“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Col. 1:18
“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”” Mark 12:29-31
The early morning I saw a man lugging a massive dog bed out his hotel room door, it didn’t take me long to figure out what he was doing. I asked him. And, sure enough, he confirmed it. He was on his way to work with his dog. And his dog’s dog bed. So his big beautiful fluffy dog could be really comfortable while his human Dad worked at his job. Talk about love, huh? Not to mention comfort! It was sweet to see such love and dedication and devotedness and thoughtfulness and care and compassion and tenderness on the part of a grown man toward his dog as they headed off to the doggy Dad’s work for the day. But this isn’t the whole story. Nor is it the message.
Truth is for years including in my own case before the Lord set me straight, I’ve countless times seen human beings show more love for their dogs than they show for fellow human beings not to mention love for the Lord. I’ve even talked to numerous people who have outright told me they love dogs more than people. Some have even told me they don’t love people at all. But that they love dogs. This message isn’t about that man and his dog. For all I know, that man may love the Lord with all his heart. He may love people exceedingly. And he may have his priorities in the right order. But I confess for a long while long ago I had my priorities out of order. Before I repented and God forgave me.
What does the Bible say? The Lord Jesus Christ is to be number one. Preeminent. We are to love Him with all our hearts. Next? We are to love others as ourselves. Animals? Not first place. Not second. If we love our dogs more than the Lord and people, we’re in disobedience to Christ.
That man showed his dog love and dedication and devotedness and thoughtfulness and care and compassion and tenderness and gave him comfort. This absolutely was wonderful to see! But, friend, let’s make sure that our love and devotion and all that goes with it is first and foremost for the Lord! Then for people! And, yes, absolutely, let’s be loving and tender with the animals the Lord so graciously entrusts to our care!
Jesus first. Always. Next people. Then animals for those of us who love our pets. That’s the right order. God’s order. Jesus first. Forevermore, AMEN!