Sermon Illustrations
Posted by Douglas on Jul 21, 2007

At Camp Fairhaven, there is a lake right in the middle of the camp. There are two sets of cabins and lodges on either side of the lake. One is the boys' side, the other is the girls' side. This year, things were different than they have been in the past; this year they couldn't get enough staff to run both sides of the camp, so they moved the boys to the girls' side, and left the boys' side deserted.

With one exception. Since they were using all the cabins on the girls' side, they put me, the Bible teacher, on the other side of the camp.

I felt like I was living in a ghost town!

But the camp was NOT deserted. It was overrun with squirrels. These squirrels were the boldest animals I've ever seen. They would scurry up the walls of my cabin, they would leap from branches to my roof while I was sitting right there on the porch watching them.

And when I dropped a carrot stick on the ground, they didn't grab it and run away with it. They grabbed it, dropped it at the foot of a little tree about five feet from where I was sitting, and then scurried up and down the tree glaring at me and scolding me -- as though daring me to take the carrot stick away from them.

I was surprised, at first, to see so many squirrels on the grounds. There weren't that many the previous year. But then I realized -- there probably were that many. They were just hiding in the woods, because there were so many campers around.

And this made me think: the campground will NEVER be deserted. It will always be filled. It may be filled with campers, or it may be filled with squirrels, but it will ALWAYS be filled!

You know, our hearts are like that. We need to make a conscious choice about what we fill our hearts with, because our hearts will never be empty. They may be filled with good things, or they may be filled with bad things, but they will ALWAYS be filled. That's why Philippians 4:8 is such an important verse:

4:8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

What are you filling your heart and mind with? Are you filling them with the pure and the lovely? Because if you aren't, then temptations, bad attitudes, and evil desires are encroaching on your heart, and as surely as the squirrels became bolder and bolder as time went on, those temptations, attitudes and desires will fill you more and more.

It's your choice.

Popular tags
Christian life, Jesus, character, integrity, love, trouble, hiking, mountains, children, heart, perseverance, 1 Peter 2:1, sermon on the mount, faithfulness, Philippians 4:8, heaven, music, the church, contentment, scripture, 1 Peter 2:4, God's will, foundation, salvation, human nature, hope, faith, humility, devotion, sin, gifts, Romans 12:2, spiritual discipline, 2 Corinthians 3:18, renewal, art, servanthood, strength, Hebrews 12:2, age groups, stability, teaching, obedience, 1 John 5:3, Titus 2:11, death, commandments, selfishness, deceit, Christmas, Colossians 4:6, responsibility, listening, interpretation, justice, behavior, materialism, Galatians 6:1, self-control, Philippians 4:11, 2 Peter 1:5, envy, blessings, Psalms 103:13, Philippians 2:3, creation, excellence, beauty, Genesis 2:7, Deuteronomy 32:4, John 10:1, Matthew 6:34, 1 Peter 2:2, preaching, Proverbs 25:8, discipleship, John 14:3, Psalms 1:1, Romans 8:24, Ecclesiastes 1:4, Matthew 15:18, voice, James 1:19, peace, John 11:35, Luke 12:34, Christ's return, counsel, cooperation, patience, 1 Peter 3:3, Ecclesiastes 7:2, Jeremiah 17:9, the good shepherd, Hebrews 12:15, Psalms 95:8, Proverbs 3:5, resurrection, Luke 12:32, Revelation 22:20, 1 Corinthians 15:1, Micah 6:8, 1 Peter 1:7, John 14:21, anger, public speaking, trust, grief, treasure, the gospel, delayed gratification, James 5:5, Galatians 3:19, math, suffering, bitterness, John 16:33, Matthew 18:3, priorities, 2 Corinthians 5:20, the law, logic, 1 Peter 1:6, work, 1 John 4:19, Titus 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:30, Psalms 51:7, John 14:6, Philippians 2:12, 1 Corinthians 12:22, Isaiah 35:4, John 14:24, James 1:23, Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 7:12, Colossians 1:15, John 10:10, danger, Titus 3:4, Colossians 1:16, Philippians 1:6, Matthew 5:37, body of Christ, Matthew 20:26, John 5:36, James 1:5, golden rule, 1 Peter 1:18, Proverbs 25:13, truth, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Philippians 2:1, ambassadors, wisdom, Philippians 4:9, kindness, context, 1 Peter 1:17, 1 Peter 2:19, Psalms 95:7, cleansing, culture, unity, Philippians 2:9, walking the talk, James 1:2, mind, imitating, Proverbs 25:16, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 Peter 2:21, Psalms 29:3, Leviticus 19:32, James 1:17, Colossians 3:12, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Matthew 22:37, Proverbs 25:17, Psalms 73:18, Galatians 6:2, Luke 2:10, Psalms 29:9, respect, Numbers 32:23, Psalms 40:8, 1 Peter 2:12, 2 Timothy 4:3, Psalms 84:10, Psalms 73:2, family, Incarnation, glory, John 4:34, Ecclesiastes 4:9, John 8:34, Philippians 4:1, Luke 14:12, gentleness, Matthew 5:36, grace, Epiphany, Romans 14:6, fellowship, Ephesians 2:19, power, Philippians 3:20, honor, diligence, Isaiah 40:4, judgment, Titus 3:5, regeneration, Galatians 6:5, Matthew 6:26, Psalms 66:18, 1 Peter 2:11, meekness, 1 Corinthians 13:7, Psalms 17:8, 1 Peter 2:6, John 1:23, Matthew 28:19, 1 Peter 2:22, Matthew 11:30, prayer, light, sojourners, John 13:15, Matthew 6:25, Hebrews 10:24, attention, disappointment, Matthew 15:11, Matthew 10:5, comparisons