Word for Today – Philippians 3:12

You Are His Own

Now that we have a new dog in the house, I’m struck by the similarities I see between Kramer, a former pound puppy, and new Christians. The only history we know about Kramer is that he is a California boy who rode to northern New Mexico in an iron chariot with a crowd of other canines.

It is easy to tell that this happy-go-lucky pup has not been ill treated. He may even be a lost from another family because he is house broken. It doesn’t matter where he came from, because, bottom line, he ended up in an animal shelter nestled in the hills outside Santa Fe, and we made him our own.

“Not that I have already obtained this or have reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Jesus Christ has mad me his own. I do not consider that I have made it my own; this one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:12-13 NRSV).

Just like new Christians who have been rescued from a lost state, Kramer is going through a similar adjustment.  He is trying to learn his place among two established dogs twice his size. (I must interject that he holds his own). He is learning that it is not acceptable to gnaw on the Christmas tree skirt and that socks are not to be haplessly dragged around the house. Just this morning he jumped on the coffee table and pounced on my head after being released from his kennel. He’ll learn the rules, but it’s going to take time.

The same holds true for new Christians. Most of them do not know the finer point of what many consider good Christian behavior. They are often thought of as unruly and judged for it. Maybe they use foul language or lack godly grace in a few areas. But, everyone needs to remember that Christianity is a journey, and no one is perfect on their first day.

New Christians go through a time of trial after they make a decision for Christ. Not only is the devil knocking on their door because he lost them to God, but seasoned Christians sometimes have a hard time accepting them. Newbies often don’t feel accepted during their awkward time of new growth and leave the church. Even though growling and tough love is acceptable in Kramer’s doggie world, new Christians need nurturing . . . not the harsh judgment of their more seasoned brothers and sisters. As newbies grow, they become better acquainted with the ways of the Christian life.

Until then, Christians need to remember that Jesus made us all “his own.” It doesn’t matter where we came from or what our past was like, we have a future with Jesus. We need to strain forward to what lies ahead, and that comes when we feel loved by those around us. Kramer is pressing forward to his new life with us as he learns new boundaries. Likewise, new Christians strain forward in their new life with Christ and need our love, patience, and guidance.

Last night my husband reminded Cooper, our oldest dog, that he was once the new-kid-on-the-block and received a few growls as a new pup. Sometimes seasoned Christians need a similar reminder: we were all new at some point. Jesus made us all his own, and loves every new Christian as they grow into their new life. He smiles down on those who remember that newbies need our love, not our judgment, as they strive toward their future in Him.

Word for Today: Whether you are new the Faith or a seasoned follower, always remember you are His own.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 9th, 2010 at 3:48 pm and is filed under kramer, Philippians, Word for the Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

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