You Shall Love the Lord

“Therefore, you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always

Deuteronomy 11:1 (NKJV)

On August 14 at 10 pm I lost one of the things I love the most in this life. I lost my little dog Odie. Odie was a small 15lb bundle of joy that I and my wife owed our lives to, literally.

The first time he saved our lives was when we first got him, 14 years ago. He was about one and a half years old according to the Veterinarian and full of life.

My wife and I had been on disability for about a year when he came to live with us. He was a rescue that was found in the mountains of Tennessee. He had lived through the winter by catching game of one type or another.

My wife and I could tell you the time by what tv show we were watching. We were grossly overweight and in declining health.

When Odie arrived, things changed. Every two hours, he demanded a walk. Before long, we started to lose some weight and feel better. We decided to get out and ride bicycles and lose even more weight. The weight loss made us start feeling better. Our doctors at the VA hospital helped us get into a weight loss program. Before long we were wearing decent clothes and were active again. It was all because that little dog got into our hearts and refused to let us die.

The second time he saved our lives was different. We were living in an RV park and had to walk to the office to get out mail. One day my wife and Odie were going to get the mail and one of the people up front had their youngest Rottweiler off leash, and he came at my wife. Odie got between them and threw the bigger dog down on his back and held him there until the woman came and pulled him away.

Two weeks later, on the 4th of July, I was walking Odie and we were going to the pavilion to see someone. Again, those people had both of their Rottweilers off leash. When they came at us, Odie got between me and the other dogs and fought the two of them. They tore Odie’s chest open, but they never got to me. We took him to the Vet. And they said to just keep the area clean and let it heal.

That little 15lb dog was willing to give his life so I could live. Those Rottweilers weighted over 100lbs each. For the remainder of the 14 years he lived with us, his dedication to my wife and I was unmistakable. His one purpose for living seemed to be loving us. He was always with us and when anyone came to the house, He greeted them first and made sure they were safe to let in. There was nothing that could compare to the dedication that little dog had for us.

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.”

John 14:15-16 (NKJV)

Why can’t we be as dedicated to God as that little dog was to my wife and I? That little dog was willing to give his life for us because he loved us as much as we loved him. We tried our best to return the affection by being devoted to him.

God gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross in our place (John 3:16) Then God gave us His Spirit to live in us and guide us through this life. Despite all God has done for those who ask Him to, most people reject God’s love and turn back to sin.

God’s love for us in 10 times greater for us than what most, so called, Christians give to Him. Being dedicated to someone means you devote your life to them; you love them totally and completely. This is the kind of love God has given us, why do some feel they don’t have to give that love back.

God doesn’t expect us to love Him as much as He has loved us, but we should. God is living “in us” 24/7 yet most people who call themselves Christians can’t find time to study their bible of to pray, or to help others.

Watching tv is not a sin, unless it is replacing the time you say you don’t have for God.

How dedicated are you to God?

Walk in All His Ways

Deuteronomy 10:12-13

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

Deuteronomy 10:12-13

How dedicated are you to God? Do you know what Christ was like? Do you walk in the same way as Christ? Are you Christ Like?

Dedication.” Devoting a person, place, or thing to Holy use. You can also look at dedication as a round robin situation. To be dedicated you must be totally devoted to God; to the point of being Holy. In 1Peter 1:15-16, Peter tells us that God called us to be Holy, as He is Holy. To be like Christ who was holy. If we are holy, then we must be totally dedicated to God. If you are a Christian, you are holy. If you are not holy, you are not a Christian.

To be dedicated and holy, you don’t have to wander around and preach all day and night. You don’t have to talk about God with every breath you take, but you must think about God before you say anything.

Dedication is studying the bible at least an hour every day and you must live the bible 24 hours a day.

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:24-25 (NKJV)

One of my “soap boxes” is sin after salvation. As Paul states in the verse above, we crucified our sinful flesh (nature) when we were saved. The moment we dedicated ourselves to Christ (God) we were free from the sinful nature of the flesh. In 2 Peter 1:4 it states that we are partakers of the Divine Nature. What does that even mean? It means that we have been baptized into the body of Christ (the holy church) and therefore have dedicated ourselves to Christ. We can then be baptized by the Holy Spirit and thereafter our heart is the host to the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit guiding our every thought and move, how then can we sin?

The answer to the next question is easy. If you are a Christian, then you have studied the life of Christ. If you have the Holy Spirit living in your heart, then your studies have molded you into the likeness of Christ.

Once we are in the likeness of Christ, then we now have the mind of Christ (1Co. 2:16). With the mind of Christ to guide our every move, how can we go wrong? Christ lived a sinless life. If we have the mind of Christ and are living the life of Christ, then how can we sin?

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Salvation is given freely, but it is not free.

God freely gave His only son to die on the cross in our place. However, God has given us Commands over the years pertaining to how we should act and things we must do. If we want salvation and eternal life through the Love of God, then we must follow these commands without fail.

If we follow these commands God will use them to mold us into the likeness of Christ who did good works. These works are our gift from God. These are the works that give us a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment, a feeling of the goodness of God.

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:9-10 (NKJV)

Here is the round robin I told you about. Paul says that since the day they heard of the dedication of the church at Colosse, they had prayed for them. What did they pray for? Not for the individuals, but for the church body. For them to grow in wisdom and knowledge to do good works, not in riches to impress their neighbors.

If you want to be a Christian, then you must experience the “round robin” for yourself. You will never regret the experience, because without this experience, you are nothing.