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We teach you how to use 4 exciting tools in Logos 10 to discover great sermon illustrations. They will help you paint pictures with words.

Logos Bible Software includes many valuable tools to help preachers find sermon illustrations as they write sermon outlines. Good sermon development always includes sermon illustrations, which the preacher can use to explain the text, prove its truthfulness, and then apply the text to the lives of their audience. So, we’ll look at 4 useful tools in Logos to help you find good sermon illustrations.

For those who don’t already own Logos 10, head over to my affiliate link and order one of the great packages, which include the tools you read about below. I recommend getting Logos Gold or higher to get the most bang for your buck.

4 Tools in Logos Bible Software to Help Find Great Sermon Illustrations

Let’s look at the list of XX tools you can use in Logos Bible Software to find great sermon illustrations, and then we’ll examine each one more fully.

Click the list item above to jump directly to the section that focuses on that tool, or just read about them in order below.

1. Factbook Collects Many Tools in One

Users can open many of the tools in the list above directly, but the Factbook will put them in one window with links to open them to your topic, passage, idea, person, place, or thing. That’s the benefit of Factbook; it puts everything in one place. So, let’s look at what tools you’ll find.

mustard seed of faith

In our previous posts on the 4 Essential Tools for Sermon Development, we looked at the passage about faith. Jesus uses the illustration of a mustard seed to show the binary nature of faith. You either have faith, or you don’t. That’s the point of the tiny seed used in Jesus’ illustration. Modern science can measure the volume of a mustard seed, but most in 1st-century Israel would conceive of measuring a mustard seed’s volume.

oping the Factbook in logos 10
Open the Factbook using the icon on the toolbar (Step 1 above) and then type in a topic. I typed Faith (Step 2 above) and hit Enter to run a search for Faith.

We open the Factbook from the Logos 10 toolbar (see above). Then, type an idea you want to illustrate in the search box. Hit enter, and the Factbook shows all it can find in the Factbook search tools. Some of the things you’ll find in the Factbook include…

  • Key Article – Each Factbook idea comes with a Key Article, often from a Bible Dictionary. Faith’s Key Article is the entry for Faith from the Lexham Bible Dictionary.
  • Further Reading – You’ll see articles about your topic from other books or resources. For example, “Faith” shows the Lexham Theological Wordbook article.
  • Media – the Factbook finds media related to your search, like videos or graphics.
  • Key Passages – think of a cross-reference tool finding all the instances of your topic in the Bible with Key Passages and then a See Also section with other passages. They all appear as links you can hover over or click to open.
  • Biblical Senses – if you search for a word with an original language like faith and the Greek word pistils (transliteration of the Greek term sometimes translated faith) that is translated as your word, then the Factbook lists Biblical Senses, which show the kind of word and the basic usage in Scripture.
  • Dictionaries – articles from your dictionaries covering your topic or word.
  • Journals – a search of your journals related to the topic or word.
  • Sermons – sermons about your topic that may include great Sermon Illustrations.
  • Preaching Resources – mostly sermon illustration databases.
  • Biblical Events – you can discover places related to your passage or subject. This might not help us with faith.
  • Biblical Books – maybe you’re studying a book and want information about the book, the author, and the book’s audience.
  • Theological Topic – find information in your library about a topic like faith.
  • Greek and Hebrew Words – some original language terms come with “word pictures,” which help us understand a topic or an idea because the word etymology illustrates the concept concretely.
  • Other Books from Your Library – a broad search for your word in your library.
  • Factbook Tags – other books with Factbook tags related to your topic.
  • Logos Store Links – links to buy books related to your search.
  • Other Tools and Links – links to run one of the Guides on your topic or word.

The results listed in a Factbook search differ depending on what you search for.

How to Make Use of the Factbook Results

Some of the above will offer more fruitful results when looking for Sermon Illustrations. For example, Preaching Resources seems like a great way to find illustrations. However, Sermon Illustration Databases often include stale or boring illustrations that modern listeners can’t relate to.

Finding sermon illustrations in the preaching resources section of the factbook
Search for “Faith” in the Factbook, and you’ll find the book 1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching under Preaching Resources. An entry labeled “Don’t Forget God” takes you to an illustration from an author’s life.

I took an illustration from these collections and researched online to learn more. For example, a search for faith shows an entry in the book 1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching. We read about a man named Stewart Alsop who had leukemia. If you search for him and his book mentioned in the illustration database, you can find and read it. You can also read the Wikipedia page about him. Search Google or select the title and author name in the article, right-click, and choose Selection on the left part of the menu and Wikipedia on the right. As a result, this might give you better context about him and help you craft a more effective illustration of the concept of faith.

how to search Wikipedia in Logos 10
Select something to search and then right-click it, choose Selection on the left and scroll down to Wikipedia on the right to open Wikipedia’s entry about your selection.

Other tools in the list above contain great information that you can use to explain your idea and illustrate it to appeal to the mind and the imagination. You’ll even find media to display if you use a multimedia system in your worship or teaching environment. Key Passages will take you to cross references where you can let the Bible illustrate your concept. Share an example of faith from the life of someone like Abraham, who, in Genesis 12, was called to leave his home and wasn’t told where he was going.

You’ll find more images and videos with different searches. Faith is more of a concept than a person, place, or thing. If I’m preaching from the story of Moses in the book of Exodus, I can find media showing plagues, maps of Egypt, or the Israelites’ exit. Make sure you also look for Factbook icons in the text of your Bible passage. The above screenshot shows three icons related to Pharaoh and two for the Egyptians.

2. Use Logos Guides to find Great Sermon Illustrations

The Factbook shows a lot of cool content. However, the Logos Guides give us similar results. Find content related to a passage, a topic, a specific word, counseling issues, or theological topics. Logos includes the following Guides…

  • Exegetical Guide – for language study of a passage.
  • Passage Guide – seeks a wide range of content based on a passage.
  • Topical Guide – search your library for a Topic.
  • Sermon Starter Guide – takes the Guide concept and finds content to help you prepare a sermon.
  • Bible Word Study Guide – like the Exegetical Guide, but focuses on one Biblical word.
  • Counseling Guide – focuses on counseling issues.

The Passage Guide, Topical Guide, and Sermon Starter Guide offer the best hope for finding great sermon illustrations. You can open these Guides from the Guides button on the toolbar. The most recently used items will appear at the top, but all of them will appear in the menu’s Guides section. Also, each guide will let you search for one part of that guide. Scroll down to the Guide name in the menu and click it to show the sections of the Guides. Click on one, like the

guides menu on logos 10 to find great sermon illustrations
Click the Guides button on the toolbar at the top or left of your Logos screen. The most recently used Guides appear at the top of the menu, and the other Guides are listed lower. Click on one, like the Passage Guide, to find great Sermon Illustrations.

To find some of the Guides, open to your passage and right-click on it. Click on Reference in the left part of the menu and then click on the Guide in the right. You’ll see Passage Guide near the top, but if you scroll down on the right, you’ll also see things like Sermon Illustrations and a few more Guides further down the list.

Select your passage or word and right-click it. Choose Reference if you’re looking up Guides for a passage. Click Selection if it’s a word or phrase. Click on the Guide you want to open on the right. You may need to scroll down to find it.

Using the right-click method, you can also search for a word or phrase in a passage. Instead of clicking Reference in the right-click menu, choose Selection. You’ll find Guides on the right side of the menu. If you search a word you’ll find the Bible Word Study Guide at the top and other Guides as you scroll down.

You’ll find a wealth of potential Sermon Illustrations in the resulting search.

3. Sermon Builder and New AI Sermon Assistant

The Sermon Builder came with Sermon Illustration tools for a while. Logos added a new feature that uses artificial intelligence to overcome sermon writer’s block. This new AI-powered tool requires a subscription to Logos Pro, which costs $9.95 and gives early access to new features like this new Sermon Assistant. See their official description of the Sermon Assistant in the Logos Community Forums.

In a Sermon Builder, click the Sermon Assistant button (see step 1 above). Then, choose Illustrations under Sermon (step 2). Enter your idea or copy text from the sermon and paste it in the Idea box (step 3). Click Generate.

Open a sermon you’re already editing. Click on the Sermon Assistant button in the box’s toolbar on the right of your sermon text. Next, choose Illustrations under Sermon and type an idea into the Idea box. You can also copy from the sermon and paste it here. Click Generate, and you’ll see the resulting Sermon Illustration ideas. (see screenshot above).

If you like the illustration shown in the search results, hit the Insert or the Copy button. Insert places where your insertion point sits in the sermon text. Copy places it on the clipboard, letting you move the insertion point and paste it manually.

Next to the Sermon Assistant button, you’ll see a Quotation icon. Click it to open the Popular Quotes tool, which works like the Sermon Assistant. It finds quotes from your library related to what you type into the box on that screen.

4. Don’t Overlook Your Interactive Media and Your Library of Books

The above tools will help you find sermon illustrations, but some people overlook their books and features in Logos. For example, I’m going to do a demonstration of the Passover Seder for two churches in my Association of churches. I own the Rose Guide to the Feasts, Festivals and Fasts of the Bible. Under the Passover section, an excellent graphic shows the Seder Plate with descriptions of each item. This visual illustration will help me teach this feast.

To find these illustrations, search in one of the Guides as described above or open one of your dictionaries, a lexicon, or study Bibles, which often include charts, graphs, maps, or images.

Here’s a list of books or features that include images useful to illustrate ideas or sermon points:

  • Dictionary
  • Encyclopedia
  • Study Bibles
  • Sermon Collections
  • Media Collections
  • Handbooks
  • Atlas
  • Illustration Books
  • Bible Backgrounds (IVP, Zondervan, etc)

How Do You Find Great Sermon Illustrations?

How do you use Logos to find Sermon Illustrations? Please comment below to help out the community. I’ll edit this article and cite you. If you know of a good YouTube video covering this how-to, share the link, and I’ll take a look and update the article with the best videos, too.

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