Feb 20

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.
I have read this many times before, and it has always made me smile as I thought of how a stable is dirty because of the livestock, but the livestock are good.  What caught me short this time is that the word is “manger”, not “stable.”  There’s  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 one is 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 gifts by His Spirit that we might serve Him.  Whether these gifts are gifts of intellect, or special affections of the heart, or particular skills, they only flourish if we develop them.  We must give them time and effort that they might come to full bloom. “Abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”  An example would be if God has given me musical ability, then it is vital that I take lessons and practice with diligence in order that my music for the Lord is most excellent.
So, here is a challenge:  What specific gift has God given to me?  And, in light of this proverb, how am I feeding that gift that it might bring abundant fruit?
in Him,  Mike