Sermon Illustrations - Don't Shoot the Dog - "Be sure your sins will find you out"
My pet? - only dogs and cats need apply
Yes, I'm a pet person, as long as they are either dogs or cats. I don't get into birds, snakes or anything else for that matter. My sister has ferrets, three of them I think, and they're ok to play with for a while, but that's about it. Even fish, though many of them are very beautiful, are not for me. I did try a goldfish once, but that didn't work out to well, for the fish that is.
Dogs are the greatest pets, even so, they have one major flaw, they bark. A couple of years ago we had a wonderful golden retrier that I was able to train to not to bark, now that was heaven. However, there was a dog in my past that will not even get honorable mention under any circumstances. Some people say that there is no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners. If there right, Chew-Chew had a very bad owner.
Muzzle needed desperately!
The name Chew-Chew gives away one of his addictions right away, but by the time he came to live on our little farm he had developed an addiction to something else that was just as annoying. Chew-Chew barked 25 hours a day, 8 days a week!
Chew-Chew belonged to my Uncle and maybe the reason he was brought to our house was because of his bad habit. All day he barked, all night he barked, and I'm sure he never slept. I know while he lived at our house I never slept! Now if it were me, I would have put him on the other side of the 23½ acres that we owned, but not my Dad.
My illustration will continue after an interlude on animal cruelty.
This is the 3rd Hub, in a series of sermon illustrations.
Humane Society Commercial
Interlude - Jesus was not cruel to animals
This Hub (illustration) does not in any way promote the abuse of animals nor does this author take it lightly. Animal abuse is wrong, plain and simple!
Although I do not believe that animals are equal with humans, I do believe that they should be treated with kindness and respect.
No matter what you do with an animal (hunt or raise them for food, buy them for security, or keep them as pets) there is nowhere in the Bible that excuses being cruel to them.
Sin has a way of perverting every form of pleasure God has gifted to the human race, including how we derive enjoyment from our pets. Please remember Matthew 5:7 says, Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
The word mercy means, to get something good that we do not deserve. It would be tragic to lose the mercy of the Lord, because of the way we treat our pets. Let's face it, we need all the mercy we can get.
No shame just fact - my Dad's a hillbilly
Now my Dad was raised in the south, in one of those places where if the porch collapsed, four dogs would forfeit there lives. It was the kind of place where they had an out house and three major appliances on the back porch. No kidding, Grandma's washer, dryer and chest freezer were on the back porch, and praise God she finally got an indoor bathroom.
By the way, did you know that the word Hillbilly used to be defined as a Wisconsin dirt farmer?
My Dad moved north to find work and that is why I was born a Yankee. The reason I'm telling you where my Dad came from is because, well let's just say it will explain part of the story.
At our house we had two driveways, one was gravel, which is where the cars that worked were parked. Our second driveway was grass, or mowed weeds, and it was reserved for the cars that did not work. It was one of these cars that Chew-Chew was tied to.
Brother's gone mad!
One day my brother had more than he could take. While my parents were gone, he went into the house and got the pellet gun. At first I didn't know what he was up to, then I thought he was kidding and then I realized he meant business. I didn't try to stop him for fear he would beat me up. Most older brother's (four years older) have have beaten you their younger brothers, and I didn't want another. So after trying to scare him a couple times, I just followed him. As far as I knew he might shoot me with the pellet gun.
My brother snuck around the back of the car, like Chew-Chew didn't know he was there, ya right, but for the first time Chew-Chew was quiet. That dog knew something was up. My brother had already cocked the gun, he got into position, aimed the gun and squeezed off the trigger. What happened next still amazes me.
He missed, He missed! Amen!
Even though he was not a teenager yet, you'd think he'd be able to hit a target ten feet away. He was probably nervous because he knew this was wrong. I've always wondered what he would have done if he had hurt the dog. How would he explain, to our parents, that the dog had been shot? Would he have blamed me?!
I'm glad he didn't hit the dog, not so much because I liked this dog, but because I didn't want to get into trouble when my parents came home. A sense of relief came over me when he missed the dog, but I was horrified when I realized he hit the dining room widow!
Do you remember that feeling you had as a child when you knew you were in trouble? No, I didn't even shoot at the dog, but my brother had a special talent of dragging me into everything he did wrong.
Realizing I probably would shoulder part of the blame, I was easy prey when he enticed me into helping him cover up this mess. Why didn't I take King Solomon's advice? Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Once I began to help him, I was truly guilty.
9 things I learned about guns as a child
9) Nobody believes that it takes 500, 22 shells to kill a chicken snake.
8) Pellet guns do hurt.
7) When a 30X06 sounds like a machine gun, Dad must be hunting.
6) It's hard to shoot a crow with a 22 (but not impossible).
5) When your 10, don't try to shoot your Dad's 30X06, unless your already laying down.
4) Never aim at your foot when your shooting a pistol, thank God I missed!
3) Yes, I deliberately dropped a log on my sisters head, I can explain this (subliminal confession).
2) A gun is not a substitute for a building permit. You'll need to get my Dad to explain this.
1) You cannot decorate a window with a bullet.
Wow! That was close
We thought we were in the clear when we realized that only the storm window was broken, because we both new that there was another one, just like it, in the back yard.
These storm windows were the old wooden kind, so we removed the plastic, the broken storm, and put in the storm from the back yard. Oh, did we feel much better! Of course we had to find away to explain the broken storm.
I continued my decent into trouble here because, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea, for a seven year old boy trying to get out of trouble.
We put the broken storm right where the replacement storm had been, and I kicked a basketball into it, which knocked a lot more glass out of it.
Perhaps this event is why my own children have already broken four windows, and three of them were in the church parsonage.
Our parents came home, we told them the story, got into a little trouble and we thought that was the end of it.
For a while it was over, nothing else was said for almost six months, but remember God's judgment is not bound by the statue of limitations.
Is "I Don't Know" still being blamed?
Is there something that happened at home that your parents know about, but they still don't know you did it?See results without voting
How long have you kept this a secret?See results without voting
Time to pay the piper!
Do you remember the plastic that was covering the dining room window? The next spring I was standing in the dining room and my mom noticed a small hole in the plastic. I hadn't thought about the whole incident for ages, but right then all the memories came flooding back. My mom wanted to know how the hole got there and more importantly why the storm was not broke. Don't you just hate logic?
There must have been some guilt in my eyes, or maybe she could smell fear, because my mother knew, that I knew what happened. My fear had jumped on to my face, and I knew there was no hiding it anymore. In fact, I was only to happy to get rid of the guilt, and so I poured out my confession.
Maybe I thought that since several months had passed by I wouldn't get into so much trouble, but I'd been wrong before. The details of my chastisement are a little sketchy, but words like pain, agony, hard labor, and yelling come to mind.
Can you imagine my brothers surprise when he found out that I had spilled the beans?! Yes there was fear on his face, but it was soon replaced with the look of revenge! Yes, the consequences of sin can come from many directions.
Numbers 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
What we can gain if we do repent
What you'll miss if you do repent - Praise God!
What I noticed about Psalms 51 repentance.
To the chief Musician – David's repentance was not privet, public sin should be confessed publicly.
When Nathan the prophet came unto him – The repentance took place after the man of God rebuked him. Repentance is rare because most people don't go to church, and often times preachers do not rebuke.
Have mercy upon me, O God – David asks for mercy, because he does not deserve forgiveness. When you plead for forgiveness in this way, you have a much better chance of getting it.
Wash – He wants the sin removed.
Cleanse – He wants to be holy again.
David takes personal responsibility for his sin, he places no hint of blame on any one else.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned – David realizes who is principally offended, and without this aspect of repentance we can never have the guilt removed. Repentance that leaves God out, leaves the sinner prey to the destructive power of the sin.
And be clear when thou judgest – David does not lash out at the rebuke of his sin. Too often when a person says their sorry they get angry if you talk to them about their sin, and that is not true repentance.
David acknowledges his sinful nature, but he does not justify the sin because of it. Just because something is the natural thing to do, does not excuse it.
David is not repenting to save the life of his baby. He is repenting because of the guilt, of his sin. Notice there is no mention of the baby in this chapter. We must learn to deal with our sin first in sincerity, and only then can our other prayers be heard.
Some of what we miss if we do not repent
Purge me with hyssop – Now we begin to see what David wants the most from God, a clean heart. This request shows that his relationship with God is of most importance, because it is the lack of holiness that is keeping him from fellowship with God. Our motives for repentance will reveal if it is authentic or not.
Make me to hear joy and gladness – Joy is a result of true repentance. Did your last convert respond this way?
That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice – Without conviction there is no true repentance, only words.
David is ashamed of his sin – Shame is another mark of true repentance.
This is a beautiful verse! Only God can create, and a man with a clean heart will be bold. The one who is bold during repentance is not being sincere.
And renew a right spirit – The person who repents will have a good attitude. Have you ever seen a spouse repent and still be angry? If so, you did not see repentance. The person who truly forgives will also have a good attitude.
David pleads for God's power, which is another motive of his repentance. David's request shows his dependence (faith) on the Lord. This is a stark contrast to Saul.
If you see a person who has lost the joy of their salvation, you are looking at a person who is struggling with sin.
Another result of true repentance is witnessing. If a person does not wiriness can they be right with God? No.
At least I left you one cookie
Not all of the things that my older brother and I did wrong were so well covered up. There was one thing my brother used to do that reminds me of those “stupid criminal” stories. My brother had a sweet tooth, doesn't everybody? The habit he got himself into that betrayed him was, that when he stole cookies out of the cookie jar, he would never take the last one. If there were 38 cookies in the jar he would defiantly eat 37 of them, but never the last one.
One time my Dad brought a large heart shaped box of candy home to my mom for Mother's Day. This box was huge! There must have been about 30 pieces of chocolate in it. My mom was the type of person who would savor food, and so she would only eat about one or two chocolates a day.
After about a week, my mother opened the heart shaped box, looking forward to a couple tasty treats, but boy was she surprised when she saw that there was only one left! This must have been the last straw, because an entirely different person came out of my mom's body! She knew who had done it, and for once I wasn't a part of the interrogation. If my brother was going to describe what happened to him now, I think he would use words like: pain, agony, hard labor, and yelling.
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Lessons learned - about the cookie jar incident
For years my mother never told us how she always knew when my older brother stole the cookies, and this tactic is one I had wished I'd followed better, now that I'm a parent.
I'm not sure why my brother never ate the last cookie. Maybe it was a very small sense of kindness or guilt. Maybe he was just leaving a calling card like some of the serial criminals do. It's hard to tell because he refuses to say, he says that he can't remember. I guess this is a secret that will go to the grave with him.
There is a little consolation for me though, remember what Jesus said in Matthew 10:26, Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. If he doesn't get it confessed we will all find out sooner or later.
Interestingly enough, it was my Dad's fault that my Mom's secret got out. My Mom saw my Dad taking cookies out of the cookie jar one night. When Mom asked the family who ate the cookies the next day, my Dad let my older brother start to take the blame. About that time, my Mother told the truth. It wasn't the fourth of July, but there were fireworks at our house that day.
I'm glad I'm the Dad now, because I eat all the cookies I want even the last one. Hang on I'm going to find some cookies.
This is my last point about the cookies. How many times have you heard that kind of a line from a preacher? How many times have you been the guilty party? My Grandmother, who I lived with for about six weeks in 9th grade, had a great way to guard the cookie jar.
The lid on her cookie jar would play music when it was lifted. This had me puzzled for a while, but one night when I lifted up the lid it didn't make any music. You see Grandma was a sleep upstairs so I thought she wouldn't hear any way. It was then that I realized that the lid was activated by light. Grandma's cookies were never safe from that time on, but don't tell her, or I might still get into trouble.
This is defiantly a subject that needs to have one or more sequels. Lord knows I have enough illustrations for them.
When you look at the Bible there is no lack of illustrations about this either.
Why the FBI was created
My Mother had four children, three boys and one girl. However, if you would have asked her while we were growing up, she probably would have told you that she had five children. Why you ask, well because every time something was broke or came up missing we always blamed it on, I-don't-know. My Mom thought I-don't-know was her worst child of all, because of this fifth, and worst, child my Mother founded the FBI. Did your house have one? Mine does today and I am it's chief agent.
FBI – Family Bureau of Investigations
The following is a list of tactics that agents (both of them) use while investigating crimes against the household. Agents are required to know the suspects well in order to know which tactic will be the most effective.
- Listen to the accused
- Consultation with the other agent (my spouse) is highly recommended
- Listen to the testimony of any other party involved
- Listen to the testimony of any other party that may have indirect knowledge
- Listen to the arguments of any and all participants
- Give an appeal for honesty
- Remind them that the “Family Court” will be lenient on all defendants that can verify their testimony, if appropriate.
- Agents should conceal any information that they may have about the case from the accused and/or witnesses
- The testimony of all parties must be compared to their wrap-sheet
- Be observant while approaching the scene of the crime, take extra time especially as you get closer (unless you believe bodily harm has been done or is in the process of being done, even if the victim of the present crime has been convicted several times that day)
- Be observant of voice fluctuations, body language, excessive defensiveness, and inconsistent testimony
- Thoroughly cross examine each party involved
- Agents should be cautious when a defendant pleads guilty, this may be a cover-up for greater crimes against the household.
- Place defendants in confinement (send them to their rooms) making sure to eavesdrop on their conversations
- Confirm all alibis
- On occasion, offer a plea bargain
- Give the benefit of the doubt when appropriate
- As necessary inform participants that the “Family Court” may pass judgment on all parties involved. Be careful to watch the reaction of various parties involved, especially the prime suspect. New information will often come to light at this point as new witness come forward. Perjury is often committed at this time. (Please note most suspects that are being falsely accused will react in a more outspoken manner. Make sure the sentence is a light sentence and the guilty party will probably be quiet.) If the guilty party is revealed, pardon other participants and increase the sentence of the guilty.
Memorandum (reminders) to all FBI (Family Bureau of Investigations) agents
- Agents, please remember that justice often takes time. Please allow guilt, and the King of kings to apply their special pressure.
- Agents in the event that the crime is committed in a public arena (usually Wal-Mart), conceal the matter as much as possible to protect the interests of the state (the family), unless appropriate measures can be utilized to neutralize and/or resolve the situation immediately.
- Special note: it is the desire of the “Family Court” to grant mercy if possible and to promote rehabilitation, and sensitivity training, in order to promote reconciliation.
- The Law of the land shall be as follows (mentioned in order of greatest authority): The Bible, Parental Policy (unless they contradict the Bible and/or US Government Laws), Church/School Rules, and Childcare Directives (babysitters).
- Contrary to public opinion, agents recognize that sentencing of defendants is a deterrent (if for nobody else it deters the convicted individual).
- A Special Prosecutor (Dad), may be requested by the maternal agent (Mom).
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Your personal bailout plan? Ok, maybe part of it.
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This would be a great newspaper for all your church members. I've been told that preachers in third world countries pass it around like the Christian's used to do w/ Bibles in past centuries. I don't know if that's true, but I do know it's that good!
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