Last night at church, we had about 15 or so different men preach. Honestly, they were all great messages with great truths that we could use in our lives. One of my favorite messages of the night was preached by Andrew Grob. The messages was short and simple but packed a powerful truth about our labour for Christ. I asked him for his sermon notes so that I could share them with you.
“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.”
The ox was a great possession in Bible times. It was used to plow fields and tread corn. To a farmer, an ox was a must have.
God laid out clear instructions for taking care of an ox. In Exodus God said that they also were to have a day of rest.
Along with owning an ox came the responsibility of caring for that ox. You must provide food, water, and shelter. You have to clean his crib.
Owning an ox was a luxury, but it also meant you were going to be working very hard.
As I thought about this verse I began to think about other areas in our life this applies to.
Owning a car, it’s a luxury but it means lots of money in gas, insurance, maintenance plus the purchase price of the car.
I also thought about three major areas of the church this applies to…
Sunday School Christian School Bus Ministry
Picture a farmer in Bible times complaining to his neighbor about how much work it is to take care of his oxen and how much easier it would be if he didn’t have any to take care of. So he gives his oxen away and walks over to the stalls and cleans them one last time.
When it comes time to feed the ox he is able to go inside and take a break, kick up his feet and relax, but when it comes time to plough the field and tread out the corn, he is not able to do it. His work load is even lighter because he doesn’t have the ability to tread corn or plough the field. Is he happy? Whether he is or not I just described to you a lazy farmer about to starve to death. The neglect of husbandry isthe way to poverty.
Certainly if you are involved in Bethel Baptist School or Tri-State Baptist College, or teach a Sunday School class or help on a bus route, you know there is great labor involved in keeping up these ministries.
Keeping the buses running involves a great deal of time and money and labor and you are always running into families needing help but not willing to change. You see and deal with difficulties and troubled kids. You fall in love with the kids and then spend extra time trying to help them and their families.
Yes it would be much easier to get rid of the bus ministry and free up our time and we could work on other things, but when harvest time comes our hands would be Empty.
We as a church could be like that farmer, but we would be a starving church.
Don’t get weary in your labor for the Lord. Keep pressing on. Harvest time is coming. Continue knocking doors, continue visiting families, continue preparing those lessons, continue changing the diapers, cleaning the buildings and fixing the buses.
Don’t get tired of cleaning the crib but keep on keeping on. When Christ comes back I want to have a full harvest instead of an empty field.
I’ve never done this before but I’m going to end this message with the title,
KEEP CLEANING THE CRIB.