Checking In

It is no secret that I am a dog lover!

Like having children, however, I had no idea how much time would be required to train them to be obedient. Watching the television programs Lassie and Rin Tin Tin growing up (oops … now I’m giving away my age), I naively thought all dogs were smart and obedient. Well, I think I have three of the smartest dogs in the world, but obedience is not innate to their nature.

Hours of positive reinforcement training, keeping a watchful eye for opportunities of both correction and praise are what are needed from me to get the results I want and need. Frankly, it is more about people training than dog training! My little 9-month-old puppy, Reesey, was headed out the front door when she stopped, turned around and looked to make sure I was coming. I loved this behavior because I am training her to “check in” with me from time to time when she is not on leash. She is faithfully and immediately rewarded with a treat and the words good dog! Having her want to check in is so much better than having to hunt her down.

Do you know God feels the same way about you and me?

He loves when we check in with Him!!

Or, better yet, He loves even more when we acknowledge His presence all of the time. Unlike dogs, you and I have the capacity to reason beyond getting a positive response merely because of positive behavior. However, sometimes I think we are all a little guilty of expecting that very thing. Has there ever been a time when you’ve done a good deed and thought how proud God must be? Have you ever thought God’s love or your salvation would be altered because of something you did that wasn’t good? Precious reader, while God’s Word encourages us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24), please know that God’s love for us is unconditional! No “special treats” when we are good and no withdrawal when we are not.

Many times I’ve heard Christians express their disappointment in the fact that life is hard for them. It may be a personal illness or having to suffer because of something totally out of their control. Their disappointment is rooted in the belief that they have done so much for God by doing good, so why wouldn’t He just remove these hard circumstances? Having experienced life’s difficulties too, I can simply say, I don’t have an answer to the question “why?” But this I do know, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Oh Father, help me see that You owe me nothing and yet, You have given me everything including Your precious Son, Jesus! What more could I ask? AMEN

The weekly devotion was written by Sweet Monday President Sherry Sharp and is sent to our sweet friends and Generous God givers! And don’t forget . . . BSSYP (Be Sweet & Say Your Prayers).