2017-12-14 / Opinions

Don’t be upset if you spill the milk; God will give you a better pitcher


One of my favorite people in the world is Seymour Wattenbarger, a vibrant preacher of the gospel and a beloved director of missions for the Knox Association of Baptists in southeastern Kentucky. He’s seen a lot over the decades preaching in the Appalachians.

Many years ago, a man widely known for his drinking and cavorting showed up at one of Bro. Seymour’s revival services. That man, Bro. Seymour said, might have best been described as a reprobate. He would get home in the evenings, stumble out of his car and stagger up the sidewalk, cussing loudly and kicking at his dog.

That fellow got saved in that revival service and immediately gave up his drinking and his wicked ways. The change was so drastic that when he got home that night his dog didn’t recognize him and nearly ate him up.

I love true stories like that about the transforming power of the gospel. Jesus can take a hard-hearted man and make him a new creature. He can give such a man a heart filled with love for God and for his fellow man.

The Bible refers to a spiritual heart transplant : “A new heart also I will give you and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart” (Ezekiel 36:26).

Like Bro. Seymour, I always enjoy seeing dramatic change in the lives of people who have given their hearts to Christ and who have, all of a sudden, had an all new outlook on life. One rather rough old fellow told me that he felt so clean on the inside after getting saved that he just had to take a bath and clean himself up on the outside.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

One of our great preachers from yesteryear, Henry Moorhouse, once told about seeing a child come out of a store carrying a pitcher of milk. The child tripped and the pitcher broke and the milk spilled. The kid burst into tears, telling Moorhouse that his mother would whip him.

Moorhouse bought a new pitcher and filled it with milk for the kid, then asked, “Will your mother whip you now?” The smiling child said: “No, sir, because this is a lot better pitcher than we had before.”

When the Lord saves people from a broken and shattered lives, He gives them brand new lives that are better than before. That’s what he did for the fellow at Bro. Seymour’s revival, and that’s what He does for every new believer.

And, when it happens, your dog should be the first to recognize the change.

(Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.)

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