I brought along some snacks this morning. Anybody here like…. doggie treats? Eww, pretty gross! Especially this box of treats! Look at the flavor. Doesn’t sound very good, does it? I bet you guys would much rather have cookies or fruit, right?
You know who does love these treats? Dogs. Do any of you have dogs? I bet they love treats. A dog will do just about anything for a treat. They will sit, lay down, roll over, play dead, fetch a ball. If the dog knows he or she is going to get a treat, that dog will do whatever you want.
But you know something? When a dog does something for a treat, they do it for selfish reasons, don’t they? When you first train a dog, the dog becomes conditioned to do tricks because they receive a reward. If you weren’t waving one of these yummy treats, they might just walk away and ignore you.
You know sometimes we respond to God that way. We act nice and we pray because we want God to give us a treat, don’t we? But God doesn’t want us to love him like that. Whether we have good times or bad, God wants us to love him, and thank him for all the things he’s given us.
A man named Job modeled this kind of love. God decided to test Job, and he took away every good thing Job had. But Job refused to walk away from God. Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)
When good things happen, we should rejoice and thank God. But let’s not forget to thank God in the bad times, because no matter how bad things are, he is still God.