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DOGS…are commonly referred to as ‘man’s best friend’. Wouldn’t argue with that. I have had five in my lifetime. Trixie, Prince, Fritz, Sebastian and Shadow. Our grandchildren have two Labs, Tenny and Nilla, and one French Bulldog, Leon. My friend, Ken, walks his dog Blacky to evangelize and pray for his neighbors. O, how my grandfather loved his Coon dogs.

As I was considering this lesson, I started noticing so many different breeds. Dogs#3 Have you ever observed how much the dog usually favors the master? Other than just for pets and company, dogs fulfill a wide variety of uses. A few come to mind-hunting, seeing eye, herding, entertainment, drug sensing, patrols and protection. Elderly care centers have found that dogs can be strong sources of comfort and healthcare.

 

Dogs have personalities that transcend the range from docile to vicious. Some are more noted for the latter than others. Many breeds are raced, groomed and shown at dog shows. They sense fear and are very protective of newborn babies. Several each year are decorated for a heroic act and bravery. Our golf club was having trouble with geese damaging the greens and fairways. But no more; the superintendent invested in a Border Collie, Brynn. Some geese may land, but not for long. It is beautiful to watch her work. I am sure each of you has a multitude of stories.

In the scriptures dogs are associated with unrighteousness. Notwithstanding, the one trait that captures me is their loyalty and undying friendship to a master. They are closer than a good friend, never questioning your motives or actions. Shadow would sit for hours in the front window waiting for the sound of my car. A number of years ago I read a short news story about a shepherd dog in Russia. His master had been sentenced to life in a Siberian prison. He released his canine friend on the airport property before boarding the plane. The dog remained there for years until he died. He slept most of the time but when he heard the sound of a plane similar to his master’s, he would jump up, watch those de-boarding and lie back down when all had exited. Workers at the airport cared for him and marveled at his routine. Are you weeping yet? If not, what’s wrong with you?

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). Solomon goes on to tell us that ‘a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (v. 17:17). Does this sound like your dog in any way? God spoke of Abraham as “My friend” (Isa. 41:8). For a long time I had a distorted personal view of me and God. I’m me-He’s God– and never the twain shall meet. And the very thought of friendship never entered my mind. Then I saw and embraced Revelation 3:20. Jesus is speaking; “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me”. How more personal does it get?

You want to have your socks blown off? Listen to Christ–“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:15). And if that isn’t enough, He goes on to show the ultimate act of friendship. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). And that is exactly what He, Jesus, did for me and you. He obediently, willingly died for us at Golgotha on that cross.

Many years ago, after coming to the realization of all of this and more I was led to write the following poem. Make it your own!

With my days on earth fast running out,

I’m just now learning what life’s all about.

The grace of God, and His mercy, too.

Both I need to get me through.

The depth of His love is hard to search,

But only in Him do I find my worth.

A fallen saint, a wretched sinner,

But safe in His arms, I feel like a winner.

How can it be that I feel this way?

When I do so much wrong every single day.

Tis grace that saves me, this I know,

For how else can it be so?

Can’t be my works, I fail Him there,

No way I deserve such tender care.

Could it really be that God has a plan;

And wants to save and love mere mortal man?

This is what I’ve found as my days near the end,

That what God wanted all along was to be my friend. 

How about you-are you His friend? And unlike the temporal friendship with your dog, it is for eternity! Now that is something to howl about!

Copyright 2013

Bill C. Dotson

www.lifespeakstous.com

bill@abidingfathers.org

Scripture taken from the New King James Version

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