November 19, 2018

mondays and muzzles                    1 Corinthians 9: 9


One of my favorite verses to quote when someone is helping me prepare a meal in the kitchen and wants to snack on what she is  chopping or stirring is:  


                                                    Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.  1Cor 9: 9 


Evidently in ancient times, a greedy farmer would  place a muzzle on his oxen to prevent them from eating the grain they were milling.   Me, I'm so grateful for someone to help in the kitchen that most certainly they should partake of the food (as long as their hands are clean and they don't lick their fingers. :)   


Paul writes this muzzle verse to the Corinthian church because they were not supporting his ministry efforts.  Paul was having to work as a tent maker to survive. Shame on us today if we are not financially supporting our Christian leaders and missionaries in an excellent manner.   If we don't we are muzzling them, impeding their ministry.  In addition, I would like us to think about how we might be muzzling more than just our church leaders by our neglect to see the need of others.


Do we muzzle our grandchildren when we don't encourage and help with their efforts to succeed?  Do we muzzle the clerk at the store when we don't take time to be pleasant and lighten the load of a somewhat tedious job?  Do we muzzle our spouse, children, friends, neighbors, coworkers, church members when we fail to really listen and feed them with God's loving words of hope?


My friend has a very private friend that when she went through breast cancer, she didn't want people to know. She only told my friend (who never did reveal her name to me, just asked me to pray) because she knew that my friend is a devoted pray-er.  Every day my friend sent an email prayer to her to encourage her to keep grinding the grain of victory over cancer.  My friend kept removing the muzzle of defeat and lack of hope as her friend did the hard work of chemotherapy and radiation.  


Who in your life needs your prayers and support right now?  Who is struggling to remove a difficult muzzle?  Seeking with you to remove muzzles of defeat and replace them with God's hope, susie