Sermon Illustrations


Secret for Victory

Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, “How can I get the air out of this glass?” One man shouted, “Suck it out with a pump!” Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass.” After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by “sucking out a sin here and there,” but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Faith to Trust God During Trials

A young woman named Anne Steele had encountered one trial and disappointment after another. Her mother died when she was three, and when she was nineteen she suffered a severe hip injury that left her an invalid. Eventually she fell in love and was engaged to be married, but the day before the wedding her fiancé drowned.

Later Anne Steele penned the following song:

Neglect of Prayer

A fisherman was at sea with his godless companions when a storm came up and threatened to sink their ship. His friends begged him to pray; but he said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve done that or even entered a church.” At their insistence, however, he finally cried out, “O Lord, I haven’t asked anything of You in 15 years, and if You help us now and bring us safely to land, I promise I won’t bother You again for another 15!”

Unfortunately, many people view prayer as an escape mechanism rather than a constant line of communication with God.

Simple Faith

A pastor in California was giving an invitation at the end of his Sunday morning message when a five-year old boy, sensing the invitation of the Holy Spirit came down the aisle. Not knowing if the boy was old enough to understand salvation, the pastor took him to his office and began to ask some theological questions. The more he questioned, the more confused the boy became. Finally, in exasperation, the little fellow stopped and innocently pleaded, “Pastor Patterson, in your message this morning you said that if I would come and ask Jesus to save me—He would!

Don't Refuse Your Pardon

In 1830 George Wilson was convicted of robbing the U.S. Mail and was sentenced to be hanged. President Andrew Jackson issued a pardon for Wilson, but he refused to accept it. The matter went to Chief Justice John Marshall, who concluded that Wilson would have to be executed. “A pardon is a slip of paper,” wrote Marshall, “the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged.” For some, news of the pardon comes too late. For others, the pardon is not accepted.

The Importance of Being Flexible

Bubble Wrap, celebrated its golden anniversary in January of 2010. Although the primary function is to provide cushioned security, Bubble Wrap was originally inventes as wallpaper. In the late 1950s, a New York City designer was looking for a new type of textured wall covering, but the idea never took off. Inventors Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding envisioned a different application for the bubbly wallpaper and created an industry with annual revenues of $4 billion. The vision of these two inventors made the difference between success and failure for Bubble Wrap.

An Alarming Answering Machine Greeting

A man dialed a wrong number and got the following recording: “I am not available right now, but I thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes.”

Source: Unknown

Do You Think I Should Change?

Randy was unsure about his choice of clothes for church so he sought some counsel from his wife. He asked, “Do you think I should change?”

She took advantage of the opportunity and replied, “It depends—are you talking about changing your shirt or making a wholesale change as a human being?”

Source: In Other Words

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Korean Air Lines flight KE007 was shot down by Soviet fighter-jets on September 1, 1983. On that fateful night, 240 unsuspecting passengers and crew members were shot down like an innocent sparrow in flight. The trigger-man for the Soviet Union was Major Osipovich, a pilot who wasn’t originally scheduled to be in the air during this international travesty.

Work Reflects Your Character

Your work is an expression of the image of God in you, and it's worth thinking about how your work reflects His character. Work as simple as cleaning out a closet reflects the God who makes order out of chaos. Holding a stop sign for children to cross the road creates an environment of safety that reflects the God who protects. The person who flips burgers is providing food, which is something that God does. A father or mother who nurtures a child reflects the love, patience, and perseverance of God.