|Volume 23 Number 9 September 2021
Mules are known for being stubborn. Many times, they will try to do exactly the opposite of what an owner wants. If the desire is to go forward, the mule will attempt to go backwards. If the owner wants to plow a field, the mule may decide to sit down.
Mules require a bit and bridle. The bit is a piece of wood or metal that fits in the mouth. It is hooked up to a bridle. The owner holds onto the bridle. It is usually straps of leather. The owner pulls on the bridle to indicate what he wants.
People are not supposed to need bits and bridles. God made people to think and to make rationale spiritual decisions. People can read the Bible and learn how God expects them to live.
Psalm 32:9 reads, “Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you” (NKJV). God does not force people to come to Him. God wants us to desire to come to Him. The only way to do that is to study the Bible.
To not study the Bible, to not learn what to do, to not learn how to please God and to not obey God makes a person a spiritual mule. Who wants to be no smarter than a mule?
Study your Bible. Do not be a mule. Teach others so they will not be mules. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
Dodge Trucks are Ram Tough
“Dodge Trucks are Ram Tough.” Slogans about the toughness of a product are everywhere. Some things in this life are tough, and they do not crumble upon impact. Some things are built to be tough. Other things are tender. Some things are supposed to be easy to mold – to change. God wants your heart to be tender. Life can cause it to become tough. Life can cause it to become hardened.
God wants you to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving. Ephesians 4:32 reads, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (NKJV). Mark 3:5 is one of the few occasions where the Scriptures describe Jesus as angry. It reads, “And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts” (NKJV).
When we become hard and refuse to listen to God, we also fail to act like God. When we refuse to extend the grace we receive from God, then we lose that grace. Jesus spoke, “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). The opposite is also true; unhappy is the unmerciful, for they shall not obtain mercy.
Jesus further declared, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26).
We are to see others’ needs and have compassion. We are to look at others’ pains and feel for them. We are to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). As you examine your heart and your life, are you tenderhearted?