Greater love has no one than this.... John 15:13a (ESV)
Determined to try and set things right, Stella and Tracy headed back into the woods where they had lost Muffy in hopes that they could find him again and bring him home to Harold. Tracy kept blowing on her dog whistle while Stella kept calling out “Here, Muffy. Here, Muffy.”
After searching for nearly an hour, Tracy had to ask, “Stella, Are you sure this is the right way?” “Of course it is.” Stella replied, “I’m always right” “Then why did you send Barney down the other path?” Tracy asked “Just in case.” Stella answered. “In case you’re wrong?” Tracy interrupted but was quickly cut off when Stella yelled, “It’s Him!”
“Where?” Tracy asked as she spun around looking for him. “Behind that tree!” Stella yelled back, “Let’s go get him.” As the girls neared the tree, Tracy suddenly froze and yelled “Stella!” “What, now?” Stella said as she reached the tree. “That’s not Muffy,” said as her voice started to crack, “It’s a bear cub, we need to get out of here fast.”
Now Stella should have known better but when she saw that bear cub something came over her and she decided she needed to try and pet that bear cub. “NO, STELLA!” Tracy screamed at Stella, “The mama bear won’t like that.” “I don’t see any mama bear,” Stella said as she crept up on the bear cub, “Besides, he’s so cute”
The next thing the girls knew a great big mama bear let out a loud ROAR and charged at them. “Run, Stella, Run.” Tracy called out as she took off running. Just than Stella tripped and let out a scream “OOOOOOOUUUUUUUCCCCCCCHHHHHHH My leg! I can’t run” As the bear readied to pounce on Stella a familiar Woof, Woof, Woof jumped in front of her.
It was Muffy and they had found him or he had found them. For the next five minutes Muffy and the bear growled, howled, snarled and roared as the fought with each other. In the mean time Stella had managed to stand up and started to limp away when everything went silent.
“The bear is leaving.” Tracy whispered to Stella “Muffy saved us” “Muffy is a hero!” Stella shouted out, “Three cheers for Muffy, Hooray, Hooray, Ho.... Muffy’s not moving.” “What’s wrong?” Tracy asked? “He’s, He’s Dying.” Stella said as she started to cry. “We need my Dad and fast.” Tracy told Stella, “He knows the vet. Let’s see if we can find him before it’s too late.”
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. (ESV) How much love do we have for our friends?
In the week prior to writing the original script that became this puppet story there was a real bear cub in my backyard, however the idea of having a bear showing up in the story was not inspired by it. Most people (I hope) should know that coming between a mother bear and her cub is very dangerous yet more dangerous than getting between a mother bear and her cub is giving in to sin.
Instead of running from danger, Stella tried to embrace it and as a result, she needed to be saved. Thankfully Muffy came to the rescue. People are constantly flirting with sin and while they may not always suffer the consequences immediately, sooner or later, sin's consequences will come due unless of course we have a friend who is willing to take the consequences on himself.
Think of what our greatest friend went through for us, to take the eternal consequences of our sin upon himself. Here is what he went through:
- John 19:1-3 Then Pilate ordered that Jesus be taken away and whipped. (NCV)
- Luke 22:63-65 The men who were guarding Jesus began making fun of him and beating him. They blindfolded him and said, “Prove that you are a prophet, and tell us who hit you.“ They said many cruel things to Jesus. (NCV)
- Matthew 27:27-31The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s palace, and they all gathered around him. They took off his clothes and put a red robe on him. Using thorny branches, they made a crown, put it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand. Then the soldiers bowed before Jesus and made fun of him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!“ They spat on Jesus. Then they took his stick and began to beat him on the head. After they finished, the soldiers took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. (NCV)
In Matthew 11:19 we learn that Jesus had some unusual friends, they were called sinners - The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by her actions." (NIV)
Unless you want to God a liar, the Bible also claims that we have all sinned, therefore we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 is just one such verse that makes this clear. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NIV)
Add to these two verses Romans 5:8 which reads God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV) We can learn that We are all sinners yet we are Jesus' friends for whom he died so that we may not have to suffer eternal consequences of our sins.
I suppose Stella could have told Muffy to back off, she didn't need any help taking on the mother bear and I suppose we could tell Jesus we don't want His help over coming the consequences of sin but neither would be wise.
Here's Something To Ponder
- Do you think you can over come sin's eternal consequences on your own?
- Are you thankful for Jesus being your friend willing to help?