Archive | August 2016

Loved Just Because: Ephesians 2:8-9

BuddyInHutch.WP

Buddy is a rescue from Silky Terrier rescue. I greatly loved my prior Silky terrier Buster and so looked for another Silky. I met his foster mom at a dog fair and purchased this cloth hutch (photo), treats, and a fitted coat for him (special material for wet, warm or cool conditions).

When I first met Buddy, he was sitting in his cage on a cart with other Silkys in their cages. I had no attachment to him; he was just a stranger to me. But I said to Buddy, “I don’t have any feelings for you now, but I will learn to love you.”

And then all he did was fight me like a bucking bronco all the way to the car, yanking at his leash in sheer terror of going home with me. He wanted to stay with his foster mom (a Silky breeder with a real heart for the spunky terriers) because she rescued him from an abusive situation. I was horrified.

Eventually he stopped running away from my home. (More later on that.)

But the point is, I didn’t rescue Buddy because I’d heard he was such a great dog. And Buddy didn’t earn his rescue by the foster mom. I rescued Buddy because I wanted the companionship of a Silky terrier and Buddy was the first dog I’d seen on the rescue site up for adoption in Washington State for more than a year I’d been searching for one.

Buddy didn’t do anything to earn his rescue from a bad situation. Some women just decided to love him.

Same with God. He doesn’t save us from our sin and self-destructive behavior because we’re so wonderful. Jesus died to pay for our sin because God wants to fellowship with us. God hates sin and must punish it, but He loves us and came up with a plan to punish our sin on Jesus instead and come into relationship with us. All we have to do is acknowledge we’ve sinned against Him (aren’t perfect), need His forgiveness, acknowledge Christ paid our sin debt, and ask Him to come into our lives. (He does this by giving us the Holy Spirit to indwell us and guide us.)

We don’t earn His forgiveness. We can never be good enough to earn His forgiveness.

It’s freely given to us by just asking Him for it.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God; not as result of works, so that no one may boast.”–Ephesians 2:8-9

“God, Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus…”–2 Timothy 1:8 (Both quotes as NASB.)

If you don’t believe, ask Him to help you. He will because He loves you and wants to be in a loving relationship with you. Faith is a gift He gives you.

Buddy didn’t ask me to save him. But he’s my best pal now. By his overjoyed greeting when I return home, I’m sure Buddy would agree that he’s very glad that I chose him.

You’ll be glad too. I sure am.

 

 

 

Advertisements

No Neutral Ground: Colossians 1:13-14

InTheDoorway.WP

Thanks for reading my blog. You could be doing other things with your time so I really appreciate it. I’m trying to post every Friday night but sometimes life interferes. (All Biblical quotes are from the NASB.)

Buddy wasn’t too cooperative tonight when I pulled out the camera phone but I finally managed to get a photo of him in a doorway. For some reason he’s scared of the phone even though it’s never harmed him.

Why was the doorway so important?

For some reason, people believe there is neutral territory in life. You don’t have to choose to believe in Jesus and follow Him but you don’t have to be a Satanist either: There’s a third neutral zone to dwell in.

But it’s not true.

As it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God.”–Romans 3:10-11

Since the original couple told God to “Shove it!”, believing that they could figure out right and wrong for themselves, the Holy Spirit left the human race and we are all born without the Spirit of God. We are all born into Satan’s kingdom.

“…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.”–2 Corinthians 4:4

Jesus is the one who reaches down to us and offers His hand of rescue. We can choose to grasp that hand offered by Jesus Christ, “Immanuel God With Us” (Matthew 1:23 NASB),…

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”–Colossians 1:13-14

Yes, it seems unfair. No one gets any choices at their birth. No one asks to be born into the enemy’s kingdom.

Just as Buddy couldn’t remain in the doorway but had to choose to go through or back up, so we must choose to walk with Jesus through the doorway into His kingdom.

Because one day that door is going to close.

Which is why I am writing this blog. I love you and want you to walk over to His side. Is it all wine and roses? No. (Sometimes I feel like I’m all whine and no roses.) But it’s a decision I’ve never regretted.

And you won’t either.

 

Fences: Proverbs 1:32-33

grand.inspection.wp

Buddy is inspecting the posts for the new fence about to be set up. He’s still suspicious of the fence and, fortunately, stays away from it. He doesn’t realize that the fence is there to keep him safe.

The same with God’s Word. The Lord doesn’t give us rules of living to keep us from having fun, but to keep us safe. We’re free to run anywhere we like as long as we stay within the fence line. But when we disobey His laws for living in the Bible, then we come to harm.

Like Buddy who almost got hit by a van in the nearby street, sometimes God is merciful and protects us when we act foolishly. But sometimes, if we persist in disobeying, we may be disciplined or do ourselves harm. It doesn’t always come immediately as I’ve found, in my experience, He gives His children a chance to repent (which merely means to “change your mind and go the other direction”) before allowing the consequences of disobedience to occur.

“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,…But he who listens to me (God’s wisdom) shall live securely and be at ease from the dread of evil.” NASB