Sermon Illustrations

In her book “Smoke on the Mountain”, Joy Davidson told of a missionary in a dark corner of Africa where the men had a habit of filing their teeth to sharp points. The missionary was working hard at trying to convert an old native chief. This missionary was very much Old Testament in his approach, leaning heavily on the law and “thou-shalt-nots.” The native listened patiently, until at last he said, “I do not understand. You tell me that I must not take my neighbor’s wife.” “That’s right,” said the missionary. “Or his ivory, or his oxen.” “Quite right.” “And I must not dance the war dance and then ambush him on the trail and kill him.” “Absolutely right!” then the chief said, “But I cannot do any of these things! I am too old. To be old and to be Christian, they are the same thing.”

I wonder how many people see the Christian faith as something old, prohibitive, tiring, lifeless – as the enemy of life and joy. What a shame – for God is a God of rest and joy and life. We are to enjoy Him forever!

(From 'Smoke on the Mountain", Joy Dadivman,Westminster Press, 1954, p. 13)

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