2/20/21

Good morning!
Text Leviticus 1-4; Proverbs 14:1-18
Today another Proverb grabbed my attention.  Proverbs 14:4 says:
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
    but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
The first reading of this makes me think like this: For there to be milk, there will be manure.  Whenever the Lord brings growth and abundance, we should expect some things to get messy.  We see it all the time in the life of the church.  As the power of God surges through His people, in their humanity they make messes.
But, the word is “manger”, not “stable.”  There’s a huge difference, because a manger is a feeding trough.  A clean manger means there is no food, presumably because there are no oxen.  So, if I am stingy and short-sighted, not owning an ox might seem like good news – I don’t have to feed it.  But, if one sees the opportunity and calling to produce abundance, the food for the ox is an essential investment.
The Lord has given us great abundance that we might serve Him.  Whether these are gifts by His Spirit, or of intellect, special affections of the heart, particular skills, or financial blessings, they can only bring growth when we invest them.  “Abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”
So, here is a challenge:  What has God given to me?  Am I investing it generously that His Kingdom might grow?
in Him, Mike