Blessed… Fill ‘er Up

“When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn’t find any.  Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the place vacant, cleaned up, and decorated. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself. They go in and make their home there. That person is worse off at the end than at the beginning. This is the way it will be also for this evil generation” (Matthew 12:43-45, Common English Bible).

That there is evil in the world should be beyond question. Watching the evening news on any given night gives a pretty clear indication of the reality of evil in the world. Terrorists often seem to have the upper hand. ISIS chopping off people’s heads because they affirm belief in a different understanding of God than the Islamic State. We have governments who think nothing of turning illegal (by international law) chemical weapons on their own people. Not to mention those who are willing to go to war rather than to sit down and talk about each nations interests and differences like rational thinking human beings.

Beyond the world scale, even here in our own country, in our own neighborhoods, we have pedophiles molesting children, drug dealers pushing their wares, people who think nothing of taking someone else’s property or even someone else’s life. We also have people who don’t necessarily seem evil but they are so self-consumed, their own interests always take precedent over the interests and needs of others. The symptoms could go on and on. But, I think you get the point.

When I read the lesson for today the thought occurred to me, we are the house Matthew talks about. Because of original sin, we are filled with sin. We may think we are a “good person,” but within every good person there is the possibility and perhaps even the presence of evil.

As we develop our relationship with God, that evil can be pushed from our lives. But, if that is as far as we carry it, I think Matthew is saying there is a void that is left behind. We are empty. And, what is empty will be filled. We have a choice to make. Will we allow the void to be filled with the things of God? Or, will we open ourselves to evil, perhaps, some may even say probably, more pervasive evil than we faced before.

As I did a little study on this particular text, several commentators, not all but some, talked about the ties between the prevalent thought of evil spirits in the Biblical era against the more modern ideas of mental illness. And, when a person relapses with mental illness it can often be much worse than the original situation.

There should be no doubt, these ideas do have some support in the text. Still, at least for me, that makes this text applicable to a select few, the mentally ill, while evil can rest within any of us and is part of the reality of the world for all God’s children.

We all can feel empty. What will you us to fill you once again? It’s time to “fill ‘er up.”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

One thought on “Blessed… Fill ‘er Up

  1. When the unclean spirit leaves a man seeking dry places and finding none, he returns bringing seven demons more wicked than himself and they enter into the man finding him swept and garnished in a reprobate mind. These are normal looking people we see every day. Church people. City councilmen. Mayors. Governors. Business CEOs. Outwardly normal everyday people. Adulterers. Fornicators. Murderers. Blasphemers. Sodomites. False witnesses. Deceivers. Sorcerers. Atheists.

    Now there are many antichrists.

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