Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 24, 2010

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-19
We are called to be disciples and the main thing disciples do is make other disciples!
Yesterday I wrote about my dog, Mulligan, who we recently had to put down. They say you can't teach on old dog new tricks, but my dog taught an old man some new truths. He demonstrated the traits that lead to being a disciple.
Mulligan loved me unconditionally. It is all he knew. He was always excited to see me whether I was gone for an hour or a week, he met me at the door with a wagging tail that shook his entire body.
I need to have that love for God. I must accept His unconditional love for me and express it to Him and to those He places in my life.
Mulligan lived to please me. When I was happy, he was happy. When he sensed my displeasure or when I raised my voice, he was upset. He found his joy in giving me joy.
I need to live to please God. That must be my driving force. To live for anything less is to disappoint Him and diminish me.
Mulligan was obedient. He did whatever I told him to do. He did it quickly and he did it gladly.
I need to be obedient to God. I must be immediate in my obedience and must find joy in obeying Him.
Mulligan loved to walk with me. The first thing I did in the morning was to get up and take him out for a walk. He loved it. He would trot to the door with his tail wagging and stand impatiently while I clicked the leash onto his collar. The last thing I did at night before going to bed was to take him for a walk. We spend hundreds of hours and walked hundreds of miles and loved every one of them.
I must walk with Jesus, every day. The first thing in the morning until the last thing at night, I must walk with Him and I should love it!
My dog Mulligan was a preacher's dog. But he was also a preacher teacher! I learned alot about discipleship by living with and loving him.

November 23, 2010

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants." Psalm 116:15
I have always wondered about this verse because I know that death is God's enemy. He sent Jesus to defeat it and He paid an extremely high price to conquer it. Yesterday I got an insight into it that helped my understanding a bit.
Barbara and I had a 4:45 appointment yesterday to put down our faithful friend, Mulligan, who we have enjoyed for 12 years. We have watched him grow more ill and weaker over the past several months and knowing that he probably couldn't make the trip for Thanksgiving, it became apparent that it was time to end his struggle.
I had him outside at about 3:00 yesterday afternoon and even though he was feeling bad, he enjoyed the warm sun and the gentle breeze. When he grew tired of standing he laid down in the grass and soaked in the warmth of the day with no idea that he had less than two hours to live. Looking down at him I savored the moments and tried to imagine life without him. I thought about all the enjoyment he had given us and all the life experiences he had shared with us. All that would end in a couple of hours. I wished that I could recapture those moments. I wished I could slow down time.
I thought about God looking from the other side of eternity knowing the days and hours I have remaining. As much as I was dreading the loss of my faithful friend, He looks forward to my arrival. He appreciates the fellowship we have enjoyed and the faithfulness I have shown to Him. He celebrates the victories He has won through me. He relishes the things we have suffered together and the times I have been amazed by His grace and goodness. And, just I was grieving over the separation I was about to experience, He anticipates the joy of us being together.
And then I thought about how God had looked down on His Son watching the events conspire against Him that brought Him to His moment of death. While it must have been heartbreaking to watch His innocent Son bear our guilt, He also knew that soon His Son would be with Him again.
I won't have Mulligan again. He was precious, his death was not. His death marked the end of our relationship. But God, Who looks down lovingly on me knows that when my time comes death won't be the end, it will just be the beginning! That's precious!