Posted in Fridays are For Illustrations

Sermon Illustration: The Most Important Question

To begin a sermon on the conversation between Peter and Jesus in John 21, I started off describing an earlier conversation between these two from Matthew 16… Matthew records for us in the 16th chapter of his book a critical question Jesus poses to His disciples. First, He asks them, “Who are people saying that I am?” They give Jesus some answers. Some were saying Jesus was like Elijah and Isaiah. Some were even saying Jesus was John the Baptist returned from the dead. Then He asks them this question: “Who do YOU say that I am?” I imagine Him looking...

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Sermon Illustration: Facebook and the Awkward Leak

In a recent sermon from John 21, I wanted to set up a situation to get my hearers thinking about being “caught” in an awkward situation. Being that Facebook has been in the news a lot, I decided picked on this social media giant. Here was my approach… For once in my life, I am glad I’m not Mark Zuckerberg. The head honcho at Facebook is going to have to answer some serious questions before congress about leaked information. Not only was it determined that millions of Facebook users’ private information leaked in 2014; we now know that Facebook leaders knew about it and decided to stay...

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Sermon Illustration: Annual Physical & Easter Sunday

I would love to hear how some of you preachers started out your Easter sermon this year. To set up a sermon on Peace from John 20, here’s the route I chose… I was blessed this week to have an annual physical with my physician in Nashville. It was so much fun. Apart from having tremendous eyesight and perfect bloodwork, for which I am grateful, there are a couple of things he brought to my attention. First, I have put on some pounds since last year. When I got on the scales, I thought they were playing an early April Fool’s joke...

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Sermon Illustration: Preacher, Please Don’t Do This

Preacher, this Sunday is April 1st. This Sunday is also Easter Sunday. That’s right – Easter Sunday is on April Fool’s Day. For those of you who know me, you know I am ALL about using anything to get people’s attention. Even at the risk of being cheesy. Sometimes way too cheesy. So maybe this is a warning to myself as much as it is to any preacher who reads this. If you are anything like me, you will be tempted to start the sermon with a quip about how Jesus’ bones have been found; or that it was determined recently...

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Sermon Illustration: What Would YOU Do?

In an effort to explain God’s harsh treatment of the Egyptians in Exodus 7-10, I asked several questions.  On the surface, it seems like the Father is being remarkably ruthless. Sure, the Egyptians deserved it. Yes, Pharoah continued to harden his heart time and time again. But why did God proceed to pummel the Egyptians over and over and over again? Reading these chapters in Exodus is like watching a fight where the stronger one refuses to relent or let up. Using the following questions as illustrations, here was my best shot to explain: Have you ever walked by a bird’s...

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Sermon Illustration: Talking to Yourself

Recently, I began a sermon by pointing out that our salvation is not based on our feelings. God’s love for His children is not determined by how we are feeling at the moment. Hallelujah. However, what we say to ourselves about ourselves is critical to our well-being. So, to set up a sermon challenging the congregation to not be like the Hebrews and Moses in Exodus 6 (see verse 9), I gave two very captivating quotes. First, from Paul Tripp: No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you as much as you talk...

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Fridays are for Illustrations: Gary Said It Would Be Like This

I used this illustration in a recent sermon on how believers can expect situations and circumstances to not go as planned…especially when obeying the Lord. I grew up in North Alabama. One of the 3 channels we got on our family television was WAAY 31. The weatherman (chief meteorologist) at the time was Gary Dobbs. Everyone loved Gary. Especially our family. Whoever ran the Public Relations for WAAY 31 and Gary Dobbs was an absolute genius. Scattered throughout North Alabama were billboards. Blue background. White letters. The only thing written on the billboards was this: “Gary said it was going...

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Fridays Are For Illustrations: Two Thoughts to Set Up a Sermon

Recently, when preaching from Exodus 4:1-17, I wanted to grab the congregation’s attention AND put them in Moses’ shoes before we walked through the text together First, to get their attention, I said how bizarre it is that we want to watch someone fail. During the Olympics, we watch a replay of a crash over and over and over again. We want to look away. Our faces grimace at the sight. But we keep watching (BTW – I wanted to mention the Olympics because it was on people’s mind. It had been on TV the previous 2 weeks). When we...

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Fridays are For Illustrations: Helicopter Parents

Often I will refer to articles I recently read to help emphasize or illustrate a point I want to make. Sometimes I will quote from the article itself. Other times I will refer to it and summarize the guts of it in a sentence. Recently, when attempting to encourage parents to allow their children learn mistakes on their own, I referred to a newspaper/web article. Entitled “How Helicopter Parents are Ruining College Students,” the article was from The Washington Post. In the sermon, I merely referred to the article and made a comment about its contents. However, had I quoted it,...

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Sermon Illustration: Chattahoochee

To open a sermon about Moses’ time in Midian (Exodus 2:11-25), I quoted the great theologian Alan Jackson. His song “Chattahoochee” was one of my favorites back in the day. The song is a reflection of Jackson’s time growing up on the Chattahoochee River. Looking back on his time there, he came to realize it was a season in his life where he learned about life. It was a time he went from being a boy to being a man. “Yeah way down yonder on the Chattahoochee Never knew how much that muddy water meant to me But I learned...

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