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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 16,343 powerful Sermon Illustrations!.
Atonement, Attributes Of God, Children, Heaven, Infinity, Love, Magnitude [...]View
Happiness, Construction, Rebuilding “You will rebuild the ancient ruins, build up the old foundations” (Isaiah 58:12). Most of us have experienced what happens to motorists when one of those huge graders goes to work on a highway repair job. When the machine is operating on a busy road, traffic is halted and the cars lined up in opposite directions are allowed to proceed alternately. A veteran operator of one of those big machines decided one day to try to relieve [...]View
Gentility, Children, Football “…the ornament of a sweet and gentle disposition – this is what is precious in the sight of God” (I Peter 3:4). If you know anything at all about football, you know that there is a fifteen-yard penalty for “unnecessary roughness.” In a Bud Blake comic strip called “Tiger,” some little boys decide to play a game of football. They divide into two teams only to discover that they need one more player to make the sides even. [...]View
Care, Christmas, Christmas Giving, Concern, Gift, Gifts, Love, Ministry, Prayer10 FREE GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS ( You don't even have to shop for them!) 1. The gift of LISTENING - Why not give this valuable gift to someone who lives alone? And you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your responses. Just listen. 2. The gift of SIGNS OF AFFECTIONS - Be generous with your hugs, kisses and gentle squeezes of the hand. Let these tiny actions demonstrate the love inside YOU. 3. [...]View
Busyness, Fellowship, Latin Culture, People, Perspective, Priorities, Stewardship, Time, UrgencyA BETTER WAY I spoke recently with Daniel Davila, the director to Summit School of Theology in Broomfield, Colorado concerning time. Daniel highlighted the difference between the concept of time in the United States and that which prevails in Latin countries. Although of Latin heritage, Daniel recognizes how he, himself, has been affected by this different perspective. While in a South American country, he was to meet with some church leaders. They were a couple [...]View
Church, Criticism, Desire, Health, Importance, Perspective, Pride, Priorities, Purpose, VisionA CASE OF PETTINESS Petty people are ugly people. They are people who have lost their vision. They are people who have turned their eyes away from what matters and focused, instead, on what doesn't matter. The result is that the rest of us are immobilized by their obsession with the insignificant. It is time to rid the church of pettiness. It is time the church refused to be victimized by petty people. It is [...]View
Build, Cheap, Cheat, Compromise, Failure, Labor, Money, Quality, Servanthood, Service, Stewardship, Value, WorkA CHEAP HOUSE Edwin Markham tells the story in his Poem, "The Parable of the Builders," of a rich man who desired to do good to his fellows. He came upon a poor peasant who lived with his family in a tiny hut. The rich man employed the peasant to build him a beautiful house. To save money, so his profit would be more, the peasant worker used the cheapest materials that he could find, [...]View
Attitude, Christmas, Communication, Desire, Diets, Failure, Food, Humor, Lust, Poetry, TemptationA DIETER'S CHRISTMAS Twas the night before Christmas and all 'round my hips were Fannie May candies that sneaked past my lips Fudge brownies were stored in the freezer with care /in hopes that my thighs would forget they were there While Mama in her girdle and I in chin straps had just settled down to sugar-borne naps /When out in the pantry there arose such a clatter /I sprang from my bed to see what was the [...]View
Child, Children, Christmas, Family, Prayer, Tradition, UnderstandingA DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING A friend's five-year-old son had been confused concerning the family's Christmas tradition of gathering in a circle, holding hands, to say grace before the big holiday meal. In prior years he had cried and shown contempt with the practice. But this year he was different. When the appropriate time came he gladly clasped the hands of the adjoining relatives. The prayer was uttered. Then the circle of people disbanded in all directions. [...]View
Church, Gun, Honesty, Humor, Offering, Sales, Stewardship, WisdomA FAIR PRICE In Harrieta, Michigan, a thirty year old man entered a Methodist Church on Sunday morning and held the congregation hostage with a rifle. While police were en route, one parishioner asked how much the gun cost; he said $500.00. Another offered him $500.00 for it, and he accepted. The hostages took up a collection for the $500.00, he handed the rifle over, and the police arrested him. From News of the Weird, pg. [...]View
Family, Father, Fathers, Guidance, Humor, Poetry, WisdomA FATHER'S IMAGE 4 years: My daddy can do anything! 7 years: My dad knows a lot... a whole lot. 8 years: My father does not know quite everything. 12 years: O well, naturally, Father does not know that either. 14 years: Oh, Father? He's hopelessly old- fashioned. 21 years: Oh, that man--he's out of date! 25 years: He knows a little bit about it. 35 years: Before we decide, we'll get Dad's idea first. 50 [...]View
Commitment, Communication, Duty, Humor, Meaning, Patience, Understanding, WaitingA GOOD REASON TO WAIT Okay, if you insist, here's another one: "What were you doing when the police arrived?" the judge asked the defendant. "Waiting, sir." "For what?" "For money." "Who was supposed to give you money?" "The man I was waiting for." "Why was he going to give you money?" "For waiting." "Enough of this!" exclaimed the exasperated judge. "What do you do for a living?" "I'm a waiter." From Milton Berle's Private [...]View
Adoration, Communion, Consecration, Desire, Fellowship, Fellowship With God, Purpose, Wisdom, WorshipA HEARING HEART The old man came into the worship service shortly after it started. He sat at the end of my row, with two vacant seats between us. A noticeable hearing aid was in his ear, and he held the bulletin up to within inches of his thick glasses to try to read it. As the service progressed, I wondered why he had come. He probably couldn't hear much, and he couldn't see the [...]View
Biography, Children, Christmas, Hymns, Incarnation, Praise, Song, WorshipA HYMN STORY Phillip Brooks was a young minister of thirty when he visited the Holy Land in 1865. It was Christmas Eve when Brooks and several friends rode on horseback from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. It must have been exciting for that young minister to walk the streets of Bethlehem and think on those events which occurred so many years ago on the night when Christ was born. Shortly before sundown, Brooks and his friends [...]View
Appearance, Hospitality, Humor, Jokes, Prayer, Silent Prayer, Speech, UnderstandingA JOKE BEFORE THE MEAL A man who knew little about Friends' ways was a bit uneasy when he was invited to a Quaker home for dinner. "I needn't have worried at all," he reported afterward. "Everything was fine. There was a little awkward silence at the beginning of the meal, but I just told a funny story and broke the ice." From Quaker Anecdotes, by Irvin and Ruth Poley [...]View