Cruiser & Sammy

Cruiser & Sammy
The Tale of Two Dogs With Some Valuable Lessons

And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

My wife Carol, and I stopped over at the home of our friends, Greg and Denise a few weeks ago.  Greg looked like he was on a mission to complete some projects with work gloves in hand and his dog Cruiser at his side, so we decided we weren't going to stay too long.  As we sat in the Jeep talking to him, the neighbor's dog, "Sammy" came over to the property line and sat and looked at us with somewhat of a sad face.  I asked Greg if Sammy was friendly and he begin to share a story about him.

When Sammy was a young dog he would come over regularly to Greg and Denise's home.  They made a conscious choice not to feed him knowing he would stay, even though they wanted to.   Even so, Sammy would be given consistent love.  Sammy loved this affection and would rather stay with them than go home.  But Sammy needed to eat and so he would go back to the man who fed him.  Even so, it was really never his home.  

As Sammy grew he began to form some bad habits.  He would wake up in the morning and be tempted to leave the property.  He'd go out and roam around and get into mischief in the surrounding neighborhood.   

One day Sammy's master decided he was going to put a stop to Sammy's lifestyle and he decided to attach a large chain, about an inch thick, to Sammy's choker collar.  He left Sammy chained up all year round, whether it rained or snowed - never showing him love or teaching him the proper ways he should obey - just bondage.  Slowly, but ever so gradually, Sammy began to change as he became resentful and angryhis spirit was broken.  And even though the chains were off this day, he was still living as if they were on.

Greg's dog Cruiser on the other hand lives a completely different life - one of love, training, obedience, and reward.  He woke up in the morning and was tempted in the same manor as Sammy, but Greg has made it a point to instruct, teach, and if necessary, discipline Cruiser if he disobeyed.  But he was also shown much love by his Master and family as well.  As a result, Cruiser was full of joy and respect - his life was full and rewarding.

I couldn't help but see a correlation to our Christian lives after hearing this story and seeing the two dogs.  I guess we too, are either like Cruiser or Sammy in many ways.  Let me explain.

Like Sammy, and Cruiser, we will be tempted to stray from the proper path, and to do things we know to be wrong.  We have the freedom to choose what we will listen to - the lure of temptation through lies from the enemy, or the truth of what we know to be right as seen in God's Word.  We might not always understand why we are to do certain things, but we must always walk by faith in obedience to God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Like Sammy, we, as Christians, really don't have a home here on earth.  We see the Apostle Peter telling us this, "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul" (1Pet. 2:11).   And regarding our status as Christians we are told, "Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil 3:20). So we are really sojourners and pilgrims whose citizenship is in heaven.

The more I take time to look around, the more I see so many lessons in everything.  Today I received my lesson from the story of 2-dogs, shared by a friend - a story to show me how simple my life really is.  Like Cruiser, I can choose to seek the Love of my Master and choose to abide in His love, obey His commandments, and stay close to Him.  And as a result I can be sheltered, cared for, protected and loved.  

 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." John 15:9-10 (NKJV)

Or, like Sammy, I can choose to wander around in places I should never be.  I can choose to do things I should never be doing, and getting myself into mischief.   And in the end I will be chained in bondage to the wrong master.

Hey Christian, our bondage to sin has been broken - we are free from its chains.  Let's choose to seek the love of our Creator today.  Lets choose to abide in the Love of Jesus.  Lets choose to allow The Holy Spirit to empower us to make the right choices and allow Him to guide us in the right paths.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn with respect to serving, abiding, and loving God from the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you seeking to obey God in everything, or are you like Sammy, wandering around and doing things you know to be wrong?

APPLICATION: Stay in the yard God has given you.  Don't be wandering around in places you know you shouldn't be.  Choose to listen to God's Word and let it guide you in all your decisions.

Father, Thank You for loving me, protecting me, and providing for me.  I give You all the glory for these things.  Help me to understand Your will for my life today.  Fill me with Your Spirit and empower me to do everything You've called me to do.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000