“In trial and weakness and trouble, He seeks to bring us low, until we learn that His grace is all, and to take pleasure in the very thing that brings us and keeps us low. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. His presence filling and satisfying our emptiness, becomes the secret of humility that need never fail.”—Humility: The Beauty of Holiness, Andrew Murray
Samuel Morse was born into a preacher’s home in New England just two years after George Washington was elected the first president of the United States. After finishing his education at Yale, he went to England to hone his painting skill. Upon his return to America he was recognized as a gifted artist and was soon in much demand. Morse’s first wife died while he was away from home painting in Washington, D.C. He did not receive the news until it was too late.
D.L. Moody was the most famous evangelist in the world in the late 1800s. People came from around the world to attend his Bible Conferences in Northfield, Massachusetts. One year a large group of pastors from Europe were among the attendees. They were given rooms in the dormitory of the Bible school. As was the custom in Europe, the men put their shoes outside the door of their room, expecting them to be cleaned and polished by servants during the night.
When a man asked George Mueller the secret of his service, Mueller responded: “There was a day when I died, utterly died; died to George Mueller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends; and since then I have studied to show myself approved only to God.”
Source: The London Quarterly Review, Volume 92
Samuel Brengle who was an early Salvation Army official was once introduced as the, “Great Dr. Brengle.” He later wrote in his diary, “If I appear great in their eyes, the Lord is most graciously helping me to see how absolutely nothing I am without Him, and helping me to keep little in my own eyes. He does use me. But I am so concerned that He uses me and that it is not of me the work is done. The axe cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. It could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, and he used it.
Lenny Skutnik had no intention of being a hero that day. The staffer at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington was having an ordinary winter day when Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River shortly after takeoff. Those who survived the crash faced death as the plane sank in the icy waters.
King Canute ruled over Denmark, Norway, and England more than one thousand years ago. A wise ruler, he worked diligently to make the lives of his subjects better. As is often the case, he was surrounded by those who sought to gain influence and prominence with him, and according to the ancient story, he grew tired of their continual flattery and determined to put an end to it. He ordered that his throne be carried out to the seashore and gathered his courtiers about it.
The story is told of two women in Shanghai who were discussing the topic of pride and began to wonder if Hudson Taylor was ever tempted to be prideful because of his many accomplishments. One of the women decided to ask Taylor’s wife, Maria, about it. Maria promised the woman that she would find out. When Mrs. Taylor asked her husband if he was ever tempted to be proud, he was surprised. “Proud about what?” he asked. “About all of the things you have done,” his wife explained. Taylor responded, “I never knew I had done anything.”
Hudson Taylor was scheduled to speak at a large church in Melbourne, Australia. The moderator of the service introduced the missionary in eloquent and glowing terms. He told the large congregation all that Taylor had accomplished in China, and then presented him as “our illustrious guest.” Taylor stood quietly for a moment, and then opened his message by saying, “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.”
Source: Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, Warren Wiersbe
Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker both had churches in London in the 19th century. On one occasion, Parker commented on the poor condition of children admitted to Spurgeon’s orphanage. It was reported to Spurgeon however, that Parker had criticized the orphanage itself. Spurgeon blasted Parker the next week from the pulpit. The attack was printed in the newspapers and became the talk of the town. People flocked to Parker’s church the next Sunday to hear his rebuttal. “I understand Dr.
A young preacher once approached Dr. F. B. Meyer and asked how he could one day become as influential and well-known as Dr. Meyer. Dr. Meyer responded, “Don’t waste your time waiting and longing for large opportunities which may never come. But faithfully handle the little things that are always claiming your attention.”
Source: 1001 Unforgettable Quotes about God, Faith, and the Bible; Ron Rhodes
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
A converted Hindu gave the following address to a number of his fellow countrymen: “I am, by birth, of an insignificant and contemptible caste—so low, that if a Brahmin should chance to touch me, he must go and bathe in the Ganges for the purpose of purification; and yet God has been pleased to call me, not merely to the knowledge of the Gospel, but to the high office of teaching it to others. My friends, do you know the reason of God’s conduct?
During the Civil War someone reported to Abraham Lincoln that Edwin Stanton, one of the President’s cabinet members, had referred to him as a fool. Mr. Lincoln replied, “Well, I must check into that, for I have found that he is usually correct in his judgments.”
Source: My Favorite Illustrations, H. H. Hobbs
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
Appetite says, “Be sensuous, enjoy yourself.”
Education says, “Be resourceful, expand yourself.”
Materialism says, “Be satisfied, please yourself.”
Psychology says, “Be confident, fulfill yourself.”
Pride says, “Be superior, promote yourself.”
Humanism says, “Be capable believe in yourself.”
God says, “Be wise, humble yourself.”
After resigning his pastorate to go lead another church, a pastor was approached by an endearing older member of the congregation. She wept over the pastor’s decision to leave and said, “Things will never be the same.”
The minister tried to console her by saying, “Don’t worry, I’m confident you will get a new pastor who is better than me.”
She continued to sob and replied, “That’s what the last three pastors have said, but they just keep getting worse.”
After a particularly long and bumpy flight the crew was tired. This was even made more apparent by the rough landing. This particular airline had a policy that the pilot must stand by the door as the people exited to thank them for flying with the airline. The pilot was dreading this because of the landing but he stood faithfully by. Surprisingly enough the people filed off and none said a word. Then came the last passenger, an elderly lady walking with a cane. As she got up to the captain she said, “Can I ask a question?”
Winston Churchill was once asked, “Doesn’t it thrill
you to know that every time you make a speech, the hall is packed to
“It’s quite flattering,” replied Winston, “But whenever I feel that way, I always remember that if instead of making a political speech I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big.”
Source: Respectfully Quoted, Suzy Platt
F. B. Meyer held meetings in Northfield, Massachusetts and large crowds thronged to hear him. Then G. Campbell Morgan came to Northfield and people flocked to hear his brilliant expositions of Scripture. Meyer confessed that at first he was envious. He said, “The only way I can conquer my feelings is to pray for Morgan daily, which I do.”
Source: Acts, Lou Nicholes
After a tough and discouraging day at work, Melvin plopped himself on the couch and began wallowing in self-pity. He moaned to his wife, “Nobody cares about me. In fact, the whole world hates me.” Without even looking up from her work, Melvin’s wife replied, “That’s not true, honey. The whole world couldn’t possibly hate you because most of them don’t even know you.”