Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God rewards initiative in his honor.

1. Kemmons Wilson

Kemmons Wilson has always been an initiator. He started working when he was seven selling magazines, newspapers and popcorn.

In 1930 at the age of seventeen he started working for a Cotton broker in his first salaried job, for $12 a week writing figures on the price board.

When a bookkeeper's job paying $35 a week came open he applied for it and got it, but when he got his first check it was still $12, and when he asked why, he was told that they weren't going to pay a 17 year old kid that kind of money. So, he resigned, and that was the last salaried job he ever had.

Wilson made money at different jobs after that in pinball and vending machines, and saved enough money to build his mother a house.

That's when he realized that there was a lot of money in building, so he started a building business, and made a fortune in the post-World War II building boom.

Wilson's initiative made him a lot of money, but he didn't have much of an impact on the world, that is until 1951. Wilson took his family on a vacation to Washington D.C., and learned about the sorry state of motels that were available to traveling families.

Wilson said, "some places were too squalid for words. And they all charged for children." Wilson had five children and that tripled his bill. So he decided to do something about it.

He told his wife "Let's go home and start a chain of family motels." His goal was to build four hundred motels, and his wife just laughed.

When he got back to Memphis, he hired a draftsman to help him design his first motel, and by 1959 he had 100 motels built, which didn't meet his goal.

Then Wilson decided to franchise his motels and that boosted the openings, and by 1964 there were 500 Holiday Inns in America, by 1968 there were 1000, and in 1972 a Holiday Inn opened somewhere in the world every 72 hours, and the company was still growing in 1979 when Wilson stepped down from his position as leader after a heart attack.

Wilson said" I was so hungry when I was young, I just had to do something to make a living. When I retired after my heart attack, I went home to smell the roses. That lasted about a month."

You see it is hard for an initiator to stop making things happen.

2. Three types of people in the world: Those who do not know what is happening; Those who watch what is happening; and Those who make things happen.

3. Action always accompanies faith -- James 2.17, 24, etc.

4. God often rewards initiative

a. Pinchas (Numbers 25)

b. 5 Daughters (Numbers 27.1-4)

I. God is the Great Initiator

A. Creation -- Deliverance -- etc. -- Exodus 19.3-6

3 And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

B. In Yeshua (Jesus)


The great Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard illustrates the pursuit of God with a story about a prince in search for a future queen. One day while the prince was running an errand in the local village for his father he passed through a poor section of the city. As he was passing through, he happened to see a beautiful young maiden. She was poor and lower class, but she was absolutely beautiful. After passing through the village several times, he found he was falling in love with her.

But he had a problem. How would he go about winning her hand in marriage? He could simply order her to marry him, but he wasn't just seeking a queen. He was seeking a soul mate. If he coerced her to love him, he would never know if she really loved him for who he was or just because of the splendor of his position and wealth.

So the prince came up with another solution. He took off his kingly robe and put on the garb of a peasant. He moved into the village and began to live among the people. He shared their interests and their concerns, and he talked their language. This was no mere disguise; it was a new identity. Over time, he was able to see the young girl. It wasn't instant, but in time the young woman grew to love the prince. She loved him because he first loved her.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion