Summary: To share a lesson of how we are somewhat alike and somewhat different than the bullfrog as Christians.
I have great news for each of you today. As many of you know, I made a pond at the parsonage shortly after our arrival to Leon 4 years ago. I have given several sermons and illustrations over the years about our little pond. It has really turned into a neat fun hobby of mine.
One thing that has really amazes me is how God has revealed several Godly lessons in my life around the pond. What I want to share with you this morning is the latest lesson that God has shared with me.
I have always been fond of frogs but my most favorite of all frogs is the Bullfrog. As far back as I can remember, I was always trying to catch these long legged frogs. As a small boy, I would spend hours upon hours, hunting for them. I just wanted to catch them and make them my friends.
Since the very beginning of our pond, I longed to have a bullfrog make our pond their home. Finally, after four years, I am proud to share with you that we not only have one Bullfrog that has taken up residence at 515 North Olive, but we now have two that have moved in.
Growing up here in the United States, I am almost certain you have either heard the loud call of the bullfrog or have actually gotten your hands dirty exploring the ponds for these incredible frogs. The American Bullfrog is by far the largest of the North American frog species. They can grow up to 8 long and weigh up to 1.5 lbs. No wonder, I wanted to try and catch some of these large frogs!
As night rolls around you may hear the sounds of mooing cows coming from your local pond or favorite lake. Donft worry, there is no need to call Farmer Joe down the road and let him know Betsy the Cow escaped again. You are most likely listening to the wonderful chorus of a bullfrog! Incidentally, this gmooing-likeh sound is why they are called bullfrogs. Only the male frogs are capable of creating this cow-like sound. I guess even in the wild world, the males are loud and obnoxious!
Speaking of being obnoxious, the male bullfrogs are very territorial and will fiercely guard their land from intruders. I suppose they wouldnft have liked the 8 year old me coming after them with my grubby little hands. I guess that is why they always jumped into the water and denied my friendship.
The lesson I wish to share with each of you today is how we are somewhat alike and somewhat different than the bullfrog as Christians. My first point is revealed as we take a look at the bullfrog's habitat.
A Bullfrog's Habitat
A. Bullfrogs require permanent bodies of freshwater for survival. They are well-adapted to a number of freshwater habitats, including lakes, streams, ponds, rivers, marshes, swamps and sloughs. Bullfrogs tend to prefer calm, warm waters. They can be found in a number of diverse biomes--such as forests, grasslands or mountains--as long as a body of water is nearby.
1. Throughout the centuries since the death and resurrection of Jesus, the church has often had a difficult time in agreeing with each other. There are obviously many Christian denominations. Sometimes things like church traditions and differing biblical interpretations seem to get in the way of unity.
2. Bullfrogs live in several places, whether it's a pond, a lake, a river or even a stream. The truth still stands that a bullfrog is a bullfrog. It doesn't't matter much as to what body of water they live in. Just because one frog lives in a pond and one lives in a lake, doesn't change the fact that they both are bullfrogs.
3. Just as we dwell here at LCC and Bart, Mary and little Johnny dwell at the Methodist Church, doesn't't change the fact that we are all Christians. But more times than not, sometimes we view others in other Christian denominations as if they are not Christian.
4. Friends, this is a very unfair depiction of our brothers and sisters in Jesus. Just because another Christian denomination worships differently, plays different music, baptizes differently, or even takes communion differently; simply does not make them any less of a Christian than us. We need to realize that Jesus desires all Christians to live in unity.
5. What does the Bible say about unity? There are many passages to gain an understanding of what Christian unity should look like. Let me just share a couple with you.
The English Standard Version, Acts 4:32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.