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Sunday – 9:30am and 11:15am

Location
1200 North Russell Rd.
Bloomington, Indiana, 47408
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812-336-5958
info@citychurchbloomington.org

A Living Dog and a Dead Lion

Do you like dogs? My kids love them. For two years, they’ve been asking every week if they can have one. So, recently I’ve caved in and we’re getting a dog. Please pray for me. To be fair, I love dogs too. I just don’t want the maintenance that comes with them. But they’re great pets and provide a lot of fun in a family. So we’re going to be a dog family!

Dogs are a big part of American culture. They’re one of the main pets we value. Now, we use the word “dog” to show endearment or disdain. For example, if you call someone your “dawg”, that’s good and it means they’re your friend. If you call someone a dog, that’s bad and you’re belittling them. However, in the Bible, a dog was something not to be called or compared to. Forget about being seen as man’s best friend, and they weren’t fixtures in the home either. They wandered the streets, surviving on their own, living as as animal would have lived in Bible times. Yet, we see in scriptures different moments and examples that give insight into spiritual truth.

One of these is found in Ecclesiastes 9:4. It says – “There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”

This verse is profound with spiritual power. In context, he’s saying it’s always better to be alive verses being dead. In fact, many of the verses in Ecclesiastes show life’s struggle and how life works. But, if we look deeper we can see a thought for us today.

Jesus responds to things differently than we do and He sees people differently than we do too. When others thought someone was a dog, He saw hunger and desperation. When others saw someone lower than them, He saw royalty and potential. Conversely, when others saw someone who had it all, He saw a dead lion. When others saw someone was “all that”, He saw a hollow reality. This wasn’t the case for every person He encountered, but it was for a lot of them and because of this He responded differently. It’s in His response that we can learn something regarding our faith.

God is not interested in our performance. He wants our hearts. He’s not interested in looking the part to impress others, He wants our raw selves. This is the battle we face. We seek to impress while He seeks to heal. We seek to prove ourselves while He seeks to redeem our lives. We seek to be better than others while He’s trying to help us be better than ourselves. We seek to be lion-like in stature and power while He responds to dog-like humility and hunger. This dichotomy is vastly opposed to one another, which is why what we choose is massive.

I believe Jesus loves when we’re real. He loves it when we bare our soul and give what we have. When we’re a living dog it says, we’re still breathing and there’s hope. It says, I’m desperate for God and I don’t care how I look to others. It says, take what I have, I’m yours. This position is where God-things take place. This is where we touch Heaven and Heaven touches us. Isn’t this what we all want? To have Heaven be real in our lives and that we see God show up in divine ways. I know this is what I want! But this happens with an attitude of being a living dog in posture. What I’m speaking about is a heart issue. It’s a matter of what’s on the inside of us being touched by God.

So, will you let Jesus move in your heart?

Whatever is going on in your life, please cast down a dead lion facade and be a living dog for God. Let a hunger for Him move you to do something you’ve never done before, so you receive what you’ve never received before. This is your moment but so much of it hinges on the posture of our hearts.

Think about this, if needs were enough for Jesus to do something, then every need He saw would have solved when we walked the earth. But that didn’t happen. Not everyone received a miracle who needed it. But those who did had a living dog posture and were to touch Jesus no matter what. They didn’t let a bad attitude stop them. They didn’t let limitation stop them. They didn’t let fear or doubt cripple them, but rather they moved through it and connected with Christ. And we can do the same.

Our day is here and the time is now. Lay down false pride. Set aside religious arguments and debates. Refuse to be a dead lion who looks the part but has no living touch of God and embrace your weaknesses. Forget what others think of you! Run to Jesus! Be brave! Be strong and find grace and mercy in time of need!

We must remember, He wants our mess and He wants our flaws. The truth is, when we are weak, He is strong and when we are unable, He is able. Therefore, In Jesus, being a living dog is royalty. Embrace it and watch God move in your life.

Have a great week and the best is yet to come.
PD



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