Sermon Illustrations

Bob Goff tells of his love for playing practical jokes on his buddies. His friend Doug made the mistake of telling him where he was celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary and the penthouse suite he had prepaid for. A few days later, he and his wife checked into the hotel as Doug and his wife. They were handed the key and then took the elevator straight up to the penthouse. They called room service and ordered lobster, and salmon and for desert they ordered Bananas foster which they had never had before. It was so good, they ordered seconds. After finishing dinner and taking in the panoramic views, they gave a huge tip to the waiter and the bill totaled more than $400. They tidied up the room and then left and Bob woke up the next day just thinking about Doug’s reaction when he was the room service bill as he checked out.

Doug has been trying to get back at Bob for years. A few years later, Bob received a phone from a man with a heavy Ugandan accent who said, “Bob I’m aware of what you’ve been doing with children in Ugandan prisons and our judiciary process and I want to thank you on behalf of the President. In fact, I am so please I want you to consider becoming the counsel of the Ugandan Government.” Bob’s mind immediately went to Doug, knowing this had to be his final payback. S o he decided to play along and everything that asked of him, he just said yes. Yes after yes left his lips during the conversation until the man on the other end of the line said he had to head back to Uganda but would call in a couple of months when he returned. The next two months were very busy and Bob had forgotten about the call. But then one day, the phone rang and it was the same gentleman on the phone asking Bob to fly to New York to meet him. Of course, Bob said “Yes!” So he flew to New York and headed to his hotel fully expecting a note to be handed to him from Doug and letting him on the prank, with the words, “Go ahead and get a lobster, it’s on me!” But then a car with Ugandan flag pulled up to the hotel and a man stepped out of the vehicle and introduced himself, “I’m Ambassador Kumminanwire.” And Bob said, “Of course you are.” And then he proceeded to introduce him to several Ugandan dignitaries. He said, “I’ve got all of the paperwork done for you to become special consul to the US for Uganda. All you need to do is give me a couple of passport pictures and I’ll get the Parliament to approve it. Four months passed and then word came that he had gotten approved. He got a call not long after that from the FBI who informed him they were doing a background check. A few weeks later, he got his Diplomatic credentials and they had a big ceremony. And that is how Bob Goff became consul of Uganda to the U.S.

And then he writes, “I think God sometimes uses the completely inexplicable events of our lives to point us toward him. We get to decide each time whether we will lean in toward what is unfolding and say yes or back away. The folks who were following Jesus in Galilee got to decide the same thing each day because there was no road map, no program and no certainty. All they had was this person, an idea and an invitation to come and see….So the next time God asks you to do something that is completely inexplicable…(That) requires a decision or courage that way over your pay grade, something tat might even save lives, say “Yes!”

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