Sermon Illustrations

THE STRANGER

Some time ago, a small east coast community was struggling financially, so they called an open town meeting to discuss the problem. A couple dozen people were there, including a stranger that no one seemed to know. Most assumed he was a tourist who had just dropped in on the meeting. He started to make a comment when various ideas were offered, but he was interrupted, so he just kept quiet for the rest of the meeting and ended up leaving early.

Just as the stranger left, a late arriving resident came in and asked with excitement, "What was HE doing here? Is he going to help us?"

The others said, "Who are you talking about? Who was that man?"

The latecomer replied, "You mean you don't know? That was John D. Rockefeller. His yacht is in our harbor. Didn't you get his help?"

Now, John D. Rockefeller happened to be one of the richest men in the world at the time. So someone cried out in despair, "No, we didn't get his help, because we didn't know who he was." (Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, #4162)

My dear friends, God often shows up in our lives, and in our church meetings, desiring to help us and bless us richly. But so often, we ignore Him like some "ignorant tourist" and miss out on the blessing, because we don't recognize who He is.

(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, The Face of God, 3/9/2011)

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