One day a young man was walking along an isolated road when he heard something like a crying sound. He couldn’t tell for sure what the sound was but it seemed to be coming from underneath a bridge. As he approached the bridge, the sound got louder and then he saw a pathetic sight. There, lying in the muddy river bed, was a puppy about two months old. It had a gash on its head and was covered with mud. Its fronts legs were swollen where they had been tightly bound with cords.
The young man was immediately moved with compassion and wanted to help the dog, but as he approached, the crying stopped and the dog snarled his lip and started to growl. But the young man did not give up. He sat down and started gently talking to the dog. It took a long time but eventually the dog stopped growling and the man was able to inch forward and eventually touch the dog and begin unwrapping the tightly bound cord. The young man carried the dog home, cared for its wounds, gave it food and water and a warm bed. Even with all this, the dog continued to snarl and growl every time the young man approached. But the young man did not give up.
Weeks went by and the man continued caring for the puppy. Then one day, as the young man approached, the dog wagged its tail. Consistent love and kindness had won and a lifelong friendship of loyalty and trust began.
Romans 2.4 asks the questions, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” God has been reaching out to you for your entire life. He desperately wants to set you free from the prison of sin, heal all your wounds, bring you into His family, and provide for your every need; however, your rejection of Him is just like the snarling dog. God is faithful and will continue to offer you an eternal relationship, but you must accept His call.
Will you continue to reject and despise His offering of grace, or will you confess and repent of your sinfulness, place your faith in Jesus’ finished work, and then become a child of God?
Source: Stories For The Heart, Multnomah, Alice Gray, 108.
And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
(From Luke 10.25-37 NASB)