Purpose Sermon Illustrations

Purpose Sermon Illustrations

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Willing to Wash Windows

A neat, rather prepossessing young man applied to John Wanamaker for a job a number of years ago, in Philadelphia, and when told that there was no job for him, said, "I am willing to do anything."

Thinking to get rid of him, Mr. Wanamaker said, "The only job I have is a job of washing windows." "I will take it," said the young man. He washed those windows as they had never been washed. In time he became the manager of the great store.

When this manager died, after twenty-five years of splendid service, Mr. Wanamaker said, "I am willing to pay as high as one hundred thousand dollars a year for a manager who can fill the place of the one I lost."

What the Church needs is men and women who are willing to "wash windows" for the sake of the Kingdom.—Canadian Churchman.


As to lack of faith and practice in prayer, James uses a simile which is ludicrously striking—the wave, literally, "The surge of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed." There are two motions when the sea is tempestuous: undulation, up and down; fluctuation, to and fro. Both are referred to—"driven with the wind," fluctuation; "tossed," undulation. The peculiarity of the wave is that it stays nowhere; and so the double­souled man is unstable in all his ways. If he is impelled forward, he falls back; if he is lifted up, he sinks down again. If he believes one moment, he distrusts the next; if he gets a little ahead, he cannot hold on to any advantage. Unstable as water, he cannot excel.—A. T. Pierson.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of Time,
As we voyage along through life;
'Tis the set of the soul
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife!—Selected.

David Livingstone said,

"I will set no value upon anything I have or may possess except in relation to the kingdom of Christ. If anything will advance the interests of that kingdom it shall be given away or kept according as to whether the giving or keeping it will promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes for time and eternity."—Gospel Herald.

Browning's poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Towel Came" is a wonderful example of the power of a purpose. The dark tower was his goal. Men tried to warn him, to turn him back but he pushed on—through deserts and over raging streams, past terrible places and through marshes, past grim enemies—until he reached the tower; and then his enemies stood ranged along the hill side in a sheet of flame:

And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips
I set,
And blew.
"Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came."

The heavenly lanes are open to airplane travel in every direction. Like wise the lanes of life are wide open to him who would attain unto the highest life, for we are called, as Paul so splendidly puts it, unto nothing less than "glory and honor and immortality" (Rom. 2:7), or again, "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). How loyal are you to your purpose? How faithful are you to your goal? Is your motto that of Paul, "This one thing I do" (Phil. 3:13)? How faithful are you to the man you meant to be?

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