Over the years, the Lord has shown me a lot about what it means to serve him and what it means to be a Christian through the time I spend with dogs. I have three dogs that I feed and play with every day. I love them all very much. Sometimes they get into stuff they shouldn’t and do things they ought not to do. One of them, “Blue,” was recently getting out when she shouldn’t.

The first couple of times Blue got out, I found out how and so plugged the hole, so to speak. After being scolded each time for getting out, Blue “apologized” in a way that only dogs can. However, she found another way to get out, which took a bit of searching. Each time, Blue apologized. Yet, the last time she apologized, I told her I wasn’t buying it. In fact, I told her that she would just start looking for a new way to get out and then apologize again once she got caught. I thought about how different dogs are from people and how “superior” we are to them. That we could control ourselves and not “do it again.”

Well, this morning, when I woke up, the Lord brought to mind my mistakes and how I’ve made the same mistakes more than once. Yet, the Lord forgives me when I repent. Then, in my daily reading, I read Matthew 18, where Peter asks the Lord how many times we’re to forgive our brothers when they sin against us.

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Matthew 18:22 (NIV)

The Lord reminded me that as “superior” as I might see myself about the dogs, he’s even more superior to me. Just as I didn’t accept Blue’s apology the last time she apologized because I knew she would do it again when she found another way out, the Lord knows if and when we will sin against him again. Even if 50 years pass between offenses, that time is nothing to the Lord. Yet, God still forgives us and accepts our apologies as sincere when they are genuine. Plus, God never stops loving us.

Now, I know that Blue is “just a dog” and that Jesus wasn’t talking about accepting “animal apologies” in Matthew 18:22. Still, I was humbled this morning when the Lord brought my ridicule toward’s Blue “apology” to mind.

As people, we encounter people who mess up a lot. We meet people who apologize and then do the same thing over again. When those people are fellow Christians, we must sincerely accept their apologies instead of saying one thing while thinking another. This is why Jesus ended his Parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18 with this admonishment:

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Matthew 18:35 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I sincerely repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe you died on the cross and were buried, and God the Father raised you from the dead on the third day. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.