Enthusiasm Sermon Illustrations

Enthusiasm Sermon Illustrations

"Men of imagination," said Napoleon, "rule the world." We say the same thing when we say that men of enthusiasm rule the world. In speaking of some new rivers that he had discovered Livingstone wrote: "I find I wrote when the emotions caused by the magnificent prospect of the new country might subject me to a charge of enthusiasm, a charge which I deserved, as nothing good or great had ever been accomplished in the world without it."

Without enthusiasm no battles have been won, no Iliads written, no cathedrals builded, no empires founded, no religions propagated. The secret of success is enthusiasm. The men of victory have been the men who kept the fires burning on the altars of enthusiasm when other flames had sunk into cold, gray ashes of despair. The life of David Livingstone is one more monument to the power of enthusiasm.


It is difficult to be emphatic when no one is emphatic on the other side.—Charles Dudley Warner


Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm; it moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity and truth accomplishes no victories without it.—Bulwer-Lytton


It could have been any educator or any preacher riding the train, but it happened to be Norman Vincent Peale. Peale was seated in the diner across from a fellow passenger, a stranger. He asked Peale his line and Peale asked his. "You really want to know?" he asked. Peale said yes, so he reached into his briefcase and pulled out, of all things, a fly swatter and put it on the table. "Yes, it's a fly swatter, but it's not an ordinary fly swatter. You've never seen one like this before. See that swatting end? It's smooth; it won't tear the curtains or the furniture fabric. It's bigger than most, and that makes it easier to kill flies. But the great thing about it is this," and he pointed to a place where there was a little tank. This is filled with perfume, and every time you swat flies you fill the air with perfume! Then he went on to tell how he was making the world a sweeter-smelling place with fewer flies. By the time he was through Peale was ready to buy.

Here a minister and a salesman had talked, but about the greatness of a new kind of fly swatter, not about the greatness of God. The swatter salesman had practiced the art of enthusiasm!


'Every great movement in the annals of history,' said Emerson, 'is the triumph of enthusiasm.'

It is derived, that magic name, from two Greek words: ‘en’ meaning in and ‘theos’ meaning God. Enthusiasm is literally 'God in us'. The enthusiastic man is one who speaks as if he were possessed by God.

This quality is the most effective, the most important, factor in advertising and selling goods and getting things done. The largest advertiser of any single product in the world came to Chicago thirty years ago with less than fifty dollars in his pocket. Wrigley now sells thirty million dollars worth of his chewing gum every year, and on the wall of his private office hang the framed words of Emerson: 'Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.'—Dale Carnegie

(Neh. 2. 10; Rom. 12. 11)


Theodore Watts, says Charles Rowley in his book "Fifty Years of Work Without Wages," tells a good story against himself. A nature enthusiast, he was climbing Snowdon, and overtook an old gypsy woman. He began to dilate upon the sublimity of the scenery, in somewhat gushing phrases. The woman paid no attention to him. Provoked by her irresponsiveness, he said, "You don't seem to care for this magnificent scenery?" She took the pipe from her mouth and delivered this settler: "I enjies it; I don't jabber."

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