We are going to post a few illustrations while we are away. These are not meant to be seen as an easy way out as we have taken the time to select specific ones which carry a good point. For example in the first story, Backbone, this is a message to all believers to stop being wishy-washy and altering the Bible and its message or changing God when a little opposition and resistance comes their way.
Believers today, need a backbone to stand with God and preach his message unaltered. They need to learn what true love is then minister to others accordingly.
A preacher in this part of the country had recently given him what is
called a pounding. When the people had come and gone, and the pastor
with his family went in to view and classify the parcels on the dining
table, they found one bundle in brown paper of a long and slender form.
On it was pinned a white paper bearing the preachers name. Opening the
package the pastors eyes were confronted with a most respectable-sized
backbone that had been freshly dressed and purchased at the meat market.
On the inside of the wrapper were the words, You need this.
Living Illustrations By B. Carradine
This one is in response to the modern Christian reputation that believers tend to shoot their wounded instead of flocking to his or her aid.
Bearing Others Burdens
It is related of Leonardo da Vinci, that in his boyhood when he saw caged
birds exposed for sale on the streets of Florence, he would buy them and
set them free. It was a rare trait in a boy, and spoke of a noble heart full of
genuine sympathy. As we go about the streets, we find many caged birds
which we may set free, imprisoned joys that we may liberate, by the
power that is in us of helping others. Naturalists say that the stork,
having most tenderly fed its young, will sail under them when they first
attempt to fly, and, if they begin to fall, will bear them up and support
them; and that, when one stork is wounded by the sportsman, the able
ones gather about it, put their wings under it, and try to carry it away.
These instincts in the bird teach us the lesson of helpfulness. We should
come up close to those who are in any way overburdened or weak or
faint, and putting our own strength underneath them, help them along; and
when another fellow-being is wounded or crushed whether by sorrow or
by sin, it is our duty to gather about him, and try to lift him up, and save
him. There is scarcely a limit to our possibilities of helpfulness in these
Miller From Present Day Parables by J. Wilbur Chapman
The title in this one says it all
Discernment Of False Professors
While in a large Western city lately, holding a meeting, I noticed in passing
from the hotel to the place of preaching, what at first appeared as a very
large gray dog chained in front of a livery stable. The fact which first
struck me was that all other dogs that came around gave this big leadcolored
canine a wide berth. Usually there were five or six of the species
lying about, but I noticed that while they had their heads turned toward
him, and regarded him with deep interest, they kept fully twenty feet
between themselves and the central figure. This occasioned considerable
wonderment in my mind, until one day I saw the gray animal, while
sitting on his haunches, suddenly lift his head, point his nose in a straight
upward line to the sky and give a prolonged, mournful howl, which made
the blood fairly tingle in the veins, for the double reason of the weird,
melancholy sound, and a memory which flashed like lightning over the
mind. What I thought to be a dog was a wolf
How the recollection rushed to my mind of stories I had read of snowcovered
Russian plains, or dark forests, with gallant horses flying along
the road with a sleigh filled with precious human lives while a pack of
wolves pressed on close behind with red mouths and lolling tongues, and
giving forth the dreadful howl, which presaged death, and froze the hearts
of the listeners with despair.
I understood now at once why the dogs around town would not have
fellowship with the gray animal who was chained in front of the stable. I
thought he was a dog, but he was a wolf. The dogs of the city knew him
better than I did. They did not take to him. They heard his testimony
through, long and mournful as it was, but there was no response on their
part. I listened and not a single one said amen. I studied their faces
closely, and I saw they did not believe one particle in him. By some
strange instinct or intuition they saw there had been no change of heart or
nature with him. They were ready to grant that the strange brother looked
somewhat like them; but his voice was against him, and his experience put
forth in that high-sounding way, seemed to freeze every one of them up,
and there was not the slightest indication of a hand-shaking being
inaugurated or a brotherly kiss exchanged.
Who has not had something like this to occur in his life? Who has not
listened to testimonies and been confronted with individuals who claimed
to be one of us and one with us in the Christian life and holiness
movement, and we found it impossible to fraternize or feel at rest with
them. We battled with the feeling as being a senseless prejudice, unworthy
of ourselves and unkind and unjust to the person in question. But the
same strange shrinking from the individual remained. We prayed against
the impression, but there was a kind of crawly feeling in the soul
whenever the party testified in public or affected cordiality in private.
There was something in the voice that failed to awaken an echo in our
spirit. When he or she gave forth the public declaration, pointing the face
upward to the sky, it did not have the genuine ring, and it did not sound
exactly right. There was a certain confusion in the Canaan language. All
through there was an approximation but never a culmination.
Some weeks, months or years afterward, we discovered that the individual
was a wolf. He became not only a personal enemy, but an enemy to the
holiness people at large with whom he had tried to train and run. Worse
still, we have known some such to turn out perfect frauds, humbugs and
Johns explanation of them is in his first epistle, where he says, They
went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us,
they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that
they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
But the great lesson of this parable of the gray wolf is, will God give an
instinct to dogs to protect them in their swift recognition of an enemy;
and will he not vouchsafe spiritual discernment to his children to deliver
them from false friends, religious shams, and all their soul adversaries?
Whether they come from earth or hell; attack us in open fight from the
world, or stand up as secret foes in meeting, and lifting the face to the
sky, give an experience as long as the one hundred and nineteenth psalm;
will not the Lord deliver and save us?
We for one believe God will thus help us, and has helped us; and this is
the reason why, with nothing but kindness of soul to all men, and with
pity and Christian love for the apparently right brother, we are strangely
kept back by an inner restraint from opening up the heart life and home to
some slick-tongued, smooth-mannered newcomer who points his face to
the sky, and speaks out so well in meeting. God would by a spiritual
instinct or moral intuition save us from the mistake, and even the lifetime
disaster of getting up a gush, and falling on the neck of old Mr. Gray
Wolf, who was trying to pass himself off among us as Brother Simon
Living Illustrations By B. Carradine