Big Dog with a Small Mind

On the way home from Dallas this week we visited Don and Sabre in Amarillo. Don told us a story about their dogs that connected with my worship experience on Easter Sunday, so I thought I would retell it here.

Don and Sabre have a schnoodle called Rascal Pierre (any self-respecting Texan man would add “Rascal” when his wife names their dog “Pierre,” but I digress). The schnoodle was full-grown when they added a German short-haired pointer puppy named Jackson Coltrane to the family. Rascal Pierre, being older and probably a bit bigger, naturally became the alpha dog and ruled the roost.

Well, Jackson Coltrane grew up into fine bird dog and could now easily take Rascal Pierre in a fight, yet he remains submissive in his mentality to his hilariously smaller lap dog companion.

Don said, “It’s amazing how something so little can have the bluff on something so big.”

Which is about the same situation most of us Christians have with sin. We give it far too much respect and as a result, far too much leeway. Sin has the bluff on us.

Together with a lot of of our Dallas family we attended a beautiful traditional service on Easter Sunday. The architecture and the classical music were amazing. We got all dressed up for the occasion; it was just beautiful. For me the sweetest moment of worship was when we stood and sang the hymn, “In Christ Alone” and this phrase rang powerfully true in my heart and voice:

And as he stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me

Wow! Think about that for a minute. We would all say that Jesus defeated sin, but how many of us live like it has lost its grip on us? As Paul wrote in Romans 6:

When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Did you catch it? Because of what Jesus did, we should consider ourselves to not be under the power of sin. In other words, we should think about it the way it is, or else we might live in defeat even though victory is ours. And it is ours, because Jesus won it through his death and resurrection.

Don’t wait until you’re in heaven to believe in and live out your victory over sin. If you are in Christ, you won’t be any more dead to sin in heaven than you are now, so why not get started?

When we were apart from Jesus, sin had power over us, but now we need to change our mentalities to match our position in Christ, so we won’t be like Jackson Coltrane, a big dog with a small mind.

April 3, 2013