Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"Faithful Until Death"
Jan. 17, 2018
(Jesus said) "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."
~ Revelation 2:10 (ESV)
Up until this week, the only Zsa Zsa I had ever heard of was one of the Gabor sisters. (If you don't know anything about the Gabor sisters, the only explanation I can give is that they were very pretty, often married, and appeared in a few movies.)
My new Zsazsa is a nine-year-old Havanese dog who lives in Budapest. Quite unexpectedly, Zsazsa made the news this past week. No, it wasn't because she, like the rest of her breed, is uncommonly intelligent and had learned a new trick. That would have been nice.
No, Zsazsa made the news because when the animal protection officials in Budapest found her, she was incredibly malnourished. Their report added that she wasn't able to stand, and if Zsazsa hadn't been found, she would have died in the next few days.
Now it is important that you know that Zsazsa's condition was not because of a cruel and uncaring owner. Nothing could be further from the truth. Zsazsa was malnourished and dehydrated because she and her 60-year-old owner had been inseparable.
I say "had been" because it appears Zsazsa's mistress died a number of weeks ago.
When the neighbors realized the lady hadn't been seen for a while, they called the police. When the officers entered the woman's apartment, they found she had passed away from natural causes. They found her and Zsazsa was by her side. Even though there was dry dog food available, Zsazsa had stayed at her post. Rescuers say she had to be dragged away from her dead owner.
Now before I go any further, I am obliged to tell you that Zsazsa is doing just fine now. She is eating and drinking, and she has even been wagging her tail. Now, with that out of the way, I can point out why an entire Daily Devotion is being dedicated to a Hungarian dog. The reason can be summed up in one word:
Faithfulness is a grand thing when it comes to a dog; it is a righteous thing when it comes to a Christian, and it is a saving thing when that quality is seen in our Savior. How did the book of Revelation say it ... "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."
As Christians we rejoice that our Lord never shirked or strayed from the appointed work of offering Himself as our ransom price. Because Jesus was faithful unto death and was able to say, "It is finished" (John 19:30b), all who believe on Him are forgiven and granted eternal life.
They are also offered the opportunity to be faithful to the Lord with their own lives. Like Zsazsa, the example of the Lord's love and grace should make us faithful and willing to stand by the Lord's side. Unlike Zsazsa, our Master is alive and because He is, we will live forever.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for my faithful and ever-living Savior. May my greatest joy in life be to remain by His side. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
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Up until this week, the only Zsa Zsa I had ever heard of was one of the Gabor sisters.