Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | August 30, 2014

August 30, 2014 “Sassy Pup”

“Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.  The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel;” (Philippians 1: 15-16)

Good Morning Members of the Royal Priesthood!

Some of you may know that there is a small member of our family that has traveled with us throughout the country…a member that joined our family in 2006. She is a Bichon Frise that we adopted at an animal shelter in Kansas City, MO. Being a year old, she was already named “Sassy” by her former owner. We decided it was a fitting name, for though she is gentle as a lamb, she envisions herself as quite a ferocious protector of the home, barking “ominously” at the appearance of any would-be visitor. I am sure that despite her size and general demeanor, were anyone to threaten us in any way, she would be there at our defense. She is our “first alarm system”...a faithful defender of the home.

From the time I was in elementary school, I had dreams of becoming a professional entertainer. I wanted to sing and act…to be the center of attention, receiving accolades for my skills at singing, making people laugh, or moving them with my own compelling personality. As you can readily see, I had no shortage of self-esteem, but also no particularly great stockpile of humility either. This passion was only fueled when at a junior high school dance, I was serving as the “disk jockey” for the evening. At one point during the dance, instead of just announcing and playing the record, I decided it would be a great idea for me to sing along with the music. With microphone in hand, I began my rendition of the selected song. The girls present that evening began to “swoon” a bit as I warbled through the song, afterwards rushing up to me for my autograph. It was a heady experience for me, and I left with even more determination to fulfill my dreams of stardom. Later, I had the lead roles in a couple of musicals at the high school I attended which only fanned the flames of grandeur all the more. Then it was off to college. I was excited to learn that tryouts were being held for a college production of “Oklahoma”. I soon discovered that I was not the superstar in envisioned myself to be. I landed a one-line non-singing part in the production. Turns out that there were many who had abilities that far exceeded my own when it came to singing and acting. It was a harsh lesson, but it also pointed me in new directions. Not long after the beginning of my sophomore year in college, the Lord made it clear to me that my call was not to be what I aspired to be from childhood, but rather to follow the call that God had laid on my heart and planned for me all along. It was appointed to me to become a defender of the faith through the proclamation of the gospel. I have never regretted answering that call.

Protestant reformer John Calvin is noted as having said,

“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.”

Just as our “Sassy Pup” would defend us from attack, I am called by God to speak boldly against those forces that would seek to deceive anyone regarding that which is true concerning the Lord and his love for us. You need not be called by the Lord to full-time ministry as was I to be a faithful defender of the faith. The Spirit of boldness dwells in the heart of every believer. It is given to us by God. The apostle Paul wrote, “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.”  Prayerfully request that the Lord unleash that spirit of power and love and self-control in you that you would be bold in your defense of the gospel when the Enemy seeks to deceive, divert, and destroy. Let’s pray!

Mighty Lord; Grant that I may be a bold defender of the faith, not remaining passively silent when the truth is disparaged in any way. May that spirit of power, love, and self-control rise up within me that the truth may be proclaimed and demonstrated in my life in all its fulness. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen!

 

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