My Life as a Dog ~ Obeying the Master

Sign showing a man with a dog on a leash

As requested, here are the sermons I delivered at worship services on October 20, 2013.

Before reading the sermons, click and read the Bible verses I’ll refer to:

Psalm 19:7–14
John 8:3–11
John 14:10–24
Matthew 22:34–40
2 Timothy 4:1–5

Youth Message ~ YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!

What’s a boss?

When grownups talk about their boss, they probably mean the person at their job who tells them what to do, maybe the person who owns the company they work for. The dictionary says a boss can be anyone who makes decisions, exercises authority, controls, dominates, and so on.

Have you ever heard someone say, “You’re not the boss of me”? What was the situation?

I thought that was a modern expression from a TV show or something. But I looked it up and discovered it’s been said in books for more than a hundred years. Usually the situation is that an older brother or sister told a kid to do something, or to stop doing something. The kid doesn’t want to obey and is sick of getting ordered around by someone who has no right to give orders. So the kid snaps back, “You’re not the boss of me!”

Now, if [a parishioner] said to me, “Linda, shut up and sit down,” I could say, “You’re not the boss of me!” and keep right on talking, because I don’t have to obey [the parishioner]. I wouldn’t actually say that, because that would be pretty rude. Saying that could get you in trouble, especially when the person telling you “Do this, don’t do that” really is the boss of you!

Who really is the boss of you? Who has the right to tell kids what to do? Parents? Teachers? Those are the main people you’re supposed to obey.

But there is one more, who’s really important.

I looked up another word on The definition was: “a person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler. One who exercises restraint or direction over; dominates; commands.” Sounds a lot like the definition of a boss, right?

The word I looked up was Lord. For thousands of years, people have called God “Lord,” and Christians call Jesus our Lord and our Master. Why? Because he is the boss of us. He’s the boss of everyone.


Well-trained dogs

I get a kick out of watching the annual Westminster Club Dog Show on television, seeing all the various breeds with their different sizes and shapes and temperaments. One thing they all have in common is being trained to obey commands. They sit. They stay. They jog around the ring on a leash.

I’ve never seen one bite the judge. They don’t jump all over him and sniff his pants. Sometimes a dog gets overly frisky, but generally show dogs behave very well, thanks to their training.

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Frightful Wind and Waves

The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
—Luke 8:24–25 (NLT)

Photo of ducks swimming on a large expanse of water

See the ducks? They’re swimming on our cornfield during the 2006 flood. This scene was repeated in 2011. The banks of the Susquehanna River normally are behind that row of large treetops in the distance.

Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the northeastern USA, bringing tree-toppling winds, unprecedented tidal surges, and inland flooding from heavy rainfall. Victims of the so-called hundred-year floods of 2006 and 2011 in New York and Pennsylvania have good cause to fear this new threat to their safety and possessions.

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