“Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need
a strong ox for a large harvest.” Proverbs 29:18
Loving Is Messy Have you noticed how life is messy? This verse
says that a large harvest requires the use of oxen. Oxen are messy. They poop and
pee (a lot!) in the stable and it must be cleaned regularly. But it is worth the
effort! Marriage is also messy! It requires a great deal of self-sacrifice
(love) to have one that honors God and is fulfilling. It is worth the effort!
Family is messy. Work is messy. Church is messy. Are they all worth the effort?
The question really is, “Is Jesus worth all our effort?” since He is the
one who calls us into these relationships. Absolutely!
Jesus said that messy is a normal part of life with
Him. He wants us to bring healing, order, and productivity from all these
relationships. Will we pay the price, count the cost, and get messy for the
gospel? Are we willing to get dirty or be inconvenienced for others? Will we be
hurt or embarrassed by others in our church, our family, and our marriage and
still love them?
Of course, we should strive to have order, peace,
and do things that edify our family and church. Paul said this in 1 Corinthians14:33,
“God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the
saints.” And in 1 Corinthians 14:40, “But all things must be done properly and
in an orderly manner.” Order and messy are not mutually exclusive. Love requires
that we get down and dirty to meet the needs of others. Here is a good example.
Atlanta House Church We are also learning how to handle the messy relationships with our spouses,
our children, one another, and our unbelieving friends. As we continue our
Bible discussions each week about God’s faithfulness and our faithfulness, we
gain fresh motivation to sacrifice and our faith in God enables us to press on
even when our flesh doesn’t want to. Praise God, we are learning to be His church!
1. Atlanta House
Church Pray that each member
would grow in their faithfulness to God by loving others – being willing to sacrifice,
forgive, and serve others – to get messy for Jesus!
2. Family News Next month we will celebrate many family
birthdays, including mother’s 97th! We are thankful for her
kindness, generosity, and concern for others. We see her almost daily and help
her continue living at home. She is a gift from God! Please pray for each member
of the Nelson family to be saved and live for Christ. Pray for the parents raising
children (our grandchildren), it a messy job that is worth everything they do!
They need the grace of God and the Holy Spirit’s power for this task.
As we pass the one year mark of the war in Ukraine, their brave army continues
to make progress in the east to repel the invaders. The physical, emotional,
and psychological cost has been devastating. Thank you for continuing to intercede
for their protection, for the war to end, and for God to bring revival in both
countries. Thank you too for giving to help with the relief efforts! https://reliant.org/ukraine.relief.fund
There are many who appreciate what your giving has done for them.
in Christ’s faithful love,
Steve & Danelle