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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 121-135 of 16,343 powerful Sermon Illustrations!.
CommunismThere’s not as much status being a member of the Communist Party in Russia as there used to be. A reporter on C-SPAN (the Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network) related this story recently: “To encourage membership recruitment in the Communist Party, here’s the deal. If you bring in one new member, you don’t have to pay party dues for a year.” “If you bring five new members, you can leave the country.” “If you bring in 10 new [...]View
CommunityIn March of 1981, President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr., and was hospitalized for several weeks. Although Reagan was the nation’s chief executive, his hospitalization had little impact on the nation’s affairs. While the country prayed for the President’s speedy recovery, the business of Government continued as usual. On the other hand, suppose the garbage collectors in this country went on strike, as they did several years ago in New York and Philadelphia. Those [...]View
CompassionA daughter, home for the holidays, was sitting in on her mother’s bridge game. In between bidding, the players were discussing the AIDS epidemic. One of them suggested the disease was God’s way of punishing homosexuality. The others, except the daughter, nodded in agreement. While the women developed the theme of God’s vengeance, the daughter stewed — not wanting to insult her mother or her guests, but equally unwilling to let their viewpoint go unchallenged. Finally [...]View
Compassion“As God’s Chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). Famed newspaper columnist Bob Considine has written a story of a woman whose extraordinary love for other people supported her on a journey through deep sorrow to new life... The story begins in early 1950. Edith and Karl Taylor lived in a small town in New England. Edith was sure that she was “the luckiest woman on the block.” [...]View
CompassionSomeone has likened people who remain insensitive to the needs of others — unloving people — to two shipwrecked men sitting together at one end of a lifeboat, doing nothing. They watch intently as the people at the other end bail furiously, trying to keep the boat afloat. One man then says to the other, “Thank God that hole isn’t in our end of the boat!” [...]View
CompassionFrederich Engels was a German socialist leader and political philosopher who collaborated with Karl Marx on the Communist Manifesto in 1848. When he was a youngster, his father took him on a tour of the family textile factory—the factory that was to become young Frederich’s inheritance. The six-year-old lad was bothered by the miserable working conditions there. He saw children about his own age working long hours. He didn’t have the courage to ask his stern father [...]View
CompassionThere is a French play with a passage in it that might go on haunting you all week long if you let yourself think about it. All the good people are at the gates of heaven on the day of judgment. The gates are about to be opened and the people can hardly wait to get in. (We can only imagine what this would mean to a person: to come to the end and realize [...]View
Compassion“It was one of those days,” wrote humorist Erma Bombeck, “when I wanted my own apartment — unlisted!” It was a day in which she simply was not in the mood for small talk. However, this was the day on which her young son had chosen to describe, to the last detail, a movie he had just seen. And as the boy punctuated his monologue with a constant flow of “you know’s?” Erma Bombeck felt [...]View
Competition“For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will be disorder...” (James 3:16). Two businessmen became involved in a highly competitive kind of game. Whatever one did, the other immediately outdid. When one bought a $500 suit, the other bought a $1000 suit. When one bought a Cadillac, the other bought a Rolls Royce. Finally, when one man installed a black, plain-looking phone in his car, the other installed a pastel blue, princess phone in [...]View
CompetitionThe coach of a Little League baseball team addressed his young players: ”Don’t take it too hard, fellas. Losing is no disgrace. The important thing is that you played hard and you played clean. Sure, winning is important, but it’s not everything. You guys showed a lot of spirit out there and your parents can be proud of their sons — just like the parents of the other team can be proud of their daughters.” At this, [...]View
ConfessionAn elderly woman with hearing problems had a tendency to shout when she went to confession. When the priest asked her to speak more quietly because everyone in the Church could hear her, she shouted, “What did you say?” The priest carefully told her that, hereafter, she should write down in advance what she wanted to say in confession. The next time the woman came in for confession, she knelt and handed the priest a piece [...]View
ConfessionTo confess your sins to God is not to tell him anything he doesn’t already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge. Buechner, F. “Wishful Thinking, A Theological ABC” ”If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and [...]View
ConformityA teenage girl left for school wearing one yellow and one orange sock. Her mother, noticing this, headed her daughter off at the front door and asked why she was wearing two different colored socks. The teenager responded, “I have a right to be different if I want to.” And she added, “Besides, all the kids at school are doing it!” [...]View
ConformityOne method of catching crabs is to use a wire basket with a single hole on top. Bait is secured inside the basket which the crabber then lowers into the water. Slowly at first, a crab comes along, enters the trap and begins eating the bait. Then others follow and join the feast. If the crabber has selected a good spot, the basket soon is filled with crabs and remains so even after all the [...]View
ConformityEvery weary traveller has wondered if the worst part of the trip is the ride from the airport. A man had a taxi driver pick him up, and the first red light he came to, he zoomed right on through without stopping or slowing down. The irritated passenger said, “You just went through a red light.” The driver replied, “Yeah, I always do. My brother taught me how to drive and he always does that.” Then the driver [...]View