Sermon Illustrations

I’ll Get Back to You! (08.04.05--Boldness Too!--Acts 3:11)

“Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.” How often have you heard that said in your life. If we could count the number of times action has been spared by inaction due to the “thought process” necessary beforehand, we’d probably have lost count a long time ago.

In fact, I would have to bet that “I’ll get back to you” is one of the most common five-letter phrases in the English language. Not that planning ahead of our actions is something to be avoided. The Bible tells us that planning is a necessary part of doing. If Moses had not planned the long march through the Sinai would have been that much more tedious. If David or Solomon had not planned, the building of the temple would have been more laborious. Nehemiah’s plans enabled an incredible rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in a very short time. No, planning is a necessary part of doing. Unfortunately, as with so many things in this life, we often substitute planning for thinking. Rather than taking the time and effort to think through something on the moment, we often procrastinate and hope that our “thinker” will do better on the morrow. How often this can lead to poor timing, even negligence on our part when time is of the essence.

Dr. J.B. Gambrel tells an amusing story from General Stonewall Jackson’s famous valley campaign. Jackson’s army found itself on one side of a river when it needed to be on the other side. After telling his engineers to plan and build a bridge so the army could cross, he called his wagon master in to tell him that it was urgent the wagon train cross the river as soon as possible. The wagon master started gathering all the logs, rocks and fence rails he could find and built a bridge. Long before daylight General Jackson was told by his wagon master all the wagons and artillery had crossed the river. General Jackson asked where are the engineers and what are they doing? The wagon master’s only reply was that they were in their tent drawing up plans for a bridge. (Pulpit Helps, May, 1991.)

God wants each of us to be bold in our planning as well as our doing. That means thinking on our feet in a timely manner is probably a pretty good way of getting things accomplished in...

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