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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.

Proverbs 14:4

4 Where no oxen [eleph] are, the crib [ebuwc] is clean [bar]: but much [rob] increase [tabuw'ah] is by the strength [koach] of the ox [showr]. KJV-Interlinear

4 Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much increase comes by the strength of the ox. NASB

Ok. Here is a proverb which I'll bet you haven't a clue as to its meaning. So if you read ahead in your study, you probably just read through this verse without wondering much as to why it is even in the Bible.

That is often the case when folks want to go faster through the Bible. As though it is a race of sorts, and we just have to get the reading done, like getting our vegetables out of the way when we eat dinner, and then the bitter task is over.

Those who approach Bible study in this manner are not really in it for the learning and growth. They just view Bible study as they do any other chore in this life. It isn't fun, so they want to rush through it, get their gold star or whatever it is they expect out of it - a passing approval or a passing grade, and then they want to move on to something else.

Bible study is not a short term course, but a long term (life time) commitment to the betterment of your future.

And now we have this verse on oxen, and mangers, and clean barns and such.

In agriculture if you want to make a profit you have to do the work. In agriculture the work is generally not clean work. Animals have to be feed and they make messes wherever they are housed. Usually in a corral or a stall or something like that. These stalls get dirty. It goes with the territory. If you do not like cleaning up the barn, or having a dirty environment around you, then you need to get out of farming so to speak.

So what does this have to do with you? You probably are not a farmer. Most folks aren't. But everyone has responsibilities in life. Probably many things which you do not like to do but have to do them anyway. Got kids? Expect dirty rooms, dirty socks, unchanged clothes, messes everywhere, and so on and so forth. Don't expect to have kids and have a museum for a home.

Have a job? Don't we all? Well you have to get up every morning and go to work. Boring!!! But you do want things in life, so off to work you go. If there is no ox, then there is no work. If no work then no income. It is just that simple.

A clean barn is an empty barn. A definite sign of a lazy farmer, or a farmer who is detached from reality, or a sign of a farm where nobody lives. Could be a picture of your soul - anybody home???

Reality means that in order to succeed in life you have to put forth some effort, and you have to expect some dirt along the way. The dirt can be real dirt or office politics and gossip and such. All this comes with life.

Do not try to force people into a clean mold (any mold which you try to force on others) because the world isn't going to work that way.

Likewise, your spiritual life requires some effort on your part. Granted God does all of the work but you have to do your part as well. And your part begins with a positive attitude and a desire to want to learn and grow up spiritually.

The spiritual life takes time. You'll never advance to maturity in a one year reading program. I've seen many of those kinds of approaches to Bible study and sooner than later they become a 'get it over with' attitude. Nothing is ever learned.

It is nice to have the farm (any vocation), but if you expect to profit from it (your chosen vocation), then expect to work at it (your effort or your investment) and expect to get dirt (the negatives or the responsibilities of life) thrown at you.

We do not live in a glass clean room, but we live in the jungle on this earth. In this world things do not last long. Things break. Things need repairing. Relationships have stresses in them. Life has its ox doo-doo. Not liking it won't make it go away. Ignoring your responsibilities won't make your obligations disappear. Trying to live a life of pretense won't make reality change to your liking.

Our clean room is our residence in fellowship and that pertains to our soul. Our ox power lies within our adherence to our daily Bible study. In doctrine (the ox) is the power of life. Reject your study and you have sold your ox. No study, no work, no ox, no profit, no spiritual growth, no life to speak of.

Do not look at your Bible study as a dirty task which you 'have' to do every day. If this is your view then you haven't learned anything about life yet.

Bible study is your ticket to prosperity, and freedom, and the ultimate happiness most folks want in life. But most folks pursue these goals (prosperity, freedom, happiness) by other means. They sell their ox (ignore their Bible study), and when their life is over, their barn is certainly clean, but it is very empty also. They die losers and are spiritually bankrupt. The cleanliness they thought they had turns out to be a lie.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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