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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 31-45 of 16,343 powerful Sermon Illustrations!.
BirthA hospital emergency room nurse received a call from a very excited man who screamed, "I'm going to rush my wife to your hospital. She's having a baby!" "Calm down," said the nurse, "and please answer a few questions. Is your wife in labor?" "Yes, I think so," the man replied. "And is this her first baby?" the nurse asked. "No," came the reply, "this is her husband!" [...]View
Born AgainA man came back from a weekend "encounter" experience and when a friend asked him how it was, he said, "I died!" The friend asked him what he meant. "You see," the man answered, "I went to this thing not knowing what to expect. But in the process of that long weekend, I discovered that I had spent my whole life hiding behind a lot of masks." "I realized that I had never even let [...]View
Born AgainIn Eugene O'Neil's story "Days Without End," John Loving, a Roman Catholic boy, prays that his parents, both of whom have been injured, might not die. But their lives were not saved by the kind of miracle he had expected and he loses his faith. Outwardly, at least, he becomes a skeptic and a cynic. Inwardly, however, John Loving keeps searching deeply for some answer. He tries Oriental religions, he tries philosophical cults, he joins [...]View
Bread of LifeI am the bread of life...Whoever eats of this bread will live forever." (John. 6:48, 51). "A little boy from the inner-city was struck by a car and taken to the hospital. It was quickly determined that he was not seriously injured, but the doctor ordered that he remain overnight for observation. In due course, a nurse brought a tray to his bedside. On it was a tall glass of milk and a light snack. As [...]View
Bread of LifeMan does not live by bread alone, but he also does not live long without it. To eat is to acknowledge our dependence, both on food and on each other. It also reminds us of other kinds of emptiness that not even the Blue Plate Special can touch. Buechner, F. "Wishful Thinking, A Theological ABC" [...]View
Brotherhood"I stood stock-still on the jungle path, confronted by a Papuan pygmy, a former headhunter. I stared at the diminutive creature. At such close range he seemed subhuman." So the Reverend Don Baker relates. A member of the Armed Forces at the time, he had been assigned to New Guinea and was instantly fascinated by the indigenous people he encountered. He longed to communicate with them, to find out what made them tick. He knew [...]View
Brotherhood of ManJessica Mclure, a two-year-old from Midland,Texas, was trapped at the bottom of an abandoned well for two days while the entire nation stood by, watching around-the-clock live news coverage of rescuers attempting to free her. Many of us were again reminded of her remarkable story when a "made for television" movie about her miraculous rescue aired a few years ago. Her story captured the attention of millions of Americans who prayed for her survival. At the [...]View
BrotherhoodSeveral years ago there appeared a newspaper article about a little boy who had wandered from his South Dakota home. His parents couldn't find him. State Police, Boy Scouts, friends and neighbors all joined in the search. For three days, hundreds of people moved through the prairie, hoping to find the boy before he succumbed to the elements. On the morning of the fourth day, one of the searchers said, "Let's get organized in one [...]View
BurdenThree men set out on a journey. Each carried two sacks around his neck - one in front and one in back. The first man was asked what was in his sacks. "In this one on my back," he said, "I carry all the kind deeds of my friends. In that way they are out of sight and out of mind and I don't have to do anything about them. They're soon forgotten. This sack [...]View
BureaucratsSeveral years ago, a clever former U.S. Government bureaucrat started a national association for professional bureaucrats. The motto of the organization is: "When in charge, ponder; when in trouble, delegate; when in doubt, mumble." [...]View
CaringMother Teresa of Calcutta did God’s work for many years in the streets of India, ministering to the dying poor. “For them and for me,” she once said, “the greatest development of human life is to die at peace with God. I remember once after we had picked up one man from the street, he said, ‘I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die like an angel, loved [...]View
ChangeTwo caterpillars were inching along the ground when suddenly they were shrouded by an enormous shadow. Then, just as suddenly, the shadow disappeared. A beautiful monarch butterfly had momentarily soared overhead and blocked the sun’s rays from the ground beneath the two butterflies-to-be. As the monarch flew off, one caterpillar looked up, and said to the other, “You couldn’t pay me to go up in one of those things.” [...]View
ChangeThe newest member of a golfing foursome was a bit nervous on his first outing. Intent on making a good impression, tHe man teed up the ball, spread his feet, fixed his stance, and then took a healthy swing. The golf club removed about a pound of turf, but completely missed the ball. Completely embarrassed, the man again planted his feet, took another healthy swing and, again, totally missed the ball! Although exasperated, nevertheless he took [...]View
ChangeAn actress was suffering from nervous tension and strain. She went to see a psychiatrist. “You need a change. Get away from your normal routine, do something different,” he said. “A change?” she screamed. “During the past three years I have been in six different movies, have lived in four different condos, have been married three different times, have purchased eight different cars and have travelled to nineteen different countries!” [...]View
ChangeIt has been said that change is the very nature of life itself. To live life is to know change—to experience change. We must accept that! Things never stay the same! In New England there’s a saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a moment. It’ll change!” Life is like that—always changing. Sometimes we resist it. Sometimes we lament it. Sometimes we pretend it isn’t happening. Groucho Marx once asked a woman on his [...]View