A Load of Empties
For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
DURING WORLD WAR II, our family traveled a lot on trains when our gasoline rationing stamps ran low or when we had a bad tire and no stamps for a tire or a tire could not be found. The train engines all looked like the one in the picture. If the land was flat, a passenger train might run 70-80 miles an hour and out west they might top out at 100 miles an hour. In short: they could “flat-out” move along! I liked everything about them except they charged a dime for a bottle of Coke and anywhere else you could buy a Coke for a nickel. I thought they were taking advantage of us.
UP IN KENTUCKY, a conductor was collecting tickets from the passengers and punching holes in the tickets. Someone asked the conductor about who was in the car behind them. “Aw, just a car load of empties.” “Empties? What do you mean?” “Preacher boys on the way back to school. They’ve been out preaching in country churches and they preached themselves empty yesterday. Today, they’re sleeping it off and going back to school to get filled up again for next Sunday. They do this every week.”
EVANGELIST HYMAN APPLEMAN said that preachers ought to read themselves full, think themselves clear, pray themselves keen, and preach themselves empty.” When I heard him say that, I thought I had really heard something, and I still think that. It’s hard to run over when we’re half-full. So, we need to work hard at filling up. But, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes a week of reading and studying just don’t give birth to a good sermon and the Lord may send through a message from a different direction that had nothing to do with a week of study. A dedicated preacher knows about these things and he bends with the wind as God may blow upon him.
NEVERTHELESS, GOD-CALLED PREACHERS ARE DILIGENT in study and faithful to preach what God seems to be laying out. When we preach, the physical energy required is like unloading a wagon load of hay. Spurgeon didn’t want to talk to anyone after he finished preaching because the drain of delivery had depleted him. Like Elijah who outran Ahab’s chariot ahead of the impending rain and was depleted. Spent!
THE BOOK THAT A PREACHER IS CALLED TO PREACH, is no ordinary book. Through the Holy Spirit, it has a way of taking over and directing the train of thought. The same Holy Spirit also works on the listener and becomes the teacher of the understanding as well as the leader of the listener’s spirit.
THERE ARE DILIGENT PREACHERS AND THERE ARE LAZY PREACHERS. Diligent preachers have spent enough time in the Word that they know their place and they are dependent upon the Spirit of God to aid the preacher and to aid the hearer. Lazy preachers are sometimes quite fluent and gifted at gab but have no acquaintance with the Spirit of God who inspired the Book. It is the Spirit of God who calls men to preach the Word and it should not be thought strange that the same Spirit of God must lead and endue the preacher with power if it is to amount to anything. We are called to salvation and everyone is called to service and some are called to public preaching of the Word.
EVERY WEEK, I PRAY FOR GOD TO EMPOWER ALL THE PREACHERS HE HAS CALLED as they preach to all the churches He has built, that there may be a stirring in the Mulberry trees. May the breath of Heaven breathe heavily upon the preachers of our land! It is the hope of America. Preach no less than a full measure of the Word of God, empowered by the Spirit of God.
WHEN I WAS IN CHICAGO, I once heard an evangelist tell a thousand preachers: “If you preachers don’t learn how to pray, you need not bother to learn how to preach.” I think that about covers it. May God have mercy on America and stir us up to know and serve God. Pray for your pastor. He needs your prayers and you need the practice. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JULY 30, 2018 - MONDAY
A.M. Psalms 59-61 P.M. Acts 28:16-31
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.) If you are behind in reading, read the passage for today and then go back.
●Good Memory Verse:
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13) (Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
●Song for Today:
When the Roll Is Called (3:31) (Gaither Group)
● Healthy Hint:
WITHOUT FAT IN YOUR DIET, YOU WILL DIE. During the “extremely low fat” craze our nation endured for over twenty years, gall bladder surgeries soared high! The gall bladder empties when fat comes through to be digested. No fat, no emptying of the gall bladder. The gall, liver bile, just sits there and turns to stone. We need good fat in our diet. But when heated, some fat (unsaturated) takes on oxygen and it becomes oxygenated. Not good. When I was taking chelation treatments to clean out my arteries, Dr. Rozema explained to me that there are mainly four sources of fat that can be heated and remain one of the “good guys.” Hog Lard; Olive Oil; Peanut Oil; and Butter. Since that time, Coconut Oil has been added to the list.
DO NOT HEAT ANY OTHER KIND OF OIL AND EAT IT. Trans-fats have hydrogen added to an oil fat to make it solid at room temperature, such as Crisco and all margarines. Not good. You may want to grease your black iron skillet with Crisco, otherwise, leave it alone. The vegetable oils in the store are a no-no for heating.
USE FRESH FLAX OIL, OLIVE OIL, ETC. for salad dressings. Margarine, the butter substitute, is a NO-NO-NO! It’s a trans-fat. Use butter. Get good fat from seeds, nuts, avocados. Pecans, English walnuts, and most nuts are good-guy fats. Keep all opened fats in the frig. Use a small bottle to contain a small amount at room temperature and use it up before it turns rancid. Ω