Example Sermon Illustrations

Example Sermon Illustrations

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I'd rather have example than precept any day,
I'm glad my Savior walks with me, not merely points the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear:
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear.
The greatest of all teachers was my Lord Who lived His creed,
For to see good put in action is what all His people need.
I may not fully understand the doctrines I've received,
But there's no misunderstanding how He loved and how He lived.

(John 13. 15; 1 Pet. 2. 21).


Example Of Christ

Peter the Great of Russia had a big idea to improve Russia, which was then in a backward state compared with the rest of Europe. So he left his exalted position, became first an apprentice, then a skilled workman, and finally a teacher and demonstrator. He worked as a shipbuilder in Holland and at Deptford in England, and studied military science in Austria. The result was—St. Petersburg, whose name has since been changed, was founded by him. It rises out of the marshes, the capital and harbour for merchant ships many of which Peter himself piloted in.

He was an outstanding example of humility and diligence to his subjects. Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a very much greater example of humility and service.

(John 13. 3-5, 14-16; 1 Thess. 1. 7).


At the close of an address a few years ago, a stranger accosted Dr. Stearns of U.S.A. and said, 'I don't like your preaching. I do not care for the cross. I think that instead of preaching the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus the Teacher and Example.'

Dr. Stearns replied: 'Would you be willing to follow Him if I preach Christ as the Example?' I would,' said the stranger, 'I will follow in His steps.'

`Then,' said the preacher, 'let us take the first step I—Who did no sin? Can you take this step?'

The stranger looked confused. 'No,' he said, `I do sin. I acknowledge it.'

`Well, then,' said the Doctor, `your first need of Christ is not as an Example, but as a Savior.'

Expiation for sins comes first, then Christ's Example for our lives.

(1 Pet. 2. 21, 24).


Example of Good and Great men

Men are by nature imitators. All persons are more or less impressed by the speech, the manners, the gait, the gestures, and even the habits of thinking of those around them. 'Example is the school of mankind,' said Burke, 'and they will learn from no other.'

In man, as in the lower animals, imitation is for the most part unconscious. Impressions are made without our knowing it. But though they are unheeded, the effects are more or less permanent. Though the force of example is for the most part spontaneous and unconscious, the young need not necessarily be the passive followers or imitators of those about them. Not only can they select their companions and decide which are most worthy of imitation, but their own conduct tends to fire the purpose and form the principles of their lives.

Let a young man seek, if possible, the society of men better than himself, and especially of those who do not possess the kind of fault to which he finds himself peculiarly liable, or who possessed it once but have conquered it. Their example is always inspiring. He corrects his own conduct by theirs, and becomes a partner in their wisdom. If they are stronger in will or character than he is, he becomes a participator in their strength.

Dr. Arnold's own example was an inspira­tion, as is that of every great teacher. In his presence young men learnt to respect them­selves; and out of the root of self-respect grew up the manly virtues. The example of a good and great man is contagious and compels imitation.—S. Smiles

(Phil. 2. 5; 3. 17; 1 Thess. 4. 1).


Example of Parents

In the nursery the children were talking rather loudly, and mother went in and asked what they were quarrelling about. 'We're not quarrelling, mother,' said the eldest, 'we're just playing "Daddy and mummy".'


The Face Shows

At a meeting in London of Christian policemen, one prayed, "O Lord, put something in our faces as we walk about that people in trouble may see, and so he led to seek our help." The next day a drunken man handed him an addressed envelope, asking him to call there. When he did, a man opened the door. "For God's sake, come in and pray with me! This morning I saw something in your face which told me you could help me. I had decided to end my life. I am a wretched failure." He had been a deacon, but drink had tripped him. He got back to the Lord, and is serving Him.Selected.


When Dr. H. C. Trumbull was a small boy, he and other lads hung around the dock for the unusual experience of seeing a real live missionary from the other side of the world, the famous Adoniram Judson. Suddenly the boys' eager eyes fell upon a face in the crowd that thrilled them. They at once knew it to be the great missionary. It had a light and glow that they had never seen on any other face. Every line of those features seemed transformed from within.—Selected.


"One example is more valuable than twenty precepts written in books."—Roger Ascham


When telling others what to do, I'm at no loss for speech. The thing that really gets me is to practice what I preach!—Edna H. Huntington, Sunshine Magazine Executive


Practice What You Preach

It's easier to preach than to practice,
It's easier to say than to do;
Most sermons are heard by the many
But taken to heart by the few.

It's easier to cheer than to battle,
It's easier to stay than to go;
To drift you but lay down the oars
To go up the stream you must row.—Ben L. Byer

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