Category Archives: Sermon Illustration

More on Baby Jessica

This past Sunday at Harvest Bible Chapel of Jacksonville, I preached on Colossians 4:5-6, which is basically a passage about evangelism. For illustration purposes I talked about the rescue of baby Jessica McClure, of Midland, Texas. My friend, Scott Shaw, won a Pulitzer Prize for his picture of her after she came up from the well. In researching the story I came across so many interesting facts surrounding the story. I also came across some great writing. One such story was about the tragic death of the man who actually pulled Jessica out of the well. The story is “Death on the CNN Curve” by Lisa Belkin. It was published by the New York Times in 1995. Here is a sample:

In October 1987, the oil bust meant Midland’s economy was depressed, and so were its people. Then a little girl fell down a well, and the thing they knew how to do best — bore down into the ground and bring something precious back up — that was the one thing that needed doing.”

Read the rest HERE.

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A Sudden Conversion to Christ

Yesterday in my message, “Jesus Loves Me: He Reveals Himself to Me,” I pointed out how God sometimes surprises us with His timing, showing up in our lives when we don’t expect Him. I also mentioned that some people can point to their conversion testimony as examples of this reality. God saved them when they were not looking for Him. John Shore has such a testimony:

The split-second before I very suddenly became a Christian, I couldn’t possibly have been less of a Christian. If anything, I was anti-Christian. The religion struck me as ridiculously immature, a way-too-obvious system designed mostly to capitalize on people’s guilt: Big Daddy in the Sky knows you did wrong, but will love you anyway if you’ll only admit that he’s perfection itself, and that you’re a wretched, sickening sack of sin.”

Note those first words of that paragraph: “The split-second before I very suddenly became a Christian…” Talk about not looking for God! Yet God revealed Himself to Mr. Shore suddenly and convincingly. Reminiscent of Saul/Paul’s testimony (Acts 9). Read the rest of Mr. Shore’s story HERE.

The Mistaken Identity Story

Yesterday in my message I mentioned the tragic story of the four students and one employee of Taylor University who killed in an accident nearly four years ago. The events that occurred over the succeeding five weeks made national news. One of the victims was mistakenly identified, meaning that one of the survivors had been presumed dead. What for one family was shocking joy became another family’s deep grief.

The story was eventually featured on national news outlets such as Dateline NBC and The Oprah Winfrey show. A book was published.

Both families are devoted Christians and throughout the ordeal displayed the superiority of lives surrendered to Jesus Christ.

Here is an encouraging update on Whitney Cerak from nearly a year ago: