Sunday, December 11, 2011
We are now raising low-lines, miniature black Angus cattle. We used to have full sized, but we had a bull-headed bull who thought he could go anywhere he wanted to – and proceeded to do so through our fences. It took a couple of weeks to get him loaded into the stock trailer, then off to the sale he went. So, we now have Zach the bull (short for Zacchaeus), Joy, the cow, an unnamed steer and this nice donkey named Jack who watches over the little herd and keeps coyotes and dogs out of the pastures. But, Jack can’t keep everything away.
When we came home Friday, a young longhorn steer was visiting. He’s not the first to come by to see if the grass truly is greener elsewhere. That was almost a serious problem a few years ago when a horned black bull decided he would jump our fence. Obviously he could, since he jumped over his own fence to get out. His owner soon found him and took him home – right after making a comment about heading to the sale barn, too.
I am grateful that our Lord doesn’t let us go that easily. Oh, we make mistakes. Like Paul, we certainly kick against the pricks and at times we leave the security of our pastures. I thank God for the shepherd who will leave the compliant 99 to seek that 100th lamb and bring it back into the fold. I give praise to the one who forgave Peter’s rejection and built His church on the rock of faith Peter displayed.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5 KJV)
Too often, though, some who accept the above, fail to understand the following verse:
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (Titus 3:8 KJV)
Good works are not necessary for salvation, but are the fruit of being saved. When I leave the pasture, I have not lost my salvation, but I have lost my credibility, my witness and I have taken the name of my Lord in vain, for in Him is my faith. Because I love and serve Him, I will endeavor to keep His commandments, not to earn His love because I have that at all times. The Bible tells me so:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (2 Corinthians 5:17-18 KJV)
You see, it is not me who is able to be that new creature, but He is:
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (Jude 1:24 KJV)