Summary: There is a major difference between cats and dogs, dogs are so much more content with their lives. This sermon shows us that we must rejoie in our trials, fears and persecution.
CHOOSING THE CONTENTMENT OF A CANINE
(All my sermons use illustration found at www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise stated.)
The introduction for this sermon is from Max Lucado’s “Everyday Deserves a Chance” pg. 23-24
“Excerpts from the diary of a dog:
8:00 am Oh boy, dog food - my favorite.
9:30 am Oh boy, a car ride - my favorite.
9:40 am Oh boy, a walk - my favorite.
10:30 am Oh boy, another car ride - my favorite.
11:30 am Oh boy, more dog food - my favorite.
12:00 pm Oh boy, the kids - my favorite.
1:00 pm Oh boy, the yard - my favorite.
4:00 pm Oh boy, the kids again - my favorite.
5:00 pm Oh boy, dog food again - my favorite.
5:30 pm Oh boy, Mom - my favorite.
6:00 pm Oh boy, playing ball - my favorite.
8:30 pm Oh boy, sleeping in my master’s bed - my favorite.
Excerpts from the diary of a cat:
Day 283 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat while I am forced to eat dry cereal. I’m sustained by the hope of escape and the mild satisfaction I derive from ruining a few pieces of furniture. Tomorrow, I may eat another house plant. I attempted to kill my captors this morning by weaving through their walking feet. Nearly succeeded. Must try this strategy at the top of the stairs. Seeking to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair. Must try this on their bed. To display my diabolical disposition, I decapitated a mouse and deposited the headless body on their kitchen floor. They only cooed and condescended, patting my head and calling me a “strong little kitty.” Hmm - not working according to plan. During a gathering of their accomplices, they placed me in solitary confinement. I overheard that my confinement was due to my power of allergies. Must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.
I am convinced the other household captives are flunkies, perhaps even snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems naively happy to return. He is, no doubt, a half-wit. The bird speaks with the humans regularly. Must be an informant. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal cage, his safety is assured, but I can’t wait. It is only a matter of time.
What would your dairy read like? Are you a person that finds the joy in life, or one that spies out the obstacles that could create problems, even before they become problems? What would the Apostle Paul think of the way you act and react toward life? If you have your Bible with you this morning, please turn with me to:
Phil 4:4-5 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
You know the first thing we must accept this morning is simply this,
I. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JOY & HAPPINESS
So many times we think that joy and happiness are the same thing, but let us remember that happiness depends on the environment and people that surround us. We need to take into account that in order to be happy, we must be pleased with the conditions and people around us. Joy is different. So many people are surrounded by negative things and may not have much to be happy about, however, these same people may have a great deal of JOY and be able to rejoice in the midst of trying circumstances.
Max Lucado tells this story: “I have everything I need for joy!” Robert Reed said.
His hands are twisted and his feet are useless. He can’t bathe himself. He can’t feed himself. He can’t brush his teeth, comb his hair, or put on his underwear. Strips of Velcro hold his shirts together. His speech drags like a worn out audiocassette.
Robert has cerebral palsy.
The disease keeps him from driving a car, riding a bike, and going for a walk. But it didn’t keep him from graduating from high school or attending Abilene Christian University, from which he graduate with a degree in Latin. Having cerebral palsy didn’t keep him from teaching at St. Louis Junior College or from venturing overseas on five mission trips.
And Robert’s disease didn’t prevent him from becoming a missionary in Portugal.
He moved to Lisbon, alone, in 1972. There he rented a hotel room and began studying Portuguese. He found a restaurant owner who would feed him after the rush hour and a tutor who would instruct him in the language.