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Pastoral Resources

Sermon Illustrations Archive

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Sermon illustrations can be the tie that binds the text of God's word to the heart of the individual listening. A good illustration can paint a picture in the imagination to help clarify the truth of a passage. However, a bad illustration can distract and confuse if the listener. While the primary source of sermon illustrations should be drawn from scripture, sometimes it might be necessary to include an illustration from today's world.
 
Search and browse our 10,00+ archive of Sermon Illustration and find the right one to spruce up your delivery this Sunday.
A "Call" to Preach

An elder of the church was talking to a young mechanic who thought he had a call to give up his shop and go into the ministry. "I feel," said the young enthusiast, "that I have had a call to preach." The elder, knowing his deficiencies as a speaker, shrewdly asked, "Have you noticed whether people seem to have a call to hear you?" Before you subject others to the sound of your voice, make sure that preaching comes naturally to you and that you have a call from God to exercise this ability. Paul knew he was "sent" to preach.

Anonymous
A "Nickel" Heart

"Ah!" said a woman who in her poverty had done much for Christ and who had a great sum willed to her, "I cannot do as much as I used to do." "But how is that?" someone asked. Said she, "When I had a nickel purse I had a silver heart, but now I have a silver purse and I have only a nickel heart."

Anonymous
A Baby with a Message

A six-year-old tiptoed softly up to the little low crib where one of this world's very latest hopes was lying throned and swathed in the coverlets that love had sewn for its coming. Big brother's face was gravely intent, his eyes bright and shining. He stooped far over and gazed down at that wrinkled, peevish bit of a face. "Now, baby brother," he whispered into one tiny red ear half hid by the clustering black hair, "tell me about God before you forget." The brother thought that the tiny baby had a message from God. There was one Baby who did. He was born in Bethlehem. But His existence did not begin at the time of His physical birth. He had a message for us from God the Father. It is found in the old familiar words of Joh 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Anonymous
A Baby Would Change Their Life

Percentage of women who chose an abortion because having a baby “would; change their life (job, school)”: 76 percent. Percentage who chose an abortion because of rape or incest, 1.

Family Planning Perspectives, 7-8/88, reported in MS., 4/89.
A Bad Dude Is Chasing Me

An old fellow had been in the north woods for weeks by himself, camping out. Each night at dusk he built a campfire, boiled water for coffee, and took out his skillet to fry up some bacon for dinner. As he was sitting by the fire one night, the water boiling and the bacon sizzling, he heard a tremendous racket in the brush. The sound was like a roaring freight train, and as trees fell over and branches snapped, the biggest bear he’d ever seen lumbered into the clearing. On the bear’s back was a tough-looking hombre holding a seven-foot live rattlesnake in his hands.

The man shouted and screamed as he brought the bear to a skidding halt, bit the head off the rattlesnake, and flung it into the brush. Then he slid off the bear’s back, turned, and hit him between the eyes, knocking him unconscious. The camper was speechless as this wild-eyed renegade walked over to the fire, tossed the boiling coffee down his throat, drank the hot grease from the skillet, and ate all of the bacon in one bite. As he wiped his hands with poison ivy and slapped the bear back to consciousness, he turned to the camper and said, “Partner, I’m sorry I can’t stay around and visit with you a while, but I’ve got to keep moving ‘cause a real bad dude is chasing me!”

From Bad Beginnings to Happy Endings, by Ed Young, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publ., 1994), pp. 94-95.
A Bag Tied in the Middle

A New Zealand preacher described a Pharisee as being like a bag tied in the middle. Anything put into the top will not reach the bottom. The Pharisee opens his mouth wide when he prays, but his heart is tightly shut. With his lips he asks for things that his heart does not really desire. If God were to give him the spiritual blessings he asks for, it would only be a waste of good gifts, for they could not get to the bottom of the bag. His pride would choke them off, and they would never touch his heart.

Anonymous
A Beautiful Christmas Evening

It was Christmas Eve. Six-year-old Mary Lou was walking down a dark city street with her father on their way to the children's service.

Her active little mind was filled with the wonders of the event she and her classmates were about to celebrate-the coming of the Christ Child from heaven to earth, to be born a tiny infant in a lowly stable.

Above them was the velvety blue-black canopy of heaven, Swiss-dotted (as it seemed to her) with an infinite variety of brilliant lights twinkling down to earth.

Her eyes were fixed on the shimmering tapestry above as she and her father walked, silently but thoughtfully, toward the lighted church at the end of the block.

Suddenly she looked up at her father and, with that rare insight peculiar to a six-year-old, observed: "Daddy, I was just thinking-if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, how wonderful the right side must be!"

Anonymous
A Believer Like Zacharias

A gentleman who believed himself perfect called to see an old Christian neighbor. They began talking about the interesting subject of the believer's perfection. "Can you point to a single perfect man or woman in the Bible?" inquired the aged saint. "Yes," readily answered the other, "turn to Luk 1:6 and you will read there of two-Elizabeth and Zacharias-who walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." "Then you consider yourself a believer like Zacharias?" "Certainly I do," said the visitor. "Ah," replied the old man, "I thought you might be; and we read a few verses further on that he was struck dumb for his unbelief."

Anonymous
A Better Idea

A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.”

“I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in Boston and keep them.”

Moody Bible Institute’s Today in the Word, September, 1991, p. 32
A Better Kind of Indian Giver

An Indian one day asked Bishop Whipple to give him two one-dollar bills for a two-dollar note. When asked why, the Indian replied, "One dollar for me to give to Jesus, and one dollar for my wife to give." The Bishop asked him if it was all the money he had. He said, "Yes." The Bishop was about to tell him it was too much, when an Indian clergyman who was standing by whispered, "It might be too much for a white man to give, but not too much for an Indian who has this year heard for the first time of the love of Jesus."

Anonymous
A Birthday Never Forgotten

How many people celebrate your birth? When a prince is born, there is usually a big national celebration. But when a child is born into a poor family, little or no celebration may take place. Yet, children of humble origin have often become national heroes whose birthdays continue to be celebrated long after their deaths. However, there is only one Person whose birthday is still celebrated nearly 2,000 years after the event-and He was born in a stable!

Anonymous
A Bishop’s Prayer for His Church

(Adapted as a Prayer of a Mother for Her Children)

Jesus, good Shepherd, they are not mine but Yours, for I am not mine but Yours.

I am Yours, Lord, and they are Yours,

because by Your wisdom You have created both them and me,

and by Your death You have redeemed us.

So we are Yours, good Lord, we are Yours,

whom You have made with such wisdom and bought so dearly.

Then if You commend them to me, Lord, You do not therefore desert me or them.

You commend them to me: I commend myself and them to you.

Yours is the flock, Lord, and Yours is the shepherd.

Be Shepherd of both Your flock and shepherd.

You have made an ignorant mother, a blind leader, an erring ruler:

teach the mother You have established

guide the leader You have appointed,

govern the ruler You have approved.

I beg you, teach me what I am to teach,

lead me in the way that I am to lead,

rule me so that I may rule others.

Or rather, teach them, and me through them,

lead them, and me with them,

rule them, and me among them.

Anselm (1033-1109) Archbishop of Canterbury

Translated by Sister Benedicta Ward, S.L.G. Adapted for mothers by RBG, quoted in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, Ruth Bell Graham, 1991, Focus on the Family Publishing, pp. 112-113
A Blessing Overlooked

A man who owned a small estate sent for an agent and asked him to write an advertisement offering it for sale. When the advertisement was ready, the agent read it to him. "Read that again," said the owner. The agent read it once more. "I don't think I will sell after all," said the man. "I have been looking for an estate like that all my life and did not know that I owned it." Have you praised the Lord for what you now possess on this earth which you wouldn't have if the Lord had not given it to you.

Anonymous
A Blind Man Preaches to 3,000,000 People
I was at a meeting in London, when I was there, and I heard a man speaking with wonderful power and earnestness. "Who is that man?" I asked, my curiosity being excited. "Why, that is Dr. ----. He is blind." I felt some interest in this man and at the close of the meeting, I sought an interview, and he told me that he had been stricken blind when very young. His mother took him to a doctor, and asked him about his sight. "You must give up all hope," the doctor said. "Your boy is blind, and will be forever." "What, do you think my boy will never see?" asked his mother. "Never again." The mother took her boy to her bosom and cried, "Oh, my boy, ''Who will take care of you when I am gone? Who will look to you?"--forgetting the faithfulness of that God she had taught him to love. He became a servant of the Lord and was permitted to print the Bible in twelve different languages, printed in the raised letters, so that all the blind people could read the Scriptures themselves. He had a congregation, my friends, of three millions of people, and I think that blind man was one of the happiest beings in all London. He was naturally blind, but he had eyes to his soul, and could see a bright eternity in the future. He had built his foundation upon the living God. We pity those who have not their natural sight; but how you should pity yourself if you are spiritually blind.
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Body Fit for Heaven

What do we know about the germination of seeds? Keep a grain of wheat in your pocket all your life and it will never change. But place it in a congenial environment, a furrow of earth, and it will sprout into a living sheaf of grain. Every kind of life requires its particular corresponding environment in order to achieve its full and predestined potential. You would really be just as foolish to expect your body, as now constituted, to be able to live in the world to come, as a farmer would be if he expected to produce a harvest of wheat by keeping bare grains stored in his pocket.

Anonymous
A Bone Shared

A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog. - Jack London

Source unknown
A Boy's Mistake--A Sad Reconciliation

There was an Englishman who had an only son; and only sons are often petted, and humored, and ruined. This boy became very headstrong, and very often he and his father had trouble. One day they had a quarrel and the father was very angry, and so was the son; and the father said he wished the boy would leave home and never come back. The boy said he would go, and would not come into his father's house again till he sent for him. The father said he would never send for him. Well, away went the boy. But when a father gives up a boy, a mother does not. You mothers will understand that, but the fathers may not. You know there is no love on earth so strong as a mother's love. A great many things may separate a man and his wife; a great many things may separate a father from his son; but there is nothing in the wide world that can ever separate a true mother from her child. To be sure, there are some mothers that have drank so much liquor that they have drunk up all their affection. But I am talking about a true mother; and she would never cast off her boy.

Well, the mother began to write and plead with the boy to write to his father first, and he would forgive him; but the boy said, "I will never go home till father asks me." Then she pled with the father, but the father said, "No, I will never ask him." At last the mother came down to her sick-bed, broken-hearted, and when she was given up by the physicians to die, the husband, anxious to gratify her last wish, wanted to know if there was nothing he could do for her before she died. The mother gave him a look; he well knew what it meant. Then she said, "Yes, there is one thing you can do. You can send for my boy. That is the only wish on earth you can gratify. If you do not pity him and love him when I am dead and gone, who will?" "Well," said the father, "I will send word to him that you want to see him." "No," she says, "you know he will not come for me. If ever I see him you must send for him."

At last the father went to his office and wrote a dispatch in his own name, asking the boy to come home. As soon as he got the invitation from his father he started off to see his dying mother. When he opened the door to go in he found his mother dying, and his father by the bedside. The father heard the door open, and saw the boy, but instead of going to meet him, he went to another part of the room, and refused to speak to him. His mother seized his hand--how she had longed to press it! She kissed him, and then said, "Now, my son, just speak to your father. You speak first, and it will all be over." But the boy said, "No, mother, I will not speak to him until he speaks to me." She took her husband's hand in one hand and the boy's in the other, and spent her dying moments in trying to bring about a reconciliation. Then just as she was expiring--she could not speak--so she put the hand of the wayward boy into the hand of the father, and passed away! The boy looked at the mother, and the father at the wife, and at last the father's heart broke, and he opened his arms, and took that boy to his bosom, and by that body they were reconciled. Sinner, that is only a faint type, a poor illustration, because God is not angry with you.

I bring you to-night to the dead body of Christ. I ask you to look at the wounds in his hands and feet, and the wound in his side. And I ask you, "Will you not be reconciled?"

Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Bridge Across Niagara River

Charles Eliet had a problem. He had a contract to build an engineering marvel—a suspension bridge over the Niagara River. But he had no way of stretching his first cable between the shores. Any boat that tried to cross the falls would be swept over. Then Eliet hit on an idea. If a kite carrying a cord could be flown across the river, the cord could then be used to pull larger cables across. So Eliet announced a kite-flying contest, and a young man named Homan Walsh responded. On Walsh’s first attempt the kite’s cord broke with it caught in the river’s ice, but on his next try he succeeded in flying his kite to the opposite shore of the river. The vital link was established, and the bridge built.

Today in the Word, MBI, August, 1991, p. 6
A Brother in Heaven

"How many brothers have you?" said someone to a little boy. The child stated the number, adding, "and one in heaven." "No, my son," interposed his mother. "You have no brother in heaven."

"Yes, I have," said the boy. "Didn't you tell me that God was my Father, and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Then He must be my Brother in heaven."

Anonymous
A Builder Or a Wrecker

As I watched them tear a building down

A gang of men in a busy town

With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell

They swung a beam and the side wall fell

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,

And the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”

He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,

Just common labor is all I need.”

“I can easily wreck in a day or two,

What builders have taken years to do.”

And I thought to myself, as I went my way

Which of these roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,

Measuring life by rule and square?

Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan

Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks to town

Content with the labor of tearing down?

“O Lord let my life and my labors be

That which will build for eternity!”

Author Unknown

The Increase, 35th Anniversary Issue, 1993, p. 9
A Business Man Confessing Christ
When I was in Ireland I heard of a man who got great blessings from God. He was a business man--a landed proprietor. He had a large family, and a great many men to work for him taking care of his home. He came up to Dublin and there he found Christ. And he came boldly out and thought he would go home and confess Him. He thought that if Christ had redeemed him with his precious blood, the least he could do would be to confess Him, and tell about it sometimes. So he called his family together and his servants, and with tears running down his cheeks he poured out his soul to them, and told them what Christ had done for him. He took the Bible down from its resting-place and read a few verses of gospel. Then he went down on his knees to pray, and so greatly was the little gathering blessed that four or five out of that family were convicted of sin; they forsook the ways of the world, and accepted Christ and eternal life. It was like unto the household of Cornelius, which experienced the working of the Holy Spirit. And that man and his family were not afraid to follow out their profession.
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Cablegram From Heaven

A merchant was asked to contribute to a certain piece of church work. He gladly wrote a check and gave it to the solicitor. At that moment, a cablegram was brought in. The merchant read it and looked troubled. "This cablegram," he said, "tells me that one of my ships has been wrecked and the cargo lost. That makes a difference in my business. I will have to write you another check."

The solicitor thought he understood and handed back the check for , and the merchant wrote out another and gave it to him. When the solicitor read it, he was utterly amazed; it was for ,000. "Have you not made a mistake?" he asked. "No," said the merchant, "I have not made a mistake." Then he added, "To me, that cablegram was a message from my Father in Heaven. It reads, 'Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth ...but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal'(Mat 6:19-20)."

Anonymous
A Chair Affixed to a Shotgun

In 1982, “ABC Evening News” reported on an unusual work of modern art—a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was to be viewed by sitting in the chair and looking directly into the gunbarrel. The gun was loaded and set on a timer to fire at an undetermined moment within the next hundred years. The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell’s path! They all knew the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn’t happen during THEIR minute in the chair. Yes, it was foolhardy, yet many people who wouldn’t dream of sitting in that chair live a lifetime gambling that they can get away with sin. Foolishly they ignore the risk until the inevitable self-destruction.

Jeffrey D. King
A Chairman

When Irving S. Olds was chairman of the U.S. Steel Corporation, he arrived for a stockholders’ meeting and was confronted by a woman who asked, “Exactly who are you and what do you do?” Without batting an eye, Olds replied, “I am your chairman. Of course, you know the duties of a chairman—that’s someone who is roughly the equivalent of parsley on a platter of fish.”

Bits and Pieces, June 27, 1991, p. 7
A Changed Attitude

It was Napoleon Bonaparte who, early in his life, said, "God is on the side of the biggest artillery." Years later, when he was exiled on an island, he reversed his opinion, and conceded, "Man proposes, but God disposes." Napoleon learned the attitude of "If it is the Lord's will" the hard way. May we learn it now.

Anonymous
A Changed Disposition

An excellent story of a good man's deliverance from the tyranny of bad temper is told by Dr. Alexander Whyte in his James Fraser, Laird of Brea. It seems that Fraser, a minister, was at times, by his own admission, of a sullen and peevish disposition. One day when he was visiting his people, he called on one of his elders to have a conference with him. All the time Dr. Fraser was talking, the elder sat patting a pet dog to whom he paid more attention than to his minister. When his wife came into the room to give them tea and ventured a word or two in the conversation, he turned on her with an angry look and curt remark that sent her out of the room with reddened cheeks. Fraser rode slowly back home that night giving himself time to think. "After all my evangelical preaching," he said to himself, "to see an elder of mine such a brute at home!" But gradually Fraser began to see that it was a case of like minister like elder; at any rate, in the matter of mulishness and glumness at home. The minister was much later than usual in arriving home that night. But from that time, his whole household connected that night with a great change in the head of the house. A sermon he preached on the following Sunday was so conspicuously blessed to the bad-tempered elder that his household also took immediate note of a miracle. James Fraser and his elder had entered into newness of life.

Anonymous
A Character Profession

Ministry is a character profession. To put it bluntly, you can sleep around and still be a good brain surgeon. You can cheat on your mate and have little trouble continuing to practice law. Apparently, it is no problem to stay in politics and plagiarize. You can be a successful salesperson and cheat on your income tax. But you cannot do those things as a Christian or as a minister and continue enjoying the Lord’s blessing. You must do right in order to have true integrity. If you can’t come to terms with evil or break habits that continue to bring reproach to the name of Christ, please, do the Lord (and us in ministry) a favor and resign.

Chuck Swindoll, Rise and Shine, p. 198
A Cheap Obituary

Mrs. Willencot was very frugal. When her husband died, she asked the newspaper how much it would cost for a death notice.

“Two dollars for five words.”

“Can I pay for just two words?” she asked. “Willencot dead.”

“No, two dollars is the minimum. You still have three words.”

Mrs. Willencot thought a moment. “Cadillac for sale.”

Patricia Schultz, in Reader’s Digest
A Child at its Mother's Grave
I remember seeing a story some time ago in print. It has been in the papers, but it will not hurt us to hear it again. A family in a Southern city were stricken down with yellow fever. It was raging there, and there were very stringent sanitary rules. The moment anybody died, a cart went around and took the coffin away. The father was taken sick and died and was buried, and the mother was at last stricken down. The neighbors were afraid of the plague, and none dared go into the house. The mother had a little son and was anxious about her boy, and afraid he would be neglected when she was called away, so she called the little fellow to her bedside, and said, "My boy, I am going to leave you, but Jesus will come to you when I am gone." The mother died, the cart came along and she was laid in the grave. The neighbors would have liked to take the boy, but were afraid of the pestilence. He wandered about and finally started up to the place where they had laid his mother and sat down on the grave, and wept himself to sleep. Next morning he awoke and realized his position--alone and hungry. A stranger came along and seeing the little fellow sitting on the ground, asked him what he was waiting for. The boy remembered what his mother had told him, and answered, "I am waiting for Jesus," and told him the whole story. The man's heart was touched, tears trickled down his cheeks and he said, "Jesus has sent me," to which the boy replied, "You have been a good while coming, sir." He was provided for. So it is with us. To wait for results, we must have courage and patience and God will help us.
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Child Is Born

In the early days of the nineteenth century, men were following with bated breath the march of Napoleon and waiting with feverish impatience for the latest news of the wars. And all the while, in their own homes, babies were being born.

Just think of some of those babies. In one year, lying midway between Trafagar and Waterloo, there stole into the world a host of well-known men! During that year, 1809, Mr. Gladstone was born at Liverpool; Alfred Tennyson drew his first breath at the Somersby rectory; and Oliver Wendell Holmes made his initial appearance in Massachusetts. On the very self-same day of that self-same year, Abraham Lincoln made his debut in Old Kentucky. Music was enriched by the advent of Frederick Chopin at Warsaw and Felix Mendolssohn at Hamburg.

But, nobody thought of babies. Everybody was thinking of battles. Yet, viewing that age in the truer perspective which the years enable us to command, we may well ask ourselves which of the battles of 1809 mattered more than the babies of 1809. When a wrong wants righting, or a work wants doing, or a truth wants preaching, or a continent wants opening, God sends a baby into the world to do it. This is why, long, long ago, a Babe was born at Bethlehem.

It was at a wayside inn that God began making the world all over again. Momentous things were set in motion at that inn at Bethlehem.

Anonymous
A Child Looking for its Lost Mother
A little child, whose mother was dying, was taken away to live with some friends because it was thought she did not understand what death is. All the while the child wanted to go home and see her mother. At last, when the funeral was over, and she was taken home, she ran all over the house, searching the sitting room, the parlor, the library, and the bedrooms. She went from one end of the house to the other, and when she could not find her mother, she wished to be taken back to where they brought her from. Home had lost its attractions for the child when her mother was not there. My friends, the great attraction in heaven will not be its pearly gates, its golden streets, nor its choir of angels, but it will be Christ. Heaven would be no heaven if Christ were not there. But we know that He is at the right hand of the Father, and these eyes shall gaze on Him by-and-by and we shall be satisfied when we awake with his likeness.
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Child of the King

My Father is rich in houses and lands

He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!

Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,

His coffers are full, He has riches untold.

My Father’s own Son, the Saviour of men,

Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;

But now He is reigning forever on high,

And will give me a home in heaven by and by.

I once was an outcast, stranger on earth,

A sinner by choice, and an alien by birth;

But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,

An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.

I’m a child of the King, a child of the King;

With Jesus my Saviour, I’m a child of the King.

Harriet E. Buell

Source unknown
A Child Shall Lead

A skeptical physician declared he could see no reason why he should have to come to the cross of Christ to be saved. A friend gave him a famous book on apologetics with a powerful defense of the reasonableness of the gospel. It satisfied the doctor's reason, but it did not move his will. A short time later he was called to the bedside of a little girl who was dying. She whispered that she had something to say to him, that she hardly had the courage to, as it was about his peace with God. But she added, "Tomorrow morning, when I am stronger, I will tell you." But in the morning she was dead. This led to the physician's conversion and a subsequent life of dedicated Christian service. God used a child rather than an apologist of the faith to lead a learned man to Christ. Very interestingly the word moron in Modern Greek has come to mean "child, baby."

Thus we could paraphrase 1Co 1:27 as "But God has chosen the mora-the foolish things or those who are like little children-and the weak ones of the world, to confound the wise and mighty ones."

Anonymous
A Child’s Comfort

A little girl came home from a neighbor’s house where her little friend had died. “Why did you go?” questioned her father.

“To comfort her mother,” said the child.

“What could you do to comfort her?”

“I climbed into her lap and cried with her.”

Source unknown
A Child's Prayer Answered
I remember a child that lived with her parents in a small village. One day the news came that her father had joined the army (it was at the beginning of our war), and a few days after the landlord came to demand the rent. The mother told him she hadn't got it, and that her husband had gone into the army. He was a hard hearted wretch, and he stormed and said that they must leave the home; he wasn't going to have people who couldn't pay the rent. After he was gone, the mother threw herself into the arm-chair, and began to weep bitterly. Her little girl whom she had taught to pray in faith (but it is more difficult to practice than to preach), came up to her, and said, "What makes you cry, mamma? I will pray to God to give us a little house, and won't He?" What could the mother say? So the little child went into the next room and began to pray. The door was open, and the mother could hear every word. "O God, you have come and taken away father, and mamma has got no money, and the landlord will turn us out because we can't pay, and we will have to sit on the doorstep, and mamma will catch cold. Give us a little home." Then she waited, as if for an answer, and then added, "Won't you, please, God?" She came out of that room quite happy, expecting a house to be given them. The mother felt reproved. I can tell you, however, she has never paid any rent since, for God heard the prayer of that little one, and touched the heart of the cruel landlord. God give us the faith of that little child, that we may likewise expect an answer, "nothing wavering."
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Child's Ten Commandments to Parents

My hands are small; please don't expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture, or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.

My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely: don't restrict me unnecessarily.

Housework will always be there. I'm only little for such a short time-please take this time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.

My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs; don't nag me all day long. (You wouldn't want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.) Treat me as you would like to be treated.

I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by, and disciplining me in a loving manner.

I need your encouragement, but not your praise, to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.

Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail; so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I'll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.

Please don't do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn't quite measure up to your expectations. I know it's hard, but please don't try to compare me with my brother or my sister.

Please don't be afraid to leave for the weekend together. Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids. Besides, it's a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.

Please take me to Sunday school and church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.

Anonymous
A Child's Testimony

A little child asked his father, "Daddy, is Satan bigger than I am?" "Yes, he is," answered the father. "Is he bigger than you, Daddy?" The father replied, "Yes, son, he is bigger than I am." Surprised, the boy blurted out, "Is the devil bigger than Jesus?" "No, not by a long shot, David. Jesus is bigger and stronger." The child thought for a while and said, "Then I'm not afraid of him because I have Jesus in me."

Anonymous
A Choice Each Day

Charles Swindoll said: "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string that we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes."

Anonymous
A Christian First

The mother watched as her four-year-old daughter played while taking her bath. The little girl sang songs that she had heard and the mother was fascinated by her ability to remember the words and the tunes of the songs. As she watched and listened to her daughter she began to think to herself, "I wonder what she will be when she grows up?" And as most of us as proud parents would do, she began to think about all the things that she could be. "She could be a singer, an actress, a teacher...." After thinking about all the marvelous things her daughter might grow up to be she decided to ask her daughter what she wanted to be when she grew up. The little girl's response was, "A Christian first." The young mother said she was deeply humbled by the child's response. While she had been thinking in terms of a career, the little girl pointed out that first she wanted to be a Christian.

Anonymous
A Christian is . . .

One who is Saved (2 Tim. 1:9)

One who is Sealed (Eph. 1:13)

One who is Seated (Eph. 2:6)

One who is Sanctified (1 Cor 6:11)

One who is Secure (John 10:28)

One who is Separated (John 17:16)

One who is Sustained (2 Cor. 9:8)

One who is a Son of God (Rom. 8:14)

One who is a Saint (1 Cor 1:2)

One who is a Servant (Col. 3:24)

One who is a Supplicant (1 Tim. 2:1)

One who is a Soldier (2 Tim. 2:3)

One who is a Stone (1 Peter 2:11)

One who is a Sheep (1 Peter 2:25)

One who is a Steward (1 Peter 4:10)

One who is a Sufferer (1 Peter 4:16-19)

One who will see the Lord (1 John 3:2)

Pulpit Helps, March 1979, Scocaster, December 4, 1994
A Christian Is a Butterfly in the State of a Caterpillar

Justification is instantaneous; sanctification is a long growth. Justification is the act of God whereby He takes a man who is dead in trespasses and sins and says, "I create within you the new life of Christ and now I look upon you and see you just as perfect as I see the Lord Jesus Christ."

Justification is the act of God whereby he declares an ungodly man to be perfect while he is still ungodly. It is as extraordinary a thing as if you were able to say that the caterpillar is really a beautiful butterfly. "Oh," you say, "but it isn't! It still looks like a caterpillar." Well, that is exactly what God does with us. He comes to us in our "caterpillar status" and declares us to be "butterflies."

In reality, that is what happens in nature, too; that caterpillar does become a butterfly. For God has given us this remarkable picture of metamorphosis-that which goes into the cocoon as a worm comes out as a butterfly, for it lives part of its life in one state and part in another. We call this process metamorphosis. It is very interesting to note the Greek word used in Rom_12:2 : "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed (metamorphosed) by the renewing of your mind."

Anonymous
A Christian Leader

Cal Thomas found himself called a “Christian leader” by a leading Christian magazine and he wondered what that meant. More speaking engagements? Perhaps an appearance on a Christian talk show? “It would certainly give me the right to start putting Scripture references under my signed name in books I have written. I would surely sign more Bibles, which I find a curious practice since I didn’t write that Book.”

Thomas wonders if we have reversed things. God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.

“In a church I once attended, there was a man of tremendous faith. His wife is an alcoholic, His daughter has psychological problems. He was often poor in health. Yet, week after week, he never complained. He always smiled and asked me how I was doing. He faithfully brought to church a young blind man who had no transportation. He always sat with the blind man, helping him sing the hymns by saying the words into his ear. That man was a ‘Christian leader’ if ever there was one.”

“Dear God, Please Don’t Let Me Be a Christian Leader,” Fundamentalist Journal
A Christian Mandate

Do all the good you can

By all the means you can

In all the ways you can

In all the places you can

To all the people you can

As long as ever you can.

Anonymous
A Christian Off and On

Gypsy Smith once asked a man in an after-meeting, "Are you a Christian?" "Yes." "How long?" "Twenty-eight years, on and off." "More off than on, I guess," replied the evangelist.

Anonymous
A Christian Should Be:

A MIND through which Christ thinks,

A VOICE through which Christ speaks,

A HEART through which Christ loves,

A HAND through which Christ helps.

Anonymous
A Christian's New Nature

A Hindu said to a native missionary, "I am sure if I lead a good life and do what is right, giving up my bad habits, God will be pleased with me and receive me into heaven." "That is the way most people reason today," replied the missionary. "You know the babul tree (a tree with long, sharp thorns). Now, suppose you break off from its branches a hundred or more of the nasty thorns, then will the tree cease to be a babool tree?" "Certainly not." "Suppose you should apparently stop one or another or even many of your evil ways and habits, you would still remain the same like the babool tree. You must have an entirely new nature, must become a new man, in order to please God. Only Christ can give you a new heart." The missionary's reply was sound and scriptural. The message of Christ, His first and only message to sinful man, is his need of repentance.

Anonymous
A Christian's New Nature

A Hindu said to a native missionary, "I am sure if I lead a good life and do what is right, giving up my bad habits, God will be pleased with me and receive me into heaven." "That is the way most people reason today," replied the missionary. "You know the babul tree (a tree with long, sharp thorns). Now, suppose you break off from its branches a hundred or more of the nasty thorns, then will the tree cease to be a babool tree?" "Certainly not." "Suppose you should apparently stop one or another or even many of your evil ways and habits, you would still remain the same like the babool tree. You must have an entirely new nature, must become a new man, in order to please God. Only Christ can give you a new heart." The missionary's reply was sound and scriptural. The message of Christ, His first and only message to sinful man, is his need of repentance.

Anonymous
A Christian's Reputation

The story is told of Gordon Maxwell, missionary to India, that when he asked a Hindu scholar to teach him the language, the Hindu replied: "No, Sahib, I will not teach you my language. You would make me a Christian."

Gordon Maxwell replied, "You misunderstand me. I am simply asking you to teach me your language."

Again the Hindu responded, "No, Sahib, I will not teach you. No man can live with you and not become a Christian."

Gordon Maxwell's reputation as a Christian preceded him. His very lifestyle attracted people to Christ. And so it was with the Apostle Paul and his two missionary companions, Silas and Timothy. Saint Francis of Assisi captured their philosophy of evangelism when he said, "It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless we preach as we walk!"

Anonymous
A Christmas Prayer

Then let every heart keep

Christmas within-

Christ's pity for sorrow,

Christ's hatred for sin,

Christ's care for the weakest,

Christ's courage for right.

Everywhere, everywhere,

Christmas tonight!

unknown
A Chronic Grumbler

A lady who was an incurable grumbler complained about everything and everybody. But, finally, the minister thought he had found something about which she could make no complaint: the old lady's crop of potatoes was certainly the finest for miles around. "Ah, for once you must be pleased," he said with a beaming smile as he met her in the village street. "Everyone is saying how splendid your potatoes are this year." The old lady glared at him as she answered, "They are not so bad, but where are the rotten ones for the pigs?"

Anonymous
A Church Garden

Three Rows of Squash

Squash indifference.

Squash criticism.

Squash gossip.

Four Rows of Turnips

Turn up for meetings.

Turn up with a smile.

Turn up with a visitor.

Turn up with a Bible.

Five Rows of Lettuce

Let us love one another.

Let us welcome strangers.

Let us be faithful in duty.

Let us truly worship God.

Let us give liberally.

Anonymous
A Class Act

One day in 1956, songwriter Johnny Mercer received a letter from Sadie Vimmerstedt, a widowed grandmother who worked behind a cosmetics counter in Youngstown, Ohio. Vimmerstedt suggested Mercer write a song called “I Want to Be Around to Pick Up the Pieces When Somebody Breaks Your Heart.”

Five years later, Mercer got in touch to say he’d written the song and that Tony Bennett would record it. Today, if you look at the label on any recording of “I Wanna Be Around,” you’ll notice that the credits for words and music are shared by Johnny Mercer and Sadie Vimmerstedt. The royalties were split 50-50, too, thanks to which Vimmerstedt and her heirs have earned more than $100,000.

In my opinion, Mercer’s generosity was a class act. By “class act,” I mean any behavior so virtuous that it puts normal behavior to shame. It was a class act, for instance, when Alexander Hamilton aimed high and fired over Aaron Burr’s head. Benjamin Geggenhiem performed a class act on the Titanic when he gave his life jacket to a woman passenger and then put on white tie and tails so he could die “like a gentleman.” That same year, 1912, Capt., Lawrence became so frostbitten and lame on Robert Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. Rather than delay the others in their desperate trek back from the Pole, he went to the opening of the tent one night and said, “I am just going outside and may be some time.” He thereupon walked to his death in a blizzard. Certainly a class act.

On the stage, the tradition that the show must go on has produced a number of class acts. Katharine Hepburn and Orson Welles have both appeared on-stage in wheelchairs. During the run of The King and I, Gertrude Lawrence was dying of cancer but told no one. When she missed a series of performances, the producers wrote her lawyers, suggesting she was faking illness. They warned that if this continued, she would forfeit her share of the profits. The letter arrived on a Monday; Gertrude Lawrence had died over the weekend.

It was a class act of a different order, but a class act nonetheless, for writer Laurence Housman to take off his jacket at a proper English tea party so that a man who had just arrived in shirt sleeves would not feel embarrassed. Even simple good sportsmanship can rise to the level of class act, as it did with tennis player Mats Wilander in the semifinals of the 1982 French Open. At match point, a shot by Wilander’s opponent was ruled out. Wilander walked over to the umpire and said, “I can’t win like this. The ball was good.” The point was played over, and Wilander won fair and square.

John Berendt, Esquire, April, 1991
A Close-Up or an Overall View?

We are not able to comprehend the big beautiful picture that God is creating in our lives.

Reinhold Messner was a skilled mountain climber who was recognized as the best in the world. He was one of two men who first climbed Mount Everest without using bottled oxygen. Messner then decided that doing it with a partner was not good enough, so he went back and did it alone. He was asked, as most mountain climbers are, "Why do you do it?" He replied, "Because at the top all the lines converge."

Even though we may not always have the "view from the top," it is a great encouragement to know that God does! He is sovereign! He has said, "I am the Lord. I do not change!" (Mal 3:6). Because He sees the "overall picture," He is worthy of our trust!

Anonymous
A Coat for Christ

"He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."

It was a wild, wintry night. The temperature had dived to a polar position. Winds rose in shrieking crescendos and lashed the country with lethal blasts.

But the Czar's interests must be protected. A Russian soldier must patrol between two sentry boxes even on such a night. Poorly clad, the miserable man marched from one post to the other, shivering and chilled. Then it began to snow. Before long the hills which surrounded that frozen, forsaken place were covered with snow. The sentry was wrapped in the vicious embrace of a fierce, freezing blizzard.

Then a poor peasant happened to pass nearby on his way home. Answering the soldier's challenge, he identified himself and secured permission to proceed. But the peasant pitied the sentry. "You are cold and must patrol all night," he said kindly. "I am only a short distance from my cottage. Here, wear my coat tonight. You can return it to me in the morning."

The soldier gladly accepted the proffered wrap. But even the heavy borrowed coat could not keep out the cold which seeped through the sentry like poison. No wrap seemed warm enough on that night to fend off the icy fingers of death.

The next morning his comrades discovered the soldier frozen in the field. The peasant never recovered his coat. But he did see it again. A long time afterwards, when the peasant himself lay on his deathbed, he dreamed that Jesus appeared to him. "You are wearing my coat, Lord," the dying man said, recognizing the wrap he had loaned to the sentry.

"Yes," answered Jesus. "This is the coat you loaned to me that frightful night when I was on duty and you passed by."

"But Lord," objected the peasant, "You were not that soldier!"

"No," replied Jesus in the dream. "But inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto me. I was naked and ye clothed me!"

Anonymous
A Committed Servant

One of the greatest servants of Christ was Dr. Temple in England. A young clergyman who was being sent by Dr. Temple to a very difficult parish turned to him and said, "Dr. Temple, why do you send me there? Don't you know how difficult it is? It'll kill me if I go there." You know what Dr. Temple's reply was? "Well, you and I do not mind a little thing like that, do we? If what God has set for us to accomplish will require our lives, we should be willing to give our lives."

Anonymous
A Comparison of Attitudes, Opinions, and Values

 

Christians

Non-Christians

Sometimes it feels like life is not worth living.

16%

20%

You, personally, have a responsibility to share what you have with others who are poor or struggling.

91%

86%

Overall, you are very satisfied with your life these days.

59%

52%

Freedom means being able to do anything you want.

35%

42%

You have developed a clear philosophy about life that consistently influences the decisions you make and the way you live.

84%

81%

Nothing can be known for certain except the things you experience in your own life.

61%

64%

One person can really make a difference in the world these days.

74%

71%

America is a Christian nation.

65%

66%

God helps those who help themselves.

80%

83%

It’s almost impossible to be a moral person today.

27%

33%

When it comes to morals, or what is right and wrong, there are no absolute standards that apply to everybody in all situations

70%

81%

People are basically good.

79%

89%

From the Barna Report, November/December 1997 (Word Ministry Resources), quoted in The Promise Keeper, January, 1999, p. 6
A Compliement—Great Motivator

A compliment can be a great motivator, particularly if you put a little thought into the why, when, and how of delivering it. Be sure to comment whenever someone on your staff keeps working in the face of rejection, handles a difficult situation well, catches an error, given another employee a helping hand, sells a particular product for the first time, or gives you a lead that proves fruitful. Most of the time, a compliment should be given in public, either at a meeting or on the company bulletin board. If the situation is delicate, convey your praise through a personal note that the employee can share with his family. As with all rewards, praise should be given immediately after good performance to provide the greatest reinforcement.

Bits & Pieces, May 27, 1993, p.12
A Critical Eye

A certain hog farm er refused to have anything to do with the church because all he ever saw was a bunch of hypocrites who belonged to it. He always named two or three.

One day the pastor of the church came by to buy a hog from him. After looking over the farmer's entire swine herd, the pastor pointed to a scrawny, sickly, ugly little runt and said, "I want that one."

The farmer remonstrated vigorously, "Why, Preacher, you don't want that one. He's the scrawniest runt I ever saw. Look, here are some fine hogs over here." "That's all right," said the preacher, "I want that one."

After the purchase was completed, the pastor said, "Now I am going to haul this pig all over the country and tell everyone that this is the kind of hog you raise!"

"Hey, Preacher, that's not fair," the farmer protested. "I raise fine hogs. An occasional runt doesn't ruin my whole stock."

"I am only following your example of condemning a whole church because of the stunted spirituality of a few of its members," explained the pastor. The farmer got the point!

Anonymous
A Cup of Cold Water

Have you understood what is really involved in the "cup of cold water," as Mat 10:42 calls it? There is more to it than appears on the surface. In Eastern lands the water is drawn up from a well in the court or fetched from a distance. The housewife brings in a supply in the morning and lets it stand ready for use. As the day goes on the water gets warm. It would be easy for her to give a cup of this water to a thirsty friend or stranger, but a "cup of cold water" implies the kindly thought that would lead her to take the trouble to draw it or fetch it straight from the well, perhaps in the heat of the day. So often we give what amounts to tepid water to save ourselves extra work. But I believe it is the "cup of cold water" that shall in no wise lose its reward. The principle would seem to be that going out of our way, making sacrifices to help the poor, will have a sure reward.

Anonymous
A Dad Is …

A dad is a mender of toys,

A leader of boys.

He’s a changer of fuses,

A healer of bruises

He’s a mover of couches,

A soother of ouches.

He’s a pounder of nails,

A teller of tales.

He’s a dryer of dishes,

A fulfiller of wishes

Bless him, O Lord.

- Jo Ann Heidbreder

Source unknown
A Daughters Grief

Edith Rockefeller McCormick, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller, maintained a large household staff. She applied one rule to every servant without exception: they were not permitted to speak to her. The rule was broken only once, when word arrived at the family’s country retreat that their young son had died of scarlet fever. The McCormicks were hosting a dinner party, but following a discussion in the servants’ quarters it was decided that Mrs. McCormick needed to know right away. When the tragic news was whispered to her, she merely nodded her head and the party continued without interruption.

Today in the Word, September 29, 1992
A Day of Decision
I believe there is a day of decision in our lives--a day upon which the crisis of our lives occurs. There is a day when the Son of Man comes and stands at our heart and knocks and knocks for the last time and leaves us forever. I can imagine when Pilate was banished how this recollection troubled him day and night. He remembered how that Saviour had looked on him--how innocent He was; he remembered how, when the Jews were clamoring for His death, and the cry echoed through the streets of Jerusalem, "Crucify Him! crucify Him!" It seemed as if He had nothing but love for them. Probably some one told him the story of the crucifixion, and how when nailed to the cross and the howling mob around Him, He cried, "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do;" he remembered how they clamored for his life, and how he hadn't the moral courage to stand up for the despised Nazarene, and that preyed upon his mind, and he put an end to his miserable existence.
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Day Wasted

Charles Francis Adams, the 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: “Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted.” His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still inexistence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: “Went fishing with my father—the most wonderful day of my life!” The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one’s ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly.

Silas Shotwell, in Homemade, September, 1987
A Defaulter's Confession
One week ago I preached on the text, "Christ came to heal the broken-hearted." I told you just before I came down that I had received a letter from a broken-hearted wife. Her husband one night came in, to her surprise, and said he was a defaulter and must flee, and he went, she knew not where. He forsook her and two children. It was a pitiful letter, and the wail of that poor woman seems to ring in my ears yet. That night up in that gallery was a man whose heart began to beat when I told the story, thinking it was him I meant, till I came to the two children. When I got through I found that he had taken money which did not belong to him, intending to replace it, but he failed to do so, and fled. He said: "I have a beautiful wife and three children, but I had to leave her and come to Chicago, where I have been hiding. The Governor of the State has offered a reward for me." My friends, a week ago this poor fellow found out the truth of this text. He was in great agony. He felt as if he could not carry the burden, and he said, "Mr. Moody, I want you to pray with me. Ask God for mercy for me." And down we went on our knees. I don't know as I ever felt so bad for a man in my life. He asked me if I thought he should go back. I told him to ask the Lord, and we prayed over it. That was Sunday evening, and I asked him to meet me on the Monday evening. He told how hard it was to go back to that town and give himself up and disgrace his wife and children. They would give him ten years. Monday came and he met me and said, "Mr. Moody, I have prayed over this matter, and I think that Christ has forgiven me, but I don't belong to myself. I must go back and give myself up. I expect to be sent to the penitentiary; but I must go." He asked me to pray for his wife and children, and he went off. He will be there to-day in the hands of justice. My friends, don't say the way of the transgressor is not hard.
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Definition

A conservative is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run. - Elbert Hubbard

Source unknown
A Definition of Discouragement

Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God. - William Ward.

Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 18
A Definition of Prayer

To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

- Ambrose Bierce

Source unknown
A Devinition

Definition of an antagonist: someone who on the basis of non- substantive evidence, goes out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others; these attacks are selfish in nature, tear down rather than build up, and are frequently directed against leadership.

From “Antagonists in the Church” by K. Haugk, p. 27.
A Different View

After all - it’s just how you look at things.

A man was driving in the country one day and he saw an old man sitting on a fence rail watching the cars go by. Stopping to pass the time of day, the traveler said, “I never could stand living out here. You don’t see anything, and I’m sure you don’t travel like I do. I’m on the go all the time.”

The old man on the fence looked down at the stranger and drawled, “I can’t see much difference in what I’m doing and what you’re doing. I sit on the fence and watch the autos go by and you sit in your auto and watch the fences go by. It’s just the way you look at things.”

Source unknown
A Different Viewpoint

A young pastor of a little church complained to the "Prince of Preachers," Charles H. Spurgeon, about the smallness of his church and its few members. Spurgeon asked him, "How many members do you have?" "Fifty," replied the young pastor. "Ah," exclaimed Spurgeon, "that is more than you will want to account for on the day of judgment."

Anonymous
A Difficult Question

A Jewish soldier had been attending services where he heard of the character and teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. He went to his rabbi and said, "Rabbi, the Christians say that the 'Christ' has already come, while we claim He is yet to come." "Yes," assented the rabbi. "Well," asked the young soldier, "when our Christ comes, what more than Jesus Christ can we expect?" What, indeed, since Jesus Christ was fully God?

Anonymous
A Disciple is One Who …

A disciple continues in the Word, loves others, bears fruit, and puts Christ first.

Church Discipleship, Vol 11, No 1, the Navigators
A Disease of Public Spirit

Despotism, and attempts at despotism, are a kind of disease of public spirit—they represent, as it were, the drunkenness of responsibility. It is when men begin to grow desperate in their love for the people, when they are overwhelmed with the difficulties and blunders of humanity, that they fall back upon the wild desire to manage everything themselves. This belief that all would go right if we could only get the strings into our own hands is a fallacy, almost without exception. But nobody can say it is not public-spirited. The sin and sorrow of despotism is not that it does not love men, but that it loves them too much, and trusts them too little. - G.K. Chesterton

Source unknown
A Distiller Interrogates Moody
In Europe in a place where there was a good deal of whisky distilled, one of the men in the business was a church member, and got a little anxious in his conscience about his business. He came and asked me if I thought that a man could not be an honest distiller. I said, You should do whatever you do for the glory of God. If you can get down and pray about a barrel of whisky, and say, for instance, when you sell it, "O Lord God, let this whisky be blessed to the world," it is probably honest.
Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Divine Display of Power

"Thou foolish one, that which thou sowest..." (1Co 15:36). The Greek verb is speireis, "you sow all the time." This is a common everyday experience. You accept it because you see it happening all the time. How true it is that there are many wonders in the world that you would not have believed by report, if you had not come across them by experience and observation. Had you lived fifty years ago, would you have believed that a picture could be taken by Telstar, a photographic communication satellite in the sky, which would then send back a clear picture on your television screen? In fact, would you have believed television? In the air there are only video waves, but on the television screen you see a person, an actual scene. Everything is wonderful until you are used to it; the resurrection of the body owes the incredible portion of its marvel to the fact of your never having observed it. After the resurrection we shall regard it as a divine display of power as familiar to us as creation and providence are now.

Anonymous