It’s funny the simple things we can learn from animals all around us! The Bible often uses animals and insects to teach us lessons in life. Remember in Proverbs about the ant and in Luke about the sheep? I learned a lesson the other day from a squirrel! I watched out my window as one squirrel had a nut in its mouth and another squirrel was chasing him. The first squirrel, the one with the nut, ran every which way, back and forth, up one tree and down another. He even made incredible leaps, he probably ordinarily wouldn’t have made, from one tree to another. Why? He was not going to let that other squirrel get his prize no matter what it took!
After watching those two squirrels I thought about (1Pet.5:8) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” You see the 1st squirrel represents you and me with our prize, (Our Soul), running from the 2nd squirrel (The devil). I thought about how we must be determined and do whatever it takes to flee from the devil. To many times we simply give up, because after all, it takes courage and effort to do what is right doesn’t it? It takes persistence to keep doing whatever we must do to avoid him doesn’t it? It’s just too hard for many, they say, and yet God promises to help us! In (1Cor.12:13) we are told by the Spirit “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
The next time the devil comes after you, I want you to remember that 1st squirrel! He wasn’t going to let his prize go no matter how long or how much effort it took on his part. Our prize is our soul and the devil wants it, but if we resist him, he will flee from us. (Jms.4:7) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” I quit watching those two squirrels after that 2nd one gave up, so I don’t know if he ever came back and chased that 1st one again. The devil will always come back, but like that 1st squirrel, I pray it can be said of you and me, HE NEVER GAVE UP!
The story is told of young lady who married and in her zeal to please her new husband wanted to prepare a wonderful feast for him to eat. While preparing the ham her husband noticed she cut off the end and threw it in the garbage can. Disturbed by his new wife’s apparent wastefulness he insisted on knowing why she had done such a thing. His wife didn’t know, so she called her mother who in turn called her mother, who then gave the answer. It turns out the great, great grandmother of this girl had a pan that was too short, so every time she prepared a ham she had to cut off the end! This tradition had prevailed for many years. We all can see the foolishness of this.
Today it is not uncommon to hear brethren, who have been Christians for many years, make the claim in business meetings and in classes “Oh, it’s just our tradition”! This bothers me and it ought to bother you as well. Why does it bother me?
1. It Bothers Me Because: When this statement is made it is implying that the only reason we do the things we do in our worship to Almighty God is because our parents and their parents before them did these things. What message are we sending out to those who hear us make this cry? Someone visiting our service that day (a non-Christian) might hear that statement and think “Well my parents are just as smart as these folks’ parents.” So what if we worship differently than them? After all, “It’s only tradition”!
2. It Bothers Me Because: When that statement is made it is implying that the way we are doing things now needs to change! You see if we are just following our parents and their parents’ example in our worship to God then there would be no harm in changing things to better suit the times we are living in! Let’s add some things next Sunday to our worship service say like a band and liven up things a little! After all, “It’s only tradition”!
3. It Bothers Me Because: When that statement is made it is implying that the Lord’s church is no longer sufficient to accomplish the work for which God gave the church to do! If this be the case then there would be nothing wrong with the social gospel! There would be nothing wrong with other organizations receiving money from churches to do their work! After all, “It’s only tradition”! I ask the question now “What’s wrong with tradition”? The answer lies in understanding the word itself.
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