Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit."
The two dogs were regular visitors right from the start. The moving truck had scarcely pulled out of the driveway when they appeared. Mocha was large and sported a shaggy black and tan coat, while Skye being totally black and furry was often mistaken for one of the local black bears. They were soon a common sight, stretched out on the front boardwalk.
Over the years the dogs have traveled along bush trails, protected livestock and run beside the cart and pony when it was taken to town. Both eat their meals with a family and looked to them for their general care. Mocha however had become much more a part of the family than Skye. Mocha comes to be brushed and have the burrs and rose prickles removed from her now glossy coat. She likes to have her ears rubbed and tummy scratched and has learned to obey commands. In fact 3 years ago, as winter approached, she even decided to move into the house with the family in order to stay warm and enjoy a cozy dog bed. Mocha has indeed become a vibrant and all-inclusive family member enjoying its full benefits.
Skye however is very different. She still shies away from being physically touched, always keeping people at arm's length. She rarely listens, choosing instead to go her own way which can often place her in the path of danger. Her dense coat is matted and dirty as she refuses to be groomed. And in the dead of winter she will stand outside the house lifting one paw after another off the ground to find some relief from the bitter cold, but when invited into the warmth of the house she seldom accepts the invitation. On the rare occasion when the freezing temperatures have forced her to reconsider, she has ventured in to warm herself for a short period but then rises and stands at the door to go back out again as soon as possible. Skye has never received anything but love and goodness from the family and is definitely part of the family and yet still she has not become a full member of the family, choosing instead to remain standing on the fringe of relationship looking in.
Many Christians are like Skye. They hear of God's love and move into the fringe of it by accepting the salvation he offers in Christ Jesus. They become members of God's family and yet still, for whatever reason, they choose to not give up many of their own ways, never allowing Christ full Lordship of their lives. This choice prevents them from receiving and enjoying the fullness of his blessings and the transformed life of victory amidst the trials of this world.
Others like Mocha become fully committed family members. They not only receive the salvation Christ offers but also choose to trust and humble themselves before his Lordship. By so doing their lives are transformed as they fully receive and enjoy the blessings of intimate relationship with Him. Victory in life as well as death belongs to them.
Which one of these relationships best describes the one which you now have with Christ, full blessing or partial, victory or defeat?
The choice is yours.
Dear Lord, May all who have come to You for salvation reach out and choose to fully trust and have confidence in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.