Service Sermon Illustrations

Service Sermon Illustrations

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Service for Christ

I gave my service, but with heavy heart,
And with it went but little love or trust:
He was my Master, I must serve or die,
And so I gave my service, for I must:—is the voice of Destiny.

Then, o'er the dreary dullness of my road
There came the kindling ray of better thought:
I owed my service to a loving God,
And so I gave my service, for I ought:—is the voice of Duty.

And lo! the Master made the service sweet,
And, like a ray of glory from above,
There came the knowledge that to serve was joy,
And so I give my service, for I love:—is the voice of Devotion.

(2 Sam. 15. 34, 37; John 12. 26; Acts 27. 23; Rom. 12. 1)


Service of the Lord

In Napoleon's expedition to Russia, a Russian peasant was captured, forced into Napoleon's service, and branded on the arm with the letter 'N'. When he understood what it meant, he chopped off the arm that had been branded rather than serve his country's enemy, Napoleon.

(Gal. 6. 17; Col. 3. 24)


His Majesty's Service

In India, as in other countries that were under British rule, the letters O.H.M.S. (On His Majesty's Service, or On Her Majesty's Service) used to be printed on official documents. In those days, a little lad, the son of devoted missionaries in the district now called West Godavari, asked and received from his Canadian parents an explanation of the letters on such official envelopes, which came in fairly frequently.

In his prayers with his parents, he used to express his desire in the following way: 'Lord, I'm just like a Government letter. No matter what becomes blurred or defaced on me, please keep the letters—O.H.M.S.—on me clear.'

(Acts 16. 17; Rom. 1. 1; 1 Thess. 1. 9; Rev. 22. 3)


Thou canst not choose but serve: man's lot is servitude.
But thou hast this much choice, a bad lord or a good.

(Col. 3. 23, 24; 2 Tim. 2. 24-26)


At the close of an address by D. L. Moody, a highly-educated man said to him coldly, 'Excuse me, but you made eleven mistakes in your grammar tonight.' Mr. Moody replied, 'I probably did. My early education was very faulty. But I am using all the grammar I know in the Master's service. How about you?'

(Acts 4. 13, 14; Col. 3. 17, 23, 24)


Not outward sphere, but inward heart,
The love wherewith we do our part:
Not how large gifts we hold in trust,
But how far used or left to rust.
Not how much done, but how well done,
Faithful to many souls or one.

Seeking the Master's will to find
And lean on Him with peace of mind:
Content to fail in human eyes,
His smile the one reward and prize.
In any sphere serve Him alone
Till cross is left for crown and throne.

(Matt. 25. 21, 23; 1 Cor. 3. 9-15)


Unmeasured Measure

How far in service must I go,
What sacrifices bring
To God, Whose loving hands bestow
Each good and perfect thing?
How much of time and thought should I
Devote to Him Who died?
What is my debt to Him, and why,
And how, may I decide?

A measured service bound would be,
A service mean and small:
He did not ask 'How much?' from me:
He gave Himself, His all.
He did not ask how far to go.
How far was not to say
What bound? How far? I only know
That He went all the way.


Sacrifice or Service

David Livingstone, mighty missionary, who opened in Africa the highway marked by tombstones of martyr missionaries, said this:

People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending much of my life in Africa. Can that he called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own best reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It was emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink, but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give himself for us; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

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