February, 2005

Guide Dog

Recently Orville, my third Guide Dog, after eight months of service underwent a career change. It wasn't because he is a poor guide, in fact, just the contrary is true. So what is the problem?

Orville is bent on self-destruction. Twice in his short life he has needed surgery to remove indigestible objects not meant to be swallowed--panty hose and packing tape--who knows what else. Another such event could be fatal. Therefore, members of the Guide Dog staff and I decided that it would be in Orville's best interest for a longer and happier life to place him in a more suitable home where he could be watched and have fewer opportunities to do harm to himself.

In just a few days I will return to train with another guide. And, reflecting on Orville's behavior that resulted in his career change, it occurs to me that the Bible has much to say about a similar behavioral problem for the human race--"bent on spiritual self-destruction." So what's the "good news?"

In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians he writes in Chapter 15:1-5: "Now I make known to you, ... the gospel which I preached to you, ... for I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared ..."

John, one who saw, touched and spent time with the risen Christ, quotes Jesus in his Gospel as saying to Nicodemus: "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (3:17-20).

Did you notice in the verses quoted that a person's standing before God, (condemned or uncondemned), depends entirely on what you believe about Jesus Christ and whether or not you, by faith, receive His work of salvation on your behalf? Or, are you like those who stand condemned because they have a "bent for self-destruction," prefering darkness rather than light?

No matter how many good things we can and try to do, like Orville, we need someone else to save us from our bent on self-destruction. That someone is Jesus Christ, He can change your life and destiny, He changed mine.
-- GEM

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