services. On one occasion a celebrated preacher said to her, "And what part do you take in this noble work?" "Oh," she answered, "I smile them in, and I smile them out again." Soon after this the preacher saw the good result of her sympathy as a crowd of working men entered the hall and looked delighted to get a smile from her. The Bread of Life and the Water of Life cannot be recommended to people by those who look as if that food and drink disagreed with them.—Henry Pickering.


"Before and After" the Cross

"Before my conversion I worked toward the Cross, but since then I have worked from the Cross; then I worked to be saved, now I work because I am saved."Dwight L. Moody.

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