Wednesday, 10 January 2018

To my animal loving congregations (and those not so keen on pets)

To my dear animal-loving congregation (and those who aren’t so made about pets),

As you know I am mad about my dog, Charlie.  So I was really drawn to an illustration in a book of sermons on the Prodigal Son by the nineteenth-century preacher Charles Spurgeon:
When I walked down my garden some time ago I found a dog amusing himself among the flowers.  I knew that he was not a good gardener, and no dog of mine, so I threw a stick at him and bade him begone.  After I had done so, he conquered me, and made me ashamed of having spoken roughly to him, for he picked up my stick, and, wagging his tail right pleasantly, he brought the stick to me, and dropped it at my feet.  Do you think I could stick him or drive him away after that?  No, I patted him and called him good names.  The dog had conquered the man.  And if you, poor sinner, dog as you are, can have confidence enough in God to come to him just as you are, it is not in his heart to spurn you.  There is an omnipotence in simple faith which will conquer even the divine Being himself.  Only do but trust him as he reveals himself in Jesus, and you shall find salvation.
What a lovely story, but also what an amazing statement Spurgeon says, ‘there is an omnipotence [an infinite power] in simple faith which will conquer even the divine Being.’  It is not in God’s nature ever to turn away those who are genuinely repentant, and even though our repentance always lacks fully purity, it is by nature a gift from God.

So, why not take some time to confess your sins to God and hold him to the following promises?

John 6:37, ‘All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out’

1 John 1:9, ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

John 3:36, ‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.’

Psalm 32:5, ‘I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover mu iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and he forgave the iniquity of my sin.’

Love from your animal-loving under-shepherd,

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