Fauquier Baptist Church
Wednesday, July 17, 2024
   Many times God uses an odd way of putting things in order that folks can better understand. Out here in the country we certainly know about farm animals; cows, chickens, goats, sheep, and horses and others. Matter of fact, this part of Virginia is known as "horse country." You won't drive far without seeing horses, all kinds, colors, and sizes. Someone aptly describes most as field ornaments but there are many using horses as well. 
   Our text verse states OXEN. About the ox. An ox is just a cow trained to do the work of a horse, bred to be bigger and more powerful than a standard milk cow. A good ox could pull a plow, a wagon, they were cheaper than a horse and in desperate situations, they made good steaks.             It would not change the spiritual meaning at all if the text read HORSES instead of OXEN. Since we know more about the horse (this is Cowboy Church) let's talk about horses.
   1. Everyone knows that if a horse is kept in a stall, what is bound to happen.
   2. There will be by-products.
   3. Therefore, the stall has to be cleaned up and kept clean on a regular basis.
   4. If there were no horses, then naturally the stalls would be clean. No horse no mess.
   My Great Grandfather kept papered horses, nothing but the best. He had regular horses for work but some papered high performance horses to fool with. The regular horses were kept in regular stalls, but the papered horses were kept in extra-nice stalls all cleaned up, looking good, horses oiled down and groomed-up and the best hay. Willie Nelson sang about beer for his horses, but these horses had better than beer. My Dad didn't have fancy horses but usually had a horse or two along with a bunch of cows. Me being the oldest of the young'uns, the job of cleaning out the barn, not just the stalls was mine. (I didn't mind it, got me out of feeding the hogs).
   As already stated, where there's a horse in a stall, there you will find a littered stall. Litter is a sign of life, a sign of activity. Where no oxen are,the crib is clean... no sign of activity, no sign of life.
   WHERE NO OXEN ARE, there's no plowing, no preparation, no sowing, no harvest, nothing to put-up into the crib... THE CRIB IS CLEAN. Spiritually the oxen are God's people, who are supposed to be active, sowing, expecting a harvest (souls). WE could say that the crib is the church. We can, therefore, understand that God is saying to us: WHERE THERE ARE NO PEOPLE OF GOD BUSY ABOUT WINNING THE LOST, THE CHURCH IS CLEAN.
   Now, there are some who like church this way... clean, no clutter, no amens, better not mention hell, no racket from the little ones, no nothing. Frankly, it is impossible to have much of a God pleasing church without activity, but, some don't want much going on. Some want nice plush comfortable pews, a programmed, slick, politically correct whimpish preacher, no stepping on the toes, temperature just right, no this, no that, in other words a neutered church. JUST MAKE US FEEL GOOD PREACHER!
   Here at COWBOY CHURCH, as Pastor, I never intend to purposely make anyone feel bad. My job is to preach the Gospel and let God the Holy Spirit do His work. I have had more than one to say to me, Preacher, you preached straight to me! How did you know, who told you? Not long ago we were in the Charlotte, N.C. area at a cowboy church get together. The speaker/preacher didn't know me, nor I him, but he preached some things that stomped on my toes. Folks, that is the way God works. The preacher is to PREACH THE WORD: BE INSTANT IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WITH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE (II Timothy 4:2) FOR THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THEY WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE; BUT AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS SHALL THEY HEAP TO THEMSELVES TEACHERS HAVING ITCHING EARS (II Timothy 4:4). 
   Dwight Moody, long since departed this life, told about a certain church he preached in. A group of hi-classed upity ladies started coming. After a while they dug-in and started to whine and complain about some who came to worship with wrinkled shirts, shoes not shined, hair too long in their opinion, 'they make the place look like a mess,' and a bunch of other things they found to be unacceptable. "Preacher, they don't belong here! Are you going to ask them to leave?" Mr. Moody's answer was "NO!" "This is the Lord's house and all are welcome." Well, the ladies all left and God blessed Mr. Moody's church more than ever! 
   By the same token, this church is for all, A-L-L, who will come. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. God's church should never look like a fashion show. Don't get the idea that we have something against anyone who comes wearing a $500 suit. On the other hand we don't have a problem with those who don't own nary a single suit, we don't have a problem with someone who drives a rusty pickup truck with oats growing in the bed. You get the idea.
   Here's some good advice, If you are stuck in a fashionable situation, in a place where you are not growing, feel like you are playing games, going with the flow, not serving God like you want, just getting ear service from the pulpit, get out and get in THE LORD'S CHURCH and  live your life for the Lord Jesus Christ. 
   One thing we need here, as most other churches could also say, are more oxen, more activity for the cause of Jesus Christ, more plowing, sowing, reaping (souls). We certainly do not want "clean cribs."
   May God bless you!