Man's best friend

by Marilyn Mathis

In September 2012, we became the owners of a puppy. His name is Beau. He is a Shih Tzu and was 7 weeks old when we got him. Beau was very tiny — only one pound. He was described as a teacup, and we were told he would never get more than five pounds.

We brought him home and I then read a book about his breed of dog. Everything I read told me I had made a very hasty, uninformed decision. Moral of the story, pray before you make life-changing decisions.

Choices bring consequences, good and bad. We had large veterinarian bills within three days. Did I mention a very messy laundry room for months? Several times I asked myself why I ever thought I wanted a puppy? My granddaughter told me that, “God knew Beau needed a good home.”

Beau is now 15 pounds, definitely not a teacup. He has a sweet personality and makes us laugh many times each day. He gives us total, unconditional love and is a true representative of man’s best friend.

Jesus defined friendship this way: “You are My friends if you do what I command you . . . I have called you friends, for all things I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15: 14-15). What an amazing, awesome statement! Jesus calls you and me His friends. What kind of friend is Jesus?

A loving friend: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus went to the cross and died for us. Love is not a feeling, but action! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). He is a friend that “loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Do you need a friend who knows all about you, and loves you anyway?

A lasting friend: “. . . there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Jesus will not let us go. He holds us fast and “no one will snatch us out of His hand” (John 10:28).

A listening friend: “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). He hears us when we call and reveals to us all things He has heard from the Father. Are you calling on Him? He is ready to listen and speak to you through His Word.

A lavish friend: “In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us” (Ephesians 1:7-8). Jesus is a friend that is not stingy or cheap. He is abundant, extravagant, generous, without limit in His love and care for His friends.

A lovely friend: In the Song of Solomon, Solomon is a picture of Jesus, and he is said to be “wholly desirable, this is my beloved and this is my friend” (5:16). Do you desire to be the friend of Jesus? He desires to be your friend? But there is a condition. “You are My friends IF you do what I command you” (John 15:13). Friends of Jesus listen and heed His commands. Are you obedient to His words?

In 1863, James G. Small wrote the hymn, “I’ve Found a Friend, O Such a Friend.” The first verse says,

I’ve found a friend, O such a friend!
Christ loved me ere I knew him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus he bound me to him;
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which naught can sever,
For I am his, and Christ is mine,
Forever and forever.

Have you found such a friend? I have, and He is truly “man’s best friend!”

A Conway resident, Marilyn Mathis is a wife, mother, Nana and teaching leader for First Wednesday Lunch Break. Readers can reach her at [email protected].