Purpose Sermon Illustrations

Purpose Sermon Illustrations

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The Power of Purpose

From the Reader's Digest we have the following:

"One morning I watched a couple of cowpunchers going out to bring in a wild steer from his range in the mountains. They took along one of those shaggy little gray donkeys—a burro. Now a big three-year-old steer that's been running loose in the timber is a tough customer to handle. But those cowboys had the technique. They got a rope on the steer and then they tied him neck and neck, right up close, to the burro.

"When they let go, that burro had a bad time. The steer threw him all over the place. He banged him against trees, rocks, into bushes. Time after time they both went down. But there was one great difference between the burro and the steer. The burro had an idea. He wanted to go home. And no matter how often the steer threw him, every time the burro got to his feet he took a step nearer the corral. This went on and on. After about a week the burro showed up at ranch headquarters. He had with him the tamest and sorriest looking steer you ever saw. (Arthur Kudner, in The Atlantic Monthly)."

If one were expected to point out the morals in this story he might observe that much beef, brains, gifts, or education amount to little unless there is some worth-while and well-established purpose in control of the large resources.

Then, of course, that burro, lacking much in size and weight, put all he had in one direction and kept on doing it. And as surely as you live, some men and women who have been, figuratively speaking, no bigger than the burro, have obtained their own purposes and the purposes of God in their lives because of what pull they had always in one direction.

So it is not so much your size but your eternally determined direction that counts.The Free Methodist.

Daniel's Backbone

Recently a speaker recalled a story of Spurgeon's concerning a class of boys who were having a Scripture lesson on Daniel. One of the boys was asked to read some verses aloud, and presently he came to verse three in chapter six, which reads . . because an excellent spirit was in him" but by mistake the boy rendered it ". . because an excellent spine was in him." It was undoubtedly bad reading, but it was excellent theology, for Daniel was a man of real backbone"—strong, courageous.—New Century Leader.

Boys Who Had a Plan

Jonathan Edwards, the great minister and educator, when eighteen said, "If there could be one man in the world at one time who was pleasing to God, I would want to be that man." He became one of the world's greatest men, whose influence is still felt.

Spurgeon decided when a small boy to become a preacher. Time did not change his decision. His sermons, both spoken and translated into other languages, reached the entire Christian world.

Judson's ideal as a boy and young man was to become famous as an actor. He became famous and one of the world's greatest men, but in quite a different work. He became a pioneer missionary to Burma.

Livingstone cherished a desire in his teens to go to China as a medical missionary; he studied and planned to that effect, but Providence saw to it that he was to plant the Cross in the heart of Africa.

James A. Garfield, when a boy said, "I intend first of all to make a man of myself," and his resolve never failed. It was always his ambition to do a little better than others.

Would that young men and boys of today would consider the way their lives are to go and decide to climb to the higher and safer level. In the little poem of John Oxenham there is wonderful advice to all:

"But to every man there openeth
A way, and ways, and a way,
And the high soul climbs the high way,
And the low soul gropes the low;
And in between, on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro;
But to every man there openeth
A high way and a low,
And every man decideth
The way his soul shall go."The Junior's Friend.

An Exhortation

"The work is solemn—therefore do not trifle; the work is difficult—therefore do not relax; the opportunity is brief—therefore do not delay; the path is narrow—therefore do not wander; the prize is glorious—therefore do not faint."—D. M. Panton, in The Presbyterian.


Away up on a Canadian hillside grew a tree that had weathered the storms for many and many a long year. But the time came when it had to be felled, and put to some definite use, and with the last clean cut of an axe in the hands of a lumberjack it came to the ground. It was rolled down to the river, but later, in the "drive" it floated down stream not to the sawmill, where it would have been utilized for a specific purpose, but past the mill, on and on until it finally reached the ocean. Here the storm-tossed waves lashed it with others of its kind, until the mass became a water­logged unit, and a menace to navigation. One dark, foggy morning, the look-out on a ship plying to a distant port gave the signal "danger ahead." Engines were reversed, speed was reduced, and with every member of the crew at his post the captain rushed to the bridge for observation. One look at the thing that lay on the surface of the water was sufficient to cause him to turn away with an expression of disgust on his face as he exclaimed, "Only driftwood! Full speed ahead!" Alas, there are many living today without any definite purpose, simply floating down the stream and out toward the angry sea of dissatisfaction and unrest, there to become "driftwood."Gospel Herald.

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