Sermon Illustrations

Looking For Purpose in Life? Then Serve Others

We need to ask ourselves on a daily basis the following questions: "What are we going to do to be a better Christian? What are we going to do to make our homes happier? What are we going to do to make our church better? What we are going to do to help our community?" In other words, "What’s Our Game Plan?" If we try this positive approach we will see how much better life can be!

The late great American poet, Charles Edwin Anson Markham (1852 - 1940), in his poem entitled, "The Day and The Work," wrote; and, I quote:

"There is waiting a work, where only your hands can avail; and, if you falter, a chord in the music will fail."

When the body of the late Scots Congregational medical missionary and explorer to Africa, David Livingstone (1813 - 1873), lay in Westminster Abbey, a big African native stood at the head of the casket. He was the individual who brought his body out of the jungle; and, he insisted that he remain with his body until it was buried. David Livingstone possessed great medical skill - a brilliant mind - a charming personality - a vision of the "Dark Continent" that was lighted by Jesus, the Christ - and, an interior devotion to duty! In contrast, the African native was just one step removed from being a savage - a strong body was about all that he had - but, in Almighty God’s sight the two (2) men were and are equal!

There is a powerful story told of the late great American Chicago preacher, educator, pastor, author, and humanitarian, Rev. Dr. Frank Wakely Gunsaulus (1856 - 1921), which says things well:

"On Saturday morning, while he was in his study writing a sermon, his nephew came in. The young man was a fine athlete - about 25 years of age - but, he had never been quite able to find himself. He noticed his uncle’s sermon text, found in John 18:37 (KJV): "Pilate therefore said unto Him, ’Art Thou a king, then?’ Jesus answered, ’Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth. Every one that is of the Truth, heareth My voice."

The young man said, "Uncle, I wish I knew why I was born?" It gave the preacher a chance to say a few words to him about life; and, soon the young man went on his way! While the young man was walking down the street in Chicago, Illinois, on December 30, 1903, he heard fire engines and noticed that the Iroquois Theater on Randolph Street - between State Street and Dearborn Avenue - was burning. The young man rushed over and when he arrived, he saw a number of people gathered around a balcony window.

Quickly, the young man found a heavy plank, climbed on the building next to the theater and laid the plank across to that window. Then he stood in the window and helped many people across to safety. While he was assisting them, a heavy timber fell on him and knocked him to the pavement below. Just before he died, Rev. Dr. Gunsaulus got to him and said, "Now you know why you were born. You were born to save those people!"


1. "Discipleship Guide: How To Live The Christlife," edited by Floyd D. Carey and Hoyt E. Stone, c1989 Cleveland, Tennessee: Pathway Press, pp. 48-51.

2. "In Quest Of God’s Power," by Charles L. Allen, c1952 Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, pp. 145-154.

From a sermon by George Dillahunty, What’s Your Game Plan, 10/22/2009

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