Sermon Illustrations


A personal testimony.

Inspired by His calling, Joel Vicente. -------

I was secure at home when I heard the voice from the Captain exclaim,

"Come follow me. Go where I send you. No need to fear. I will be with you."

I asked, "But Captain, may I remain here on the shore where it is safe and help other sailors discover their way?" The voice echoed,

"Come after me. You’ll reach distant lands. No need to fear. You’ll be in my hands."

My plans did not include a journey to a strange land, so I again questioned the Captain. "How can I travel so far away if I am not skilled? What will I discover there?" The Captain advised me,

"This is my plan. Adding wisdom to your measure. Abide with me. You’ll find a hidden treasure."

I announced my venture as I said farewell to my yesterdays. These yesterdays included my family, friends, and dreams. The memories from home were cherished. Nevertheless, I would never return to repeat them. My departure became certain as I abandoned everything I knew to be familiar. So we sailed southward; I was unaware of my destination. Suddenly, I heard a roaring from the wind. I felt the crashing of waves and heard a whisper from the Captain say,

"Trust in Me. Do not fear. I’m with you. I’ll be near.”

The winds viscously forced me off the ship. The waves violently embraced me. I struggled in the grip of darkness. Below me was an endless void of despair. I yelled, "Captain, help me before I drown!" I heard no response. I reached for the ship and an outstretched arm took hold of mine and lifted me to safety. I appealed to the Captain, "You said do not fear. You said you would be with me. Why did I fall?" The Captain replied,

"Submit to My purpose. Surrender to My plan. Endure what surrounds you. With My strength you can."

The ship sailed on until it came to a sudden stop. I noticed that the anchor was launched. Ahead of the ship was an immense storm. I asked the Captain, "Why don’t we turn away from the storm?" The Captain replied,

“Keep watch for the calm. Storms are mysteries. Listen close to their secrets. In them are victories.”

At that moment, the storm leaped on me knocking me to the lower deck. The winds swept me back and forth like a pendulum. I had nothing to hold on to. I again shouted for the Captain. “Save me, before I go under!” As I glanced into the Captain’s quarters, there He slept as if the storm was my imagination. Ultimately, the storm would cease. I asked the Captain how He could sleep in the middle of the storm? Again I was replied to with silence. The Captain appeared to look right through my examination. Then the Captain handed me a compass. I read the engraved message, "Follow my direction, and do not fear for I am with you. When you don’t see Me, trust Me, when you don’t hear Me, remember my promises." I looked intently at the compass and the Captain appeaed to be gone. I felt alone on the ship. Just then, I saw someone else drowning in the same waves, so I reached out my hand and lifted him to safety. The lost gentleman thanked me and asked where my courage came from. I was beginning to discover the mysteries that the Captain was displaying. While we spoke, I noticed that another ship was headed toward the same storm that I just survived. So I jumped from my ship and anxiously swam to the other vessel. I yelled as if my volume would exceed that of the coming storm. I warned them of their direction into danger and they turned to safer shores. I then discerned the secrets that the storm was revealing. I found the victory in saving others. This was my hidden treasure!

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