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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Unconditional Love

I have to be honest with you. I sometimes feel sorry for our little dogs, Molly and Rosie, because Gloria and I are age-challenged. We are what society calls, “seniors.” I’m not fond of the designation, but I can live with it, especially when Gloria and I visit restaurants that offer a senior discount. However, our senior status means our children are adults. So there are no kids living with us. If Molly and Rosie want to play, they’re stuck with two owners who can get down on the floor but take a painfully slow time to get up.

I don’t think our dogs understand the human aging process. If they do, they have never come right out and barked, “You guys are old and slow.” They just accept us—yes, even love us—as we are.

When I leave home, Molly and Rosie follow me to the door and give me that long look that says, “We’ll miss you.” When I return, they greet me. They wag their tails, bark, and jump around my feet. I don’t have a dog language translator, but I’m sure they are saying, “We’re glad you’re home.” If that isn’t doggy love, what is?

Yes, sometimes I feel sorry for Molly and Rosie, and I wish they had kids to play with, but they don’t seem to fret. They offer unconditional love and show that is real.

Good Dogma
Have you met people who wonder how God can love them? I have. Some have low self-esteem. Some lug a load of guilt around in an unrelenting conscience. Some think God is too busy to care about them. His time is taken up with important matters like making the world go round, keeping the stars lit, managing angels, and restraining powerful evildoers from blowing up the world. Others believe God’s love is limited to those who have gone to church since they were toddlers. A few are serving time in prison. How could God possibly love felons?

Well, there is good news. God loves everyone without exception. He loves you and me just as we are. He knows all about our weaknesses, our failures, our blemishes, our imperfections, and our sins. He even knows about our baldness or our big nose or our warts or our freaky big toes, yet He loves us. That’s unconditional love, and it’s a treasure!

Now, here’s an amazing phenomenon. Once we recognize that God loves us unconditionally and we believe on His Son as our Savior, He places His love in our hearts so we can love Him and His commandments (Romans 5:5). The apostle John understood this truth. He wrote, “We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).

A Bible Treat
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man. Though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die, but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7, 8).

—From my book, Meditations for Dog Lovers (AMG Publications), © 2005

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