Inspiration Sermon Illustrations

Inspiration Sermon Illustrations

Inspiration should be as the green of a fertile meadow on a warm evening after rain: a rich soil from which a breathtaking fragrance rises in a spiral of color. Inspiration can be chiseled like an antique dagger, or rough as a block of prime matter in the mind of a philosopher. It can caress you like a woman or hit you with the punch of a prizefighter. Inspiration is the certitude that, out of nothing, something is going to happen.—Serge de Gastyne, "Inspiration," Music Journal


Bruce, with eyes growing wider, watched a persevering spider, then rose and swiped the English army on the nose.

Newton, sitting on a wall, watched an autumn apple fall, and found that gravity brought apples to the ground.

Watt, observing someones kettle boiling near the chimney settle, designed a patent engine that amazed mankind.

I have looked at spiders toiling, apples falling, kettles boiling. My hat! If I could only think like that!—Sunshine Magazine


Good teachers have the ability to arouse interest of pupils in subject matter and to shape wholesome attitudes while imparting facts and interpreting these facts. This ability to inspire includes a sense of the dramatic, even on a mild scale, such as might be used in approaching the solution of a geometry problem. The use of the dramatic, however, should not involve misinterpretation of fact.—Homer T. Rosenberger, Bulletin, NASSP


It is rather widely known that Mark Twain was somewhat profane at times. On the other hand his wife was quite refined. She devised a scheme which she thought might change his habits. She met him at the door once and immediately uttered a string of oaths. Mark was momentarily stunned but quickly recovered and saw through the ruse. He waited in silence while she finished her tirade and then said softly, "My dear, you have the words but not the music."


A young artist, who was studying under a great master, came one day to the studio to beg for permission to use his master's brush. The request was granted, and with a singing heart the young man went away to his own painting, thinking that now his work would be much better.

A short while later he returned with the brush, complaining that he could do no better with it than he could with his own brush. An assistant in the studio, hearing the young man's complaint, said to him: "Friend, it is not the master's brush you need, but the master's devotion, the master's spirit."—Sunshine Magazine


Henry Ford once said that the ability to encourage others is one of life's finest assets. The auto inventor and manufacturer knew the power of encouragement. He had learned of it as a young man.

Memorable to him was the time, at the beginning of his career, when he made a drawing of his newly built engine for Thomas A. Edison. Young Ford had endured criticism and ridicule. Most mechanical experts of that day were convinced that electric carriages would be the popular passenger cars of the future.

But attending a dinner one evening at which Edison was present, Ford began explaining his engine to men nearest him at table. He noticed that Edison, seated several chairs away, was listening. Finally the great man moved closer and asked the young inventor to make a drawing.

When the crude sketch was completed, Edison studied it intently, then suddenly banged his fist on the table. "Young man," he said, "that's the thing! You have it!"

Years later, Ford recalled, "The thump of that fist upon the table was worth worlds to me."—Jack Kytle, Partners


I once had a conversation with a group of young men on the subject of the inspiration of the Bible. Most of them opposed me. I reminded them of the numerous prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah, which were literally fulfilled in Christ. One of them was sharp enough to see the force of the argument, and he admitted that these prophecies were undoubtedly written hundreds of years before Christ was born, and that He fulfilled them in every detail, but he endeavored to parry its force by advancing the theory that Christ had intentionally planned his actions in accordance with the Messianic programme, in order to establish His religion, so that there was, after all, nothing very wonderful in the fact that these prophecies were fulfilled.

This sounded very neat and ingenious, but I asked my friend to explain to us how Christ, in accordance with this theory, was able to arrange to be born in the very village—one of the smallest in Judaea—where the prophet Micah foretold that the Eternal One should be born on earth. I asked him what precautions He had taken, if a man as we are, to ensure being born at the very time and in the very family that the Scriptures had forecast. My friend was not inclined to surrender his position without a struggle, so he contended that Jesus, seeing that He happened to be born in this particular village, at this particular time, had been seized with the idea of carrying out the remaining details requisite to establish His Messianic claims.

My reply, in substance, was as follows: Well and good. In accordance with this, you will now perhaps tell us why Jesus was allowed to make arrangements for two thieves to be crucified with Him in order to fulfill Isaiah's predictions in his 53rd Chapter. You must tell us whether Judas arranged with the chief priests to betray Jesus in order to fulfill the word of the prophet; and, after Judas had hanged himself, who it was that arranged for a potter's field to be bought with the money which the betrayer flung down in the Temple, and whether it was done in order to fulfill the prophecy to that effect! You will also doubtless show us how, while hanging on the Cross, Jesus persuaded the four Roman soldiers who crucified Him to divide His outer garments into four parts and to cast lots for His inner robe, as the 22nd Psalm had accurately described! You will also need to explain whether His enemies gave Him vinegar to drink in His agony in order to fulfill the 69th Psalm. If your theory is to hold good, you must explain to us how it was that, after Jesus was dead, the soldiers decided not to break His legs, as they did to the two thieves by His side. Did they desire to make Him fulfil the type of the Passover lamb in the twelfth chapter of Exodus, and the ninth of Numbers, or the reference in the 34th Psalm?—How did Jesus arrange all these details should be fulfilled in Himself?

My friend had nothing more to say.—Arthur Gook

(Luke 24. 27, 44; John 5. 39; 2 Pet. 1. 21)


She was from Boston, and he was not.

He had spent a harrowing evening discussing authors of whom he knew nothing, and their books, of which he knew less.

Presently the maiden asked archly: "Of course, you've read 'Romeo and Juliet?'"

He floundered helplessly for a moment and then, having a brilliant thought, blurted out, happily:

"I've—I've read Romeo!"

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