Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Missionary Pioneer 'Holds Possessions Very Lightly'

In Giving It All Away David Green relates that Bob Hoskins, a missionary pioneer who along with his son Rob founded the outstanding ministry called OneHope, tells a story about his early days of living in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1975, the Lebanese Civil War broke out and conditions deteriorated rapidly. The downtown area, previously an oasis for business and culture, became a no-man's land called the Green Line. Bob remembers the night the US embassy called to say they were evacuating all nonessential Americans as soon as possible.

Bob says, "My family and I threw things into suitcases and headed out. I stood there at the apartment door with the key in my hand, taking one last look at all our furniture, our personal treasures, the special carvings I had received as gifts when I'd been preaching in various countries of Africa and Asia. I thought to myself, I wonder if I'll ever see any of this again."

The Hoskinses returned to America for a number of months, and then eventually returned to their home in Lebanon. Bob says, "We came back with our hearts in our throats that day, headed up the stairs, turned the key in the lock, opened the door … and sighed with relief. Everything was exactly as we had left it! Our prayers had been answered. We were home again."

A few years later, they had to evacuate the Beirut a second time. Once again the family packed up quickly and left their apartment behind. When the smoke of battle cleared, they returned as they had before, climbing the stairs, turning the key in the lock. This time, though, their home had been destroyed. Couches and beds lay broken, dishes were smashed, and irreplaceable souvenirs were demolished or missing. Their belongings were no more.

Bob concluded his story with a challenge: "Hold the things of this world very lightly. They may be there for you to enjoy tomorrow or they may not. The Bible says, 'We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.' Live with an open hand before God; it's the only way in a dangerous, unpredictable world."

Related Sermon Illustrations

Biker Chooses to Be Buried in His Harley-Davidson Sidecar

For some motorcycle owners, biking is simply a hobby. For others, it's more than a hobby; it's a way of life. For one Pennsylvania man, however, biking has been both a way of life ...

[Read More]

This World Is Not Our Home

A tourist was once travelling through the area where the famed Rabbi Hofetz Chaim was living. Being a great admirer of the rabbi, he made inquiries whether he could visit the rabbi ...

[Read More]