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At the Movies: Secret Lives of Pets | Sermon Notes


Sermon notes for the final message in the “At the Movies” series.

Who here is a pet person? Do we have any cat ladies in here?

We have 2 dogs. Weiner dog and a Yorkie.  I love dogs until I smell them.  Then, it is over. That is a challenge in our house. When we got our Yorkie, we were trying to name her as a pup and my brother-in-law said, “You should name her ‘poops and pees a lot’.”

“The Secret Lives of Pets” is all about a dog named Max who is in love with his owner, but is struggling with this identity.  He is struggling with her acceptance of him. He is tempted to believe that another dog would steal her affection away from him.  When Duke shows up it reveals his secret turmoil (that is subconscious) and drives him in to a secret plot of sin. He does all sorts of things when his owner isn’t looking.

Have you ever wondered what your pet is doing when you’re away?  Ever know of someone who sat up a “pet cam” to see what’s going on?

Surveillance is big business today. Everybody from the military to the corporate world launches satellites so sensitive they can read words on a golf ball sitting in your front yard.  Security cameras capture your every move in the mall, the grocery store, the school.  We even have security cameras here on our church property.

But nobody sees everything you do, do they? It just so happens that one person does.

One of the characteristics of God is that he is omniscient, which is a big way of saying “He knows everything”,

Psalm 139:1-3 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.

God knows the amount of Hairs of your head, Your past, your future, those things no one else knows.  (Might make you feel uncomfortable),

He sees not just what’s going on outside, but what’s going on in your heart and your head, the motives and attitudes and feelings nobody else sees.

He sees the insecurities and identity problems you have (as MAX) when DUKE shows up!

Few of us do very little wrong (I hope) on Sunday morning at church, because we know everybody’s watching. But what about when we’re away from church, when we’re at home, at work, or alone? Do we have a SECRET LIFE Mon-Sat?

Not necessarily something that happens everyday or every week, but thoughts, attitudes, events that happen from time to time that no one else knows about. That we would hate for others to find out?


If ever there was a person who fell into a secret life, it was King David.   David wasn’t caught on tape, but records of what he did are in the Bible.  David was a Great warrior. A Great leader.  One of the greatest kings of all time.  Loved and respected by many.  God (his Owner) loved him so much.

2 Samuel 11:1 In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 11:2-4: Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath 3 He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her.


David was in a place he where he should not have been and as a result found himself tempted in an intoxicating way.  If David had his attention where God wanted it, he would never put it where God didn’t want it. David begins a chain of secret events that leads to murder.

Here are 3 important facts about Secret Lives:

  1. Secret Lives Hinder Purpose 

David’s sin was not in seeing Bathsheba.  His sin was not trusting that God would provide satisfaction for him. He believed the lie of the devil that said, “Bathsheba will provide you the satisfaction you need”.

David’s purpose in life (like you and me) is to honor God and live for him! It is that simple. We make life so much more complicated.

When David started down the secret path of life, he started deviated from the original purpose in which God created him.

Your life will have so many details: occupation, marriage, finances, school, hobbies, fun stuff, hard stuff.  Because we are so busy with all those categories of life, we can forget the original purpose and plan back at the garden of eden.  Worship God. Be a good steward over the earth.

We get distracted just like Max.  We get distracted just like David. We start doubting our worth. We start desiring immediate satisfaction.  We doubt our impact on others. We are afraid of not having enough money.  We start thinking about ourselves TOO MUCH.

Thinking about yourself too much is PRIDE.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.

This proverb is your warning sign today! Your God-given purpose in life is going to be stalled, distracted and ultimately destroyed by your selfish perspective.

That leads us right into fact #2:

  1. Secret Lives Have Consequences

2 Samuel 11:5  Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.”

David attempts to hide his sin so that it is not exposed. Sins leads simply to more sin.

David brings Uriah home to give him a report on the war, Throws him a party, Gets him drunk, and hopes that he will sleep with Bathsheba.  Offering a cover-up for her pregnancy.

The lies, manipulation, and impact on the armed forces who remain in battle without one of their leaders is obvious. Plan fails. Uriah is loyal to his men who are at battle with the enemy

Then, David puts Uriah on the front line so that he will be killed in the intensity of battle.  The disregard for human life in order to keep his sin hidden is again obvious.

David is willing to pursue anything that will keep his sin from being exposed. It takes all of his energies, and the one sin multiplies itself into more sin.

Sin always promises something it cannot deliver.

When we hear these promises, we are tempted to give in, to accept the deception and justify our action. David must have done that.

We delete texts. We make up stories. We erase internet history. We have others cover for us.  We lie to ourselves. We say that it really doesn’t matter to anyone else. We say that our kids will grow up and not be affected.

The whole concept of hiding our sin is deceptive. Our sin is never hidden before God and only hidden with difficulty from our conscience. Our hidden sin hinders our fellowship with God and others and is a barrier to spiritual life and power.

The good news is that NO ONE is too far gone for God!

That takes us to Fact #3 about Secret Lives:

  1. Secret Lives Can Receive Forgiveness

The first verse of chapter 12 introduces us to Nathan,

One of the bravest and boldest men in all the Bible. Nathan told David a parable-type story of a very rich man who killed the only sheep of a poor man.

Story that revealed David as if he were looking in a mirror. So that David can “get a good look at himself.”   David had a sense of right and wrong.

When he heard Nathan’s story, he probably sprang to his feet and demanded, “Where is this man? We will arrest him. We will execute him!”

It is interesting how easily we can see the sin in somebody else, but we cannot see it in your own life. That was David’s problem.

Can you imagine the look on David’s face when Nathan says, “It is YOU!”. David has done the things that God said, “Thou shalt not do.” Is he going to get by with it?

We all need a “Nathan” around us who will tell us the truth about ourselves and help us stay humble before the Lord.

Through Nathan’s boldness, David had a different attitude.  His heart had changed once the “cover up” was revealed.

He didn’t excuse himself or justify his sin, but freely owns it:

2 Samuel 12:13  I have sinned against the Lord,

He submitted to the conviction. He owns his guilt

Psalm 51:2-3 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.

Psalm 51:12: Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

In spite of what we do God still loves us!

None of us are too far gone…Quite possibly God has sent me today to warn you of some things going on in your life right now.  If you have felt the uncomfortable tension of conviction, then listen to the Spirit today.

Mark 2:17… “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” 

1 Corinthians 4:4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.  5  So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

Let’s give everything to God today.  Maybe you are locked in some habits or addictions. Maybe you have struggled with your identity or your acceptance from others.

Receive the Good News today that God accepts you and loves you. He wants to make your life shaped in his plan and will.

God wants to forgive you and heal you today through the power of Jesus Christ!

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