“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.”Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. “Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” Matthew 12:43-45
My dad used many illustrations in his sermons; the following story was based on one of these illustrations, and was written for my grandchildren in a way that they could understand. -anita
“You are one beaoootiful pig Sophia!” said farmer Grey with a whistle. Then he scratched his head and chuckled, “Well…as far as pigs go that is…”
Farmer Grey had been working with Sophia for quite some time now. He was going to enter her into the competition at the State Fair. She was the right weight now, and he bathed her everyday so that her hide was a pretty pink. He just knew that she would win this year! She had to. He’d seen the other contestants, and they were no match for his Sophia!
The State Fair! Sophia was almost as excited as farmer Grey! Of course, the other pigs in the pen weren’t too happy with Sophia. She had been getting all of the attention! It just didn’t seem fair. Besides, why did farm Grey go to all of the trouble to give Sophia a bath everyday? Every night that he’d put her back in the pen, she’d just go back to the mud hole and jump in with the others…it seemed rather pointless!
The State Fair was only two days away now. Farmer Grey’s wife was busy making jam and bread so that she could enter her own contests. She made the best bread and jam in the county! Farmer Grey was sure that he and his wife would come home with three blue ribbons! They were both SO excited!
The morning of the fair was finally here. There was much excitement in the house, with getting last-minute things done. Finally, it was time! Sophia was loaded into the truck and off they all went.
Everyone that had entries was buzzing about like busy little bees, making sure that they were ready when the time for judging came.
Farmer Grey gave Sophia her bath only minutes before the judge came by. He sprayed her with some orange blossom perfume, and tied a big red bow around her neck. She looked like a picture out of Country Living magazine! She was so beautiful…it actually brought tears to farmer Grey’s eyes!
“Ok…get ready Sophia! Here comes the judge…stand real still now, and tilt your head just a wee bit this way…Now…look him straight in the eyes!” said farmer Grey as he posed his beloved Sophia. It was amazing! Sophia didn’t move a muscle. She stood as still as a statue and looked at the judge.
The judge was so impressed at Sophia’s good manners, not to mention her pink hide! It was a sight to see! “This is it!” he said. “I’ve found my blue ribbon winner!” And with this, he pinned the blue ribbon on Sophia’s red bow. Farmer Grey, the judge, and Sophia posed for many pictures. It was going to be front-page news in this small farming community.
When the day finally came to an end, farmer Grey and his wife loaded Sophia into the truck, and headed home. Mrs. Grey had won the contest for the best bread, and the best jam! So, they did go home with three blue ribbons after all!
Sophia still had the big red bow tied around her neck, and the blue ribbon was still pinned on it. Farmer grey opened the back of the trailer, and helped Sophia out. He was standing there, admiring her, when he saw her lift her nose in the air and start sniffing. All of a sudden, without any warning, she took off at a dead run towards the directions of the pen. A look of panic came over farmer Grey’s face as he realized the gate to the pen was still open!
Farmer Grey stood there for a moment with disbelieving eyes. “She’s running for the mud hole!” he shouted to his wife who was just getting out of the truck. As they both ran after her, Mrs. Grey yelled, “She’s still wearing the blue ribbon!” They both looked at each other with horror as they realized what was about to happen…
It was too late! Sophia took a nosedive straight into the middle of that mud hole. She went clear to the bottom and you could see mud bubbles come to the surface. Pretty soon, her head came out, and it could almost be sworn upon, that she had a smile on her face! She was so happy to be back in that swill and wallow! Needless to say, her hide was no longer pink, and the prize winning ribbon was no longer blue; and the red bow…well, that was an absolute mess!
Farmer Grey looked at his wife and shook his head. “I cleaned her all up on the outside, but she still had that pig nature on the inside! Too bad I wasn’t able to slip the nature of a lamb inside of her first, and then cleaned her all up. If I could have done that, she would never have gone running back to that slop hole!”
This is how it is with us humans. We have the sin nature in us. We can try to clean ourselves up; stop doing bad things, and try to do good things, but if we do it all on our own without the help of Jesus and His salvation, sooner or later, we will just go back to the mud hole of sin and wallow in it’s swill and slop. That’s because our inner nature hasn’t changed. We need to call on THE LAMB OF GOD, JESUS, to come and live inside of us. When He moves in, we won’t want to go near the mud hole of sin…much less, wallow in it!
WHICH NATURE LIVES INSIDE OF YOU?
By: Anita Mondragon September 2000