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He did not say anything to them without using a parable.... Mark 4:34
"An illustration is to the sermon what a window is to a building. Just as a window admits light into a building, so a good illustration illuminates a sermon."
-James Braga, How To Prepare Bible Messages
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Sermon Illustration Topics

Top Ten sermon illustrations, stories, and anecdotes

Top Ten Humorous sermon illustrations for pastors and Bible teachers
Sermon Illustrations on:
Advice
Aging
America
Angels
Anger
Answers
Anxiety
Apologetics
Archaeology
Attitude
Beginnings
Bible
Busyness
Change
Changed Life
Character
Christianity
Christmas
Church
Communication
Compromise
Conflict
Conformity
Confusion
Consequences
Contentment
Creation
Cross
Cults
Death
Debt
Decisions
Deliverance
Dependence on God
Disciples
Discipleship
Doctrine
Dreams
Easter
Education
Encouragement
Evidence
Example
Experience
Faith
Faithfulness
Family
Fathers
Fear
Focus
Forgiveness
Freedom
Friendship
Fruit of the Spirit
Fruitfulness
future
Giving
God and His Holiness
God and His Love
God and His Name
God and His Nature
God and His Plan
God and His Power
God and His Presence
God and His Providence
God and His Will
God and His Wisdom
God as Creator
God in Control
God the Father
Gospel
Government
Grace
Happiness
Healing
Hearing God
Heaven
Hell
Holy Spirit
Honesty
Hope
Humility
Identity
Idols
Incarnation
Influence
Integrity
Jesus
Joy
Judgment
Justice
Justification
Kingdom of God
Knowledge
Legalism
Lies
Love
Love for God
Marriage
Meaning of Life
Men
Millennium
Ministry
Miracles
Money
Morality
Mothers
Motivation
Mysteries
Needs
New Age
New Year
Obedience
Occult
Parenting
Patience
Peace
Perseverance
Perspective
Prayer
Preparation
Pride
Priorities
Procrastination
Protection
Providence
Purpose
Religion
Repentance
Reputation
Responsibility
Rest
Revelation
Reverence
Sacrifice
Salvation
Self-Control
Self-Esteem
Service
Sex
Significance
Simplicity
Sin
Sorcery
Sowing and Reaping
Spiritual Growth
Spiritual Warfare
Stealing
Stewardship
Ten Commandments
Tests
Thankfulness
Tithing
Trials
Trouble
Unity
Values
Vision
Wisdom (or the lack thereof)
Witnessing
Women
Words
Work
World
Worry
Worship

About Illustrations for Sermons

Pastors, I know you're busy....

Sermon prep, meetings, counseling, hospital visits, administration, weddings and funerals—and then comes Monday! As a full-time pastor for over 20 years, I've been there.

I hope these stories and stats, which I love to collect and share, will help you in your sermon preparation. I know how one good illustration can make all the difference.

The illustrations on the site are free—just sign up with your email address and a password to access them (see Become a Member). This also allows me to email you each new illustration I add to the database. There are already hundreds of stories on the site, but I attempt to add more regularly. If the illustrations bless you, please consider "liking" the page on Facebook.

What makes these illustrations different? I shy away from retreads. You'll find fresh, interesting, researched and documented stories and stats.

Thanks for allowing me to help you minister the Word.

Bill Ray


The Power of Illustrations

" An illustration, like the picture on television, makes clear what the speaker means."
-Haddon W. Robinson, Biblical Preaching

" Illustrations ... aid memory, stir emotion ... hold attention, and establish rapport between speaker and hearer."
-Haddon W. Robinson, Biblical Preaching

"Illustrations ... clarify the essential truths of the Christian faith."
-Brown, Clinard, and Northcut, Steps to the Sermon

"It has been discovered that people remember illustrations in a sermon longer than they do any other of its elements."
-Brown, Clinard, and Northcut, Steps to the Sermon

"Think of all the good preachers you have heard, starting with the Lord Jesus. Without exception, they are excellent storytellers. Why? Because stories, or illustrations ... take the listener from the known to the unknown."
-Ramesh Richard, Preparing Expository Sermons

"Beginning a sermon with an illustration arouses immediate attention."
-Bryson and Taylor, Building Sermons to Meet People's Needs

" ... a good story. Do you know anything, other than a short sermon, that will come nearer keeping your people awake and holding their attention on Sunday than a good illustration?"
-J.B. Fowler, Jr., Illustrating Great Words of the New Testament

Hundreds of Pastor-Tested Sermon Illustrations

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Set Yourself Free

Pastor Bill Ray, in his book Answered Prayer: The Jesus Plan, tells the story of an energetic senior citizen named Betty, whom he described as one of the happiest members of his church, though she had no right to be. You see, after eighteen years of marriage and a few children, her husband ran off with another woman — and the other woman was her sister.

Betty was devastated, betrayed by the two people closest to her. She was bitter to the bone. She said, “When I die, I’m going to be cremated, and send the ashes to my sister with best wishes!”

Some time later, she visited her son in Washington, and went to a church service with him. The preacher’s topic: the Christian's duty to forgive others. Betty talked to him afterward, telling him what her sister had done, and thinking, Certainly he can't mean me. But the preacher asked her if her sister was still alive. Betty said she was, and the preacher said, “Well, Betty, I think you should tell her that you forgive her. It’s not hurting her. It’s hurting you.”

And Betty did! She went to Oklahoma and told her sister that she forgave her. She forgave her ex-husband as well.

Betty said this decision was the secret to her happiness - the most important decision of her life, next to receiving Jesus as her Savior. "I felt wonderful afterward, like a weight had lifted from my shoulders." Forgiveness was the key to her happiness.

Suggested Application: When we forgive, we are freeing ourselves. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13



Reference: William Ray, Answered Prayer: The Jesus Plan (Ambassador International, 2015), pp. 97-98




Sermon Illustrations on:
Illustrate the Great Doctrines
Inspiration of the Bible
God the Father
God the Son-Jesus Christ
God the Holy Spirit
Sin
Salvation
Church
Heaven and Hell


Illustrate Special Days
Christmas
Easter
New Year
Fourth of July
Thanksgiving
Illustrate to Meet Practical Needs
Anger
Answered Prayer
Anxiety
Choices
Family
Forgiving Others
Guidance
Obedience
Marriage
Money
Peace
Rest
Self-Control
Tests and Trials
Wisdom

Related Websites:
Pastors.com
Biblicalpreaching.net
Desperatepreacher.com
online-sermon-for-busy-pastors.com
free-online-bible-study.com/free-printable-bible-study-lessons.html
biblestudytools.com/pastor-resources/
https://www.bsfinternational.org/lessons
preachinghelps.com
sermonoutlines.org
expositorysermonoutlines.com
bibleseo.com
textweek.com
Faithguard.org
Voicings.com
churchpastor.com