Sermon Illustrations

During the week I have been looking at a book by John Larsson where he called Spiritual breakthrough where he talks about Samuel Logan Brengle.

In his recalling Brengle, Larsson talks of how at the age of twenty-five, Brengle was at a seminary training to be a minister but he was troubled. He says, “He had also been increasingly troubled with the way he seemed always to oppose what he felt were God’s plans for his life. If God wanted one thing Brengle wanted the other. By nature he was an ambitious orator, eager to impress the world. But the Spirit [God’s Holy Spirit] seemed to have other ideas. On this point, as with so many others, young Brengle was at odds with God.”

“The lack of spiritual power was something that troubled Sam deeply. Not only was he defeated by the tempter far too frequently, but waves of doubt would wash over him, sometimes almost smothering him completely. Some days he found it well-neigh impossible to believe in God at all. “

Who was Samuel Logan Brengle? This man came to be probably after William and Catherine Booth is probably the best known Salvationist of his time. What was it that took a struggling Christian and changed him to be a hero of the faith? How did the ordinary become extraordinary?

He went to visit one of his professors and made this statement “If what I have experienced of God, of abundant life is all there is to Christianity, then all is a cruel mockery.”

Larsson goes onto say how the Professor then opened his New Testament and they looked at some passages which “speak of life in all its fullness for the believer” and that “a new hope was born in Sam’s heart that evening.”

But wait there’s more!

He struggled for days, for weeks he “’searched the scriptures, ransacked his heart, cried to God almost day and night.’ Then at nine o’clock in the morning it happens. A great sense of peace flow[ed] over his soul:”

What Samuel Brengle was encountering as the Spirit of Christ blessed him, was an experience of God that was far from ordinary, in that it was poured out from heaven, why because he sought after it, and why did he seek after it? Because he knew there was more to Jesus than what he had seen or encountered prior to this encouinter. When we read the scriptures they are full of miracles, full of life changing encounters with Jesus, trust me these things occur today!

A little like Mary in this description of the wedding we’ve looked at, she knew that there was more to Jesus. As the servants did as Jesus told them to do, the ordinary could become the extraordinary, not only extraordinary but extraordinary in abundance. More was supplied than could ever be used at that one occasion.

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