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Sermon Illustrations

It's been said that the three guiding principles of effective preaching can be found in the three "I"s -- "Illustrate, Illustrate, Illustrate." Clergy of virtually every theological background recognize the need to include powerful sermon illustrations in their Sunday messages. Said one well-known preacher, "Few words are as welcome to the people in the pew as, "Let me tell you a story."

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Displaying 1-15 of 16,344 powerful Sermon Illustrations!.
Action"What good is it, my brothers and sisters if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?" (James 2:14). Many of you remember the lines from "My Fair Lady" when Eliza turns to Professor Higgins and says: Don't talk of stars burning above. If you're in love, SHOW me. Sing me no song, read me no rhyme. Don't waste my time, SHOW me. Don't talk of June, don't talk of Fall. Don't talk at all, SHOW [...]View
Advent". . . wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the Child who has been born King of the Jews? For we observed His star rising and have come to pay Him homage." (Mt. 2:1-2). W.H. Auden, the contemporary poet, has written a long musical work (an oratorio) based on the story of the Three Wise Men. In it, each man tells why he is following the star. The first one says, [...]View
Advent"Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." (Jn. 6:53). As we move deeper into the Advent Season, the real preparation for Christmas Day must come not so much in putting the spirit of Christmas into words, but into our life's experience. Our words about it will never live up to the experience of it. What is it like [...]View
AdversityDuring the Great Depression there was a man who lost his job, a fortune, his wife and home, but tenaciously held on to his faith - the only thing he had left. One day, he stopped to watch men doing stone work on a huge church. One of them was chiseling a triangular piece of rock. "What are you going to do with that?" he asked the workman. The worker responded, "Do you see that [...]View
AdvertisingA little boy went to the corner grocery store and asked for a box of detergent. The clerk said, "Son, what do you need the detergent for?" "I want to wash my dog!" the boy replied. "Well, son, this is a heavy duty detergent and it's pretty strong for washing a dog." "That's what I want!" the boy persisted. So he sold the boy the detergent and said, "Now be very careful. This is a [...]View
AfterlifeSt. Peter and Satan were having an argument one day about baseball. With a suspicious grin, Satan proposed a game (to be played on neutral grounds) between a select team from heaven and a hand-picked team from his "hometown" turf. "Very well," the gatekeeper of the Celestial City agreed. "But you realize, I hope, that we have all the good players, and the best coaches too." "I know," said Satan calmly, "but we have all the umpires!" Griffith, [...]View
Agape LoveThe famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, designed some unusual buildings. On a university campus in Florida stands a library designed by Wright with an extremely low ceiling, so low that if you are six feet tall and not careful, you keep bumping your head. A man who was having this trouble asked why Frank Lloyd Wright had designed such a building. "This was a characteristic of his architecture because he hated tall people," A teacher [...]View
AgingA young girl was shopping in the supermarket with her grandfather. At the baked goods counter, grandfather selected several items, including a loaf of bread wrapped in plastic. Whereupon, the granddaughter removed the bread from the cart and carefully read the list of ingredients printed on the wrapping. "Put it back, grandpa," she said, "too many preservatives." But grandpa smiled wistfully and said, "Maybe we'd better keep it. At my age I need all the [...]View
AgingTongue in cheek, the inventor, philosopher, anthropologist, engineer, and architect Buckminster Fuller described how complex a human being is. Mr. Fuller's Human "Specification Sheet" reads as follows: (1) A Self-balancing, twenty-eight jointed, adapter based bi-ped; (2) An Electrochemical reduction plant, with segregated stowages and thousands of hydraulic and pneumatic pumps with motors attached; (3) 62,000 miles of capillaries; (4) Millions of warning signals; (5) Guided with exquisite precision from a turret in which are located telescopic self-registering and [...]View
AgingThe following is a true story. A man named Joe and his wife Evelyn waited in line to board a plane for Chicago. The gate attendant announced over the loud speaker: "Anyone under six or over sixty may now board." People with children moved through the line and boarded the plane. A minute later, a man came up, obviously over 60. When Joe and Evelyn eventually started to board the plane, they noticed that the man [...]View
AlcoholismA few years ago, an important international medical conference took place in London. As the doctors filed into the main conference room for the opening address, they were each handed an agenda for the day, according to his or her own specialty. One group of physicians received the following schedule: 10:15 am-"Alcohol in the Blood." 12:15 pm-"Alcohol in the Pancreas." 3:15 pm-"Alcoholism." 5:00 pm-Bar opens [...]View
AmbitionIt was reported in "Sports Illustrated" magazine that athletes who intended to participate in the National track and field championships were required to fill out a questionnaire. Among the questions were, "What is your hobby?" and "What is your ambition?" One Olympic distance-runner answered, "My hobby is taking apart my Volkswagen... My ambition is to be able to put it back together." [...]View
Artful LivingHenry Thoreau once described the "art of living" as the "highest of arts." He said that the people who practice this "highest of arts" are not artists in the usual sense of painters, sculptors, authors or musicians. Rather, they are the ones who, through the nobility of their lives, contribute to the "quality of the day," (as Thoreau called it). Thoreau's insight immediately brings to mind such celebrated "artful lives" as St. Francis of Assisi's, Mother [...]View
AtheismHumorist Woody Allen was seen on a television talk show discussing his past romantic relationships. He was questioned about the dating experiences he had while in college. Mr. Allen recalled a wonderful relationship that lasted several years. The couple had even discussed marriage. When asked what he thought was the cause of their breakup, Mr. Allen explained that the relationship had gone sour because of what he called "serious religious differences." He said, "I was [...]View
AttitudeAn old bishop in Washington, D.C., had grown tired of the socials and embassy parties he was expected to attend just about every other day. At one such occasion, he entered the reception room wearily, glanced sourly at the familiar cast of characters and slumped into the nearest easy chair. "A spot of tea, bishop?" the hostess asked demurely. "No tea," the bishop growled. "Coffee, bishop?" "No coffee!" An understanding woman, the hostess whispered in [...]View