26. Moving Near


[Doodle by Tara at Doodle Through the Bible; download the free coloring page on her blog post. This devotion and doodles are our Christmas gift to you and we pray God bless you richly.]

I love my dogs. I love the snuggles, the devotion, the caring, and the loyalty. I love to train them to do tricks and perform for others to bring smiles. Abbie Rae, half Beagle and half Lab, was especially smart. Training them seems to come naturally for me, but sometimes I find certain behaviors difficult. One of the most frustrating is to teach them to be quiet. Duffie Jo, a Yorkie, was especially yappy. I want to have it both ways where they are a guard dog, but yet know when not to bark at people walking down the street.

I learned with my present dogs, Miss Tizzy and Ria Skye, Toy Fox Terriers, that I had done it all wrong with my previous dogs when teaching to “come.” A common mistake is to demand for them to “come” when they have misbehaved only to punish them for that behavior. The dog believes it is punished for coming! I am so pleased that my dogs happily come when called, even when they know they have been bad. They know they will be rewarded with praise when they come, their misbehavior forgotten.

To “come” is a “journey.” It is “defined as to move or travel toward or into a place thought of as near the speaker.” At Christmas, we hear the word “come” frequently.

Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant
Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free
Come and behold Him, born the king of angels
Come and worship
Come to Bethlehem to see
Come, adore on bended knee
Joy to the world! The Lord is come
O come, let us adore Him
I want to come home for Christmas
Christmas is coming!

In the Old Testament, it was foretold that Jesus was coming. Today we now know that the Savior did come. Jesus Christ’s coming was the greatest journey. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” John 1:9. Jesus moved near to us in the form of a little babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. He is still here with us. It has been foretold that Jesus will come again and we watch and wait. He will come. He was, He is, and He will forever be near us.

Because of what Jesus has done for us and His gift of faith, we can happily come to Him when called, even when we know we have been bad. He forgives us and He rewards us with eternal life in His presence in heaven. Moving near, nearer to Thee.

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