Saturday, November 17, 2012
Because of His Love
I hope you enjoy this piece. I wrote it around three years ago. I know that because our dog named Muy-Muy is a little over three years old now. Please let me know what you think...
My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Hebrews 12:5-6
My wife and I recently added a puppy to our two-member family. It's a boy, and my wife has decided on the name - Muy-Muy (pronounced Mew-Mew). She insists that its a French name, though she doesn't know what it means. I voted for the name Rocky and lost, but I am beginning to become used to his unusual name. We picked him up from the breeder recently at eight weeks of age. He is a handsome little Maltese.
Our new pet was tiny, cute, and quiet when we first brought him home. Now he can be rather feisty at times. He is teething and loves to nibble on just about anything. He likes to play, but he sometimes gets out of hand. And yes we are doing our best to teach him to go to the bathroom in the right place. We now see the weighty importance of training our dog. If we don't start now, he could become a monster. If we are consistent in our discipline and positive reinforcement at this time, we will reap the rewards later. A friend of the family kindly told me that if your dog becomes unruly you have only yourself to blame. So we are ready to correct, ready to praise, ready to give rewards to our puppy to teach him the way to behave.
The whole process reminds me of how God deals with us His children. The Scripture says He disciplines us because He loves us. My wife and I want a well-trained puppy not only for our dog's benefit, but also for our own. We desire order in our home and peace of mind. But God has no selfish motives. He disciplines us because He truly knows it is the best thing for us. The Lord is persistent at teaching us the lessons He knows we need to develop His character in us. The Lord uses His written word along with the promptings of the Holy Spirit to steer us in His direction. Let's cooperate with Him. Let's not fight back like a wild animal, but let's allow Jesus to guide us gently along His path for our lives. When we follow Him, He is quick to reward us and to use us for His kingdom purposes. When we yield to His correction, we find peace and sweet fellowship with the Master.
One major difference between our challenges with our new pet and God's dealings with us, is that the Lord changes our natures from within so that we can obey Him. As we surrender to the Master in the light of Christ's work at Calvery, the fruit of the Spirit develops within us. By His grace, the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to follow Christ. Our dog does not have a transformed nature within Him. We can only foster changes to his outward behavior, but the Father disciplines us in love and enables us to conform to the image of Jesus by the power of the Spirit.
Let's yield to the Holy Spirit's direction for our lives. Let's obey God's flawless word. When we do, we we will draw closer to the Lord and shine for Him in the dark places. When we allow God the Potter to mold us like clay, we begin to reflect the One who made us. He desires to make us His masterpieces and put us on display. He desires to change us for one reason alone – because of His great love for you and me.
Help me to remember that when You show me areas where I need to change, You do this for my own benefit – because You love me. Thank you for helping me to conform to your image. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.