Dogs Tell Us Something About Our God

Dogs Tell Us Something About Our God

“Dogs Decoded” on PBS highlighted how dogs bond with humans. They're protective, comforting, and even sensitive to human facial expressions.

Dogs Tell Us Something About Our GodWhen dogs and owners interact, both enjoy increased levels of oxytocin, the same hormone released between new mothers and their babies. 

Dog owners are less likely to get heart attacks because oxytocin lowers heart rate, blood pressure and stress.

I'm always amused how secular shows attempt to explain the unique aspects of creation. 

It's so obvious that our world is filled with deliberate blessings from our Creator, not random accidents of evolution.

Dogs are one way God has left His imprint on creation:

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).

There are millions of gifts in creation - all reminders of God's love (James 1:17).
originally published on Bible Love Notes in 2012

You might enjoy these 1-minute devotions about creation:
4 Ways to Enjoy Creation Today
Look at the Firefly

Biblical Friendships

Biblical Friendships - Christians and Non-Christians Friendships

When I published the devotion “4 Types of People Scripture Tells Us to Avoid,” some folks disagreed, reminding me that Jesus hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes.

But we can’t refute one Scripture by quoting another.

Scripture doesn’t contradict itself.

So what does Scripture say about relationships?

It commands us to avoid certain types of people (See Scriptures Here).

Biblical Friendships - Christians and Non-Christians FriendshipsBut that doesn't mean we avoid all unbelievers (1 Corinthians 5:9-11).

Friendship evangelism is an appropriate way to show our love for others with these precautions:

1. We should genuinely care for them, not just see them as evangelism “projects” (Romans 12:9).

2. We should be proactive in sharing Christ with them (Ephesians 5:16).

3. We should never compromise our beliefs to be with them (Ephesians 5:3-4).

4. Our closest friends should be believers because they'll strongly influence our values and beliefs (2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:33).

Christ associated with ungodly people in appropriate settings, and He always shared the Gospel with them. But His close friends were His disciples. 
For a more thorough look at this subject, check out today's Bite Size Bible Study

You might also want to check out these 1-minute devotions on friendship:
Have We Forgotten What Real Friendship Looks Like?
Making Christians Friends a Priority
Friends Can be Wonderful Peer Mentors

Keeping In Step with Christ

Keeping Step with Christ - Matthew 11:28-30

We always get out of step when we try to bear our own burdens, solve our own problems, and operate in our own power.

We need a yoke* that connects us with Christ so we can move in step with Him:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Keeping Step with Christ - Matthew 11:28-30
Yoked to Christ, we walk where He walks:

1. Dwelling on His Word (Colossians 3:16).

2. Rejecting popular worldly philosophies (Colossians 2:8).

3. Following His purposes (Ephesians 2:10).

4. Walking in His power and strength (Philippians 4:13).

Jesus says, "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be" (John 12:26).

Best of all, when we move in step with Christ, we find rest for our souls.
*Yoke: "zygós – properly, a yoke; a wooden bar placed over the neck of a pair of animals so they can pull together; (figuratively) what unites (joins) two people to move (work) together as one."

For a deeper understanding of taking Christ's yoke:
Which Yoke?
Yoked But Unburdened
Learn From Him
Jesus Invites Us to Come, Take, Learn

Share the Gospel Honestly

Let's not forget that Christ said salvation has a "cost"...

Many modern evangelism methods seek converts through promises of peace and joy without stressing repentance and personal responsibility.

No wonder so many people fall away when they discover Christianity also brings changed values, self-denial, and persecution (Matthew 13:20-22). (See Salvation Changes Us.)

What did Christ and the apostles stress when they shared the Gospel? Repentance and personal responsibility (Matthew 4:17; Luke 9:62Acts 26:20). (See 3 Warnings.)

What should we stress when we share the Gospel? Repentance and personal responsibility.

If we don’t tell people they’re dying in their sins, they won’t understand the value of forgiveness.

If we don’t tell them there’s a price for the peace and joy Christ gives, we misrepresent the Gospel (Luke 9:23-24).

Christ said, “Count the cost” before following Him (Luke 14:25-34).

He said people who weren’t willing to deny themselves weren’t worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37-38).

We aren’t saved by our goodness or our good works, but we are saved so that we can pursue righteousness and do good works (Ephesians 2:10; 1 John 3:3).

Whether or not that’s attractive to unbelievers, it’s still the Gospel.
If Jesus presented it that way, so should we.

Jesus Always Tips the Scales

Are Your Problems Weighing Heavy? Jesus Always Tips the Scales

I was mentally weighing the “pros and cons” of my present circumstances, and the cons were getting heavy. Then I remembered the Lord’s love and the pro side of my scale dropped with enormous weight.

Are Your Problems Weighing Heavy? Jesus Always Tips the Scales
Life can be tough at times. Jesus warned us it would be:
“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33

But Jesus finished that sentence by saying, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

Philippians 4:8-9 says it this way:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Sometimes our con list is weighing heavy and our pro list is miserably short. But when we have Jesus, He will always tip the scales!
Some other devotions to encourage you during adversity:
Those Who Suffer
Beauty for Adversity
or check out the Overcoming Adversity Archive of 1-minute devotions.

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