Posted in Fridays are For Illustrations

Sermon Illustration: The Secret of the Universe

Below is an illustration about the Bible from chapter 4 of Jared Wilson’s The Imperfect Disciple. I read it and thought there are several times this (or a similar illustration) could be used. My primary walking-around Bible is an ESV journaling Bible. The binding is coming apart. I have written in nearly every margin. Some pages are crinkled and stained. There is a bloody fingerprint in there somewhere. (It might be chocolate, actually.) If you were passing by my green ’97 Chevy Suburban in a parking lot and happened to see this worn bout book lying on the passenger seat, where...

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Sermon Illustration: Relationship

In a recent sermon on Praying the Scriptures, I wanted to highlight how a benefit of this discipline is deepening our relationship with the Father. He knows how we talk. He knows our language. He knows our heart. However, we aren’t always “well versed” (pun intended) in how He talks and what is on His heart. To go deep with someone in relationship means to relate to them in these areas. Think about it: Those people you know the best, those people you go deep with, those people whom you have a real and intimate relationship with – those are...

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Sermon Illustration: How’s Your Soul?

To kick off a 3-week series called “Being Present with God,” I wanted to begin by bringing up the obvious: we spend a lot of time watching a screen. The point of the first sermon, using Psalm 46, was to turn it all off and remember who our God is. To set the stage, I started by listing 5 or 6 current events from the past week. This established the reality that we are bombarded with messages constantly. Messages that push us to our devices to know more. Following that, I proceeded to spout off facts. Facts about how often...

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Sermon Illustration: Old Spice

In an attempt to grab the congregation’s attention, I flashed on the screens a picture of an Old Spice bottle of cologne. The old school version. The purpose was to compare Old Spice cologne to the Sabbath. I began the message similar to this: When you see a bottle of Old Spice cologne, I assume one of several thoughts come into your mind. For some of you, you see that and think, “Wow. That is old school. That is what my granddad used to wear.” Or, “That was the very first cologne I put on myself when I was a...

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Sermon Illustration: Twins

Without a doubt, the best book I have ever read on the Sabbath is Mark Buchanan’s The Rest of God. In my opinion, it is a MUST READ. He begins chapter 6 in a unique way. It includes a great lesson for preachers. To introduce a sermon, the illustration doesn’t have to capture the essence of the message. Sometimes all you need is unique thought to help you dive into the subject matter. The goal of an introduction is to intrigue your people enough to compel them to keep listening. Watch (read?) and learn how Buchanan leads us into the...

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Sermon Illustration: What’s Your Approach?

Recently I preached a message on approach to spiritual influence. We looked at Paul’s approach to influencing the Ephesians to become more Christ-like. I began the sermon with the following illustration (ahem. . . joke). Enjoy. . . When you want to influence someone spiritually, what is your approach? Recently I heard about a preacher who held a baptism service for anyone wanting to find Jesus. He and a group from town gathered at the creek behind the church building and baptized anyone looking for Jesus. To everyone’s amazement, the town drunk made his way down to the creek where...

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Sermon Illustration: Stay in Your Lane!

When I think of Arby’s I think of two things: One, I think of delicious and juicy roast beef sandwiches, baptized in their amazing sauce. Two, I think of the guy’s voice in their commercials who says, “Arby’s! We Have . . . THE MEATS!” Arby’s is known for, and good at, piling lots of meat on a sandwich. We need Arby’s to be good at this. This is why I was beyond less than enthused when I learned Arby’s was advertising a line of pizzas and pizza sandwiches. The tag line in the commercial was, “Arby’s! We Have. ....

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Sermon Illustration: Rest

Recently, the Campus Pastors of Brentwood Baptist preached a message aimed to help spiritual leaders refresh their souls and renew their relationship with the Lord. Jay Strother, the Campus and Teaching Pastor at The Church at Station Hill, passed along a unique and convicting version of the 23rd Psalm. It is a fantastic illustration to use in order to help our people realize just how busy we are and just how needy we are to stop and enjoy God’s presence. Psalm 23 Antithesis (Marcia Hornok) The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest. It makes me lie down only...

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Sermon Illustration: The Real Article

When officials are trained to detect counterfeit money, they do not study fake bills. Cops and detectives and store owners are not encouraged, nor taught, nor instructed with examples of fake money. The way, I am told, officials are trained and equipped to detect counterfeit money is to study the real thing. If they know what the real article looks like, feels like, and smells like – they can detect a fake from a mile away. If they have studied a real article, knowing all the marks, all the elements, all the components, all the colors – when a fake...

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Sermon Illustration: The Wedding Prayer

Every time I have an opportunity to officiate a wedding, I do my best to include a prayer I found many years ago from Al Jackson (full disclosure: this is only one of many things I have “borrowed” from him!). And, every time I pray this prayer over the married couple, I am asked – without fail – where they can get a copy of the prayer. Preacher, the next time you have the chance to lead out in a wedding ceremony, I highly recommend praying this over the couple at some point in the service. Not only will it...

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