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Disappointment with God Faith God's Mystery God's Presence God's will Healing Sermon Illustrations Suffering

Your God is Too Big

Daniel Hans is a Presbyterian minister in the United States. In 1986 he and his wife Beth lost their three year old daughter Laura to cancer. Daniel and Beth watched in agony as their little girl faced nine hospitalisations and four separate operations in the last nine months of her life. Their hearts broke as […]

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Discipleship Faith God's Sovereignty God's will Obedience Sermon Illustrations

Whose Side is God On?

During the US civil war Abraham Lincoln met with a group of ministers for a prayer breakfast. Lincoln was not a church-goer but was a man of deep, if at times unorthodox, faith. At one point one of the ministers said, “Mr President, let us pray that God is on our side”. Lincoln’s response showed […]

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Challenges Faith Life Problems Sermon Illustrations Trials

Up and Under

In 1979 the tugboat Cahaba was headed down the Tombingbee River in Alabama, USA. The current was flowing fast as the tug’s pilot approached the bridge and released his coal barges. He then put his 1800 horsepower twin engines into reverse to get away, but when the boat moved slightly off line the current swung the boat sideways […]

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Christ's Victory Courage Faith God's Sovereignty God's Work Justice Perspective Power Sermon Illustrations Theism

Desmond Tutu’s Confidence

During the deepest, darkest days of apartheid when the government tried to shut down opposition by canceling a political rally, Archbishop Desmond Tutu declared that he would hold a church service instead. St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa was filled with worshippers. Outside the cathedral hundreds of police gathered, a show of force […]

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Creation Faith Science and Faith Sermon Illustrations

The Delicate Balance

One of the most amazing things about our world is the delicate balance required to sustain it, that is, to have a universe capable of producing and sustaining life as we know it. In the book The Creator and the Cosmos, astrophysicist Hugh Ross points out twenty five factors that must all exist within very narrowly […]

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Atheism Faith Science and Faith Sermon Illustrations

An Atheist Converts

On the fifteenth of May, 1950, a group of students from Oxford University gathered for their weekly debate between atheists and Christians. Huddled inside the Junior Common Room at St Hilda’s College the meeting was chaired by CS Lewis. A young philosophy student named Antony Flew presented a case for atheism. His speech was titled “Theology and […]

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Atheism Faith Sermon Illustrations

Atheism

There’s a story told about a Professor of biology who was an atheist. Every year he began his lectures on evolution by asking if any of the students were religious. When they identified themselves he boasted that by the end of his course they’d all know evolution was the truth and would have become atheists. […]

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Evangelism Faith Gospel - Transformational Power Relevance Sermon Illustrations

Transposing the Gospel

How would you get young people interested in classical music? A few years ago Richard Dreyfuss starred in the movie Mr Holland’s Opus. You’ve probably seen it. Mr Holland is a high school music teacher who is passionate about music. He loves Beethoven, Bach, Mozart. For Mr Holland “music is…about heart, it’s about feelings, moving people, […]

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Faith God Experiences God's Presence Motivation Sermon Illustrations

Pascal's Coat

When the famous seventeenth century French scientist Blaise Pascal died in 1662 his servant found a small piece of parchment sewn into his coat. At the top of the paper Pascal had drawn a cross. Underneath the cross were these words. In the year of the Lord 1654 Monday, November 23 From about half-past ten in […]

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Faith God's Wisdom Obedience Perspective Sermon Illustrations

Living Either Side of the Hill

In November 2000 my wife, my kids and I took a holiday to the Gold Coast. About 600kms north we were driving up a big hill, knowing that Byron Bay was down the other side. We were looking forward to it. We’d been in the car for a long time, it was hot, and we […]

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Faith Obedience Sermon Illustrations

Anyone Else Up There?

A man named Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day when he accidentally got too close to the edge and fell. On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He looked down and to his horror saw that the canyon fell straight down for more than a thousand […]

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Belief Faith Sermon Illustrations Truth

How Many Beans in the Jar? On Faith and Truth

Christian writer Tim Stafford tells of an unusual approach to teaching about religious truth adopted by a pastor he knows. You might expect this, for the pastor, Stephey Bilynskyj, holds a Phd in Philosophy from Note Dame University! Whenever he runs a confirmation class the pastor takes a jar full of beans with him. He […]

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Faith God's Presence Sermon Illustrations

How God is Like a Dolphin

One of the most loved of all the world’s animals is the dolphin. We perceive of dolphins as friendly, intelligent and beautiful sea creatures. But one of the lesser known facts about dolphins is why they have dark grey backs and silver bellies. The answer is stunning yet simple: camouflage. When the dolphin’s swimming on […]

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Courage Discrimination Faith Fear Growth

Fairy Penguins and Fear

Philip Island, in Victoria Australia, plays host to one of the greatest nature experiences possible. On the shores of Philip Island are the burrows of thousands upon thousands of fairy penguins, extraordinarily cute little birds that stand only 30cm or so tall. Every morning the adult penguins head out to sea to catch fish. At […]

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Belief Doubt Faith Problem of Evil Sermon Illustrations

Even When He’s Silent

The Holocaust is one of the terribly traumatic episodes of modern history, yet it has also yielded some astounding stories of bravery and faith. In France a Jewish family were hidden by some concerned French nationals in the basement of their house. The Jewish family waited and waited for their deliverance. At the end of […]