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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 136-150 of 16,343 powerful Sermon Illustrations!.
ContemplationI attempt to look at life in all its richness, seeking to be affected at levels deeper than those of thought. I contemplate The birth of a baby — The parent’s sense of joy and wonder, The celebrations. I contemplate a death — the grief, the sense of loss, the funeral rites. I move from one scene to the other, from the wedding to the ward and back again. I contemplate a sports stadium — the crowds, the players, the cheering, the excitement. I contemplate an old folks’ home — an [...]View
ContentmentA man had found a magic lantern and, for years, every time he rubbed it a “Genie” would appear to grant his wish. The man was a real worry-bird and, because of his constant anxious worries, he kept the “Genie” busy all the time. This went on for years — one wish after another — until, one day, when the man rubbed his magic lantern for the fifth time that week, the Genie appeared and [...]View
CourageA woman’s scream suddenly startled a party of surveyors at dinner in a forest in northern Virginia on a calm, sunny day in 1750. The men ran in the direction of the scream. One of the first to reach the scene was an 18-year-old. “Please, sir, please make them release me,” the woman said as several held her. “My boy is drowning and they will not let me go to save him!” One of those [...]View
CourtshipThe Christian Science Monitor once ran a story of a springtime in New York, when the fancy of a certain young woman had lightly turned to thoughts of love. She had been seeing a good deal of a handsome young man whose career was fast rising. “One perfect day,” the story goes... He called to say he had something special on his mind. He would pick her up in his car, a memorable jalopy, and they [...]View
CourtshipA man who had been dating a young woman for several months, called on her one evening and presented her with a little box. In the box was a beautiful diamond bracelet with her name inscribed on it. “I love you so much,” said the suitor, “that I would be the happiest man in the world just to know that you were wearing this bracelet.” To which the young woman replied, “It’s difficult to tell [...]View
CreationA Louisiana lawyer sought a loan from a government agency on behalf of a client, offering a tract of land as collateral. The agency said it would grant the loan if the lawyer could show that his client had clear title to the land. A title search was made that went back to 1803, but the agency said that it wanted the title to be cleared for the years prior to 1803. The lawyer spent [...]View
CrisisYou may be sitting there at this moment thinking all is well with you. But before the day is over, the crisis may come, the rain may fall on your parade. You never know when you turn the next corner...! Life is just like that. Sometimes it’s one thing right after another. Crises keep piling up, and we have to deal with them. Sometimes we feel like the man in the “shaggy dog” story who [...]View
CriticismA father took his sixteen-year-old son, Jason, to the circus. The man on the flying trapeze swung high above the crowd, hanging precariously by his toes as he zoomed through the air. Jason watched incredulously as the trapeze artist, still hanging by his toes, swung to and fro. Jason rose to his feet with mouth wide open as the performer reached behind his back with one hand and produced a violin, and then reached behind [...]View
CriticismIn a “Charlie Brown” cartoon, little Linus, looking very forlorn, asks Lucy, “Why are you always so anxious to criticize me?” Lucy, looking very self-righteous, replies, “I just think I have a knack for seeing other people’s faults.” Linus turns indignant. “What about your own faults?” he asks. “I have a knack for overlooking them,” says lucy. Criticism [...]View
CriticismA father sat his teenage son down to offer some valuable advice. The father was concerned that the boy didn’t handle criticism very well. “Son,” he lectured, “you’ve got to learn how to take criticism. After all, you’re going to be a husband and a father some day.” [...]View
CriticismSaid the newly married bridegroom, “Now that we are married, my dear, I hope you won’t mind my mentioning a number of defects I’ve noticed about you.” “Not at all, dear,” she replied. “Those defects are what kept me from getting a better husband.” [...]View
CrossIn his book “The Silence,” the Japanese Christian author, Shusako Endo, tells a story about the persecution of the Japanese Christians during the Sixteenth Century. In Shusako Endo’s story, a Jesuit priest named Rodrigus travels to Japan to visit his old Japanese friend, who had taught him the faith. Soon after his arrival in Japan, Rodrigus is arrested by the authorities who place him in a tiny dark cell. From cramped quarters, he thinks he [...]View
CrossA poem by Stoddard Kennedy compares Jesus’ coming to the modern city of Birmingham in England with Jesus going to Calvary: When Jesus came to Calvary they nailed Him on a tree. They crowned Him with a crown of thorns. Red were His wounds, and deep, for those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap. When Jesus came to Birmingham, They only passed Him by. They would not hurt a hair of Him. They only let Him die, for men had grown more [...]View
CrucifixionIn the rock musical, “Godspell,” whose very name is the old English word for gospel, Jesus is in the midst of crucifixion when a moving litany occurs. Jesus speaks, “O God, I’m bleeding.” The people respond, “O God, you’re bleeding.” Again Jesus speaks, “O God I’m dying.” The echo comes back, “O God, you’re dying.” Jesus speaks a third time, “O God I’m dead.” The response comes forth, “O God, you’re dead.” Next, the people gazing upon [...]View
DatingThe following notice appeared in the “Personals” column of a small Massachusetts weekly newspaper: “Retired schoolteacher, tired of reading, writing and ‘rithmetic! Is there a gentleman, in his late 60s or older, who can help me find my way to the playground before the bell rings?” [...]View