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Our Weekly Devotional

Ranchers on God's Range

Thursday, October 06, 2016 • Randy Kilgore • General
We can do better than the pecking order of cattle. We can do better because God calls us not to be leaders but servants, not to be winners but witnesses, not to be takers but givers, not to be exploiters but care-givers.

Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 'Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God. -Leviticus 19:9-10

     Ranchers feeding cattle in the middle of winter talk about a pecking order that emerges. As they pull hay from a stack and spread it on snow-covered fields, the strongest and toughest animals grab the first bites. As the line of hay stretches out, the timid or sickly cows get pushed aside by the able and bold. Only if there's enough hay, or the rancher intervenes, do the timid get their sustenance. It is a life-moment; a realization that the natural order of things is not charitable to the weak or the meek.

     Jesus recognized this, too, and challenged His followers to swim against the tide. His message to the strong? Take care of others! The message to the weak and meek? God has not forgotten you!

     "Survival of the fittest" may be an earthly principle resulting from sin's introduction into a fallen world, but it doesn't fit into God's economy. God calls us as Christians to be the rancher on those plains of snow, intervening to aid the weak and the meek even as we carry on our daily tasks in the places where He puts us. That's as true in Nigeria as it is in Malaysia or the United States or the United Kingdom.

     We can do better than the pecking order of cattle. We can do better because God calls us not to be leaders but servants, not to be winners but witnesses, not to be takers but givers, not to be exploiters but care-givers.

     The call of Christ for workers is a call to service to something bigger than self. It is often a call to sacrifice. It is a call to swim against the stream of culture, swim against "the natural order of things", whatever that natural order may be where we live and work.

     In fact, perhaps the single biggest measure of a worker is how we treat those who need our service.

     Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: To visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

     He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?-Micah 6:8

     Those of us resting under the grace of Jesus Christ are citizens of the Kingdom of God, and the principles of that Kingdom are universally applicable, wherever He places us here on earth.

--Randy Kilgore

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