Let God do the heavy lifting, Moore tells Chapel

November 03, 2020 / by / 4 Comments

Chad Moore delivered an important Chapel message sprinkled with what he called “cat and dog theology.”

Story by Rick Vacek
Photos by Tyler McDonald
GCU News Bureau

Chapel listeners didn’t have to wait long to know Chad Moore’s message Monday morning in Grand Canyon University Arena.

It was the very first thing he said:

Moore warned against thinking that loving God is tied to punishment and rewards.

“Our problem is not that we don’t love God enough. It’s that we do not realize how much He loves us.”

He has said this in Chapel before. Monday, he said it again and again.

The Lead Pastor of Sun Valley Community Church does things like this. He’s one of those speakers who grabs your attention right from the get-go and doesn’t let go. He has a way with words, even when he repeats them – especially when he repeats them.

“That’s my one point for today. That’s it. Should we pray and go?” he said after talking for not even two minutes.

He was joking, of course. He had much more to say.

“A lot of us think that the Christian life is about performance-and-reward or performance-and-punishment,” he said, explaining it this way:

Students who came to Chapel on this warm, windy morning might think that God owes them for their attendance … and others who might have done something wrong recently might think they’re due for some bad luck, such as a flat tire, for their transgression.

Then Moore told the story of his dog, Charlie. His 124-pound dog. He explained how his wife made cinnamon rolls and Charlie scarfed them up when they weren’t looking. Of how, even when Charlie was being punished with banishment to the laundry room, he no doubt was thinking this:

“Totally worth it. Totally worth it. Totally worth it. Totally worth it.”

Moore said it in a funny voice. How much you want to bet students all over campus Monday were sharing “Totally worth it” jokes?

But Moore had a point that was totally worth it.

First, he told what he called “cat and dog theology.”

“The dog thinks, ‘They take care of me, they love me, they feed me. They must be God.’

“The cat thinks, ‘They take care of me, they love me, they feed me. I must be God.’”

Moore said it again:

“Our problem is not that we don’t love God enough. It’s that we do not realize how much He loves us.”

But this time he added:

“If you are thinking in your mind and heart that God punishes you or rewards you based on your behavior, then you are not thinking of God like a Heavenly Father, you are thinking of yourself as a pet and He the Master. And nowhere in the Scriptures is that taught.”

Moore carried his son Jackson to illustrate how God is willing to take on our burdens.

What IS taught is in 1 John 3:1:

How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called the children of God.

“You don’t have a pet-master relationship with God if you’ve put your faith in Jesus,” Moore said, “you have a child-father relationship with God.”

Then he put it in terms of his relationship with his son Jackson.

“Let me tell you about my relationship with Jackson: There is nothing he could ever do that would make me love him less. And there is nothing he could ever do that would make me love him more.

“He’s my child. He’s my son. And as a loving father I do not want our relationship to be based on reward and punishment and solely on behavior.”

Instead, he wants it built on one thing:


Just as we must trust God. It should sound like this:

“God, I will do what You say even when I don’t understand because I trust You,” Moore said.

Moore had another visual for the audience, and this one involved Jackson in person. He had the 11-year-old come up on the stage in the “How you doin’?” T-shirt he was so excited to wear and demonstrate what our relationship with God should look like.

We think of God’s commands as burdens, Moore said, and he feigned climbing on Jackson’s shoulders.

“You’re walking around with shame and guilt, shame and guilt, and on occasion, because sin can be fun, you’re thinking, ‘Totally worth it. Totally worth it. Totally worth it,’” Moore said again in that funny voice.

But Jesus said this in Matthew 11:30:

“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Moore showed what that looks like by having Jackson climb on his shoulders.

“When we give our lives to Jesus, here’s what happens: God carries us,” Moore said. “It’s not in our own strength, but in His. It’s not even in our own effort, but in His. We’re not earning anything, but as we walk with God we’re learning from Him. And I’ll just tell you this: If you could see what God sees you’ll always do what God says.”

In verses 28 and 29 in the 11th chapter of Matthew, Jesus explained it in terms that should be understandable to anyone feeling weary and burdened in 2020:

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Said Moore, “The Christian life is all about rest. … No Jesus, no rest. Got Jesus, guess what you’ve got? Rest.”

He also said, “Training is not about earning. Training is about learning.”

And then he said it one more time:

“Our problem is not that we don’t love God enough, but it’s that we do not realize how much He loves us.”

● Chapel replay

● Next Monday’s speaker: Ashley Wooldridge, Christ’s Church of the Valley

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected]u.


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4 Responses
  1. Roxanne Iten

    oh, that was good!

    Nov.03.2020 at 1:54 pm
  2. Tania

    Very impressive and interesting. I often fall back into the reward and punishment belief system. This article was powerful and will help me to not think in those terms.

    Dec.13.2020 at 4:39 pm
  3. LaThea R Wilder

    This sermon/article has really touched me. Many times as a Christian we try to fix things on our own. We pick our personal burdens and burdens from loved ones. Instead of putting all of our trust and cares to God, we try to carry the heavy that is not meant to be carried and it is meant for God to handle it. So this was definitely cast all our cares on him and things will be easier.

    Jan.05.2021 at 6:43 pm
  4. Ariel M Keith

    I thought this was a very unique way to describe how the relationship between God and his children should be. It is the truth however, that this is how most people really portray their relationship with God. I also really like how he commented on how the relationship between God and ourselves should mimic our relationship with our children. I like how there is a funny side of him to tie into his teaching so that he captures the attention of the younger generation. I think I would enjoy listening to him preach sometime.

    Jan.12.2021 at 9:14 am
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