Continuing thoughts from Proverbs 14
Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is clean, but an abundant harvest is produced by strong oxen. (14:4)
This reminds me of a conversation our small group had this week about the nature of a worship service. If we intend to use the service to introduce people to Christ and help people grow in Christ, then we need to expect that it will not always be “clean”. That is, people who are not Christ-followers do things that are not Christ-like.
We cannot expect unbelievers and immature Christians to act like mature, grown up Christians. Church can be either a clean feeding trough for mature Christians or a messy one through an abundant harvest of new and growing Christ-followers. Which do you think God would prefer?
The one who oppresses the poor insults his Creator, but whoever shows favor to the needy honors him. (14:31)
This is why I am proud to work with Hope Ministries. David Vanderveen and the whole team there understand that everyone – regardless of their past choices – are God’s image-bearers and so deserve the chance to carry that image well.
Hope is much more than just a kitchen and shelter. If you are not familiar with the discipleship process that is happening everyday there, check out this page on their site, then see how you can be a part of “honoring your Creator”.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (14:34)
There is a lot of talk right now about how to improve America’s stance in the world. We are spending unfathomable amounts of money trying to use our economy, military, trade relations, and more to help people around the world like us.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are releasing criminals, killing untold millions of babies and seniors for convenience, and writing legislation that calls sharing the gospel a hate crime.
What’s the solution for our country’s status in the eyes of the world (and God)? Righteousness = doing what is right. But you can’t do what’s right on a large scale if you don’t even believe that there is an absolute right and wrong. Unless our nation comes back to the realization that God’s law is the best way to live, we will not have an exalted place in this world.
But it doesn’t actually start with the leaders. Ours is a true republic – the leaders represent the people. Righteousness starts with the people – you and me. As the American people turn back to God, the elected leadership will follow.