This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:13 (NIV)
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1 (NIV)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NIV)
Is a second manure story in one week overkill? Because I saw something really interesting in pasture while cleaning stalls this morning that I thought I would show you. Can you tell what this picture is? Trucker’s buddies have gone camping again so I’ve been dosing him with mineral oil. He gets lonely when they are gone and that makes his stomach upset. I give him a preventative dose of mineral oil just to keep him regular. It is tasteless and odorless so I pour it right in with his feed. He kind of makes a face and rolls it around on his tongue, but eats it without too much protest. I don’t know about him, but it makes me feel better. And, it makes his manure slick and shiny! This picture is not of that oily manure, but droppings that have been sitting in the pasture for a few days. We have had wet and humid weather with lots of foggy overcast days. Some of the manure piles have sprouted this white fuzzy mold. It almost looks like wool and if I didn’t know what it was, I would think it was soft and cuddly. But, it’s not. Believe me, it’s not. All this manure talk made me think of some prominent people in our country who say that they are of the Christian faith, but who are careless with their words and judgmental attitude. They lead others to believe that their opinion represents all who are followers of Christ. That makes me madder than the content of the garbage that they spout. Their pious, self righteous attitudes bring more harm to the cause of Christ and the advancement of His kingdom than the wicked man could think to do. Because they judge and condemn instead of spreading mercy and grace all in the name of Christ, they make my fellow believers and me look bad and ruin opportunities for witness of what miracles God has done. Yes, there is evil in this world. Yes, it is horrific. But, God doesn’t send the earthquakes or the plagues or the hurricanes. They are a part of this imperfect world brought about by Adam and Eve’s sin. Yes, God could stop them, but He allows them to occur and He will use them to bring glory to Himself and to draw people to Him. It is a dichotomy that is difficult to swallow if you don’t understand God’s great love for everyone in this world. As the children’s hymn says, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.” Even these terrible things He will use for good. Don’t listen to anyone who says He won’t. But, don’t just believe what I say either. See for yourself. Go to the source of truth, the Bible, and read all about it. Draw your own conclusions. Because just like manure is manure even if it is shiny and slick or fuzzy and cute, lies are lies no matter who says them.