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A foundatoin for living

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Rev. Reid
Rev. Reid
Rev. Reid

Refilling Empty Shoes

There is a statement made by John the Baptist in the Bible that says, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” The meaning of these words is revealed following the baptism of Jesus by John. It was like trying to refill empty shoes.
I have heard a story of a young man who was searching for his fortune wandering all over the state of Alabama. Tired, he paused under a big house to rest. The owner of the house was passing by, he stopped and inquired why the young man was sitting there or waiting there and for what he was looking. The young man said, “I am an architect and I am in search of employment.” The owner was very pleased because he needed an architect. He said, “You come with me. You be my architect and whatsoever you need or your needs are, they will be fulfilled. You can live really good working for me but be faithful and remember one thing” the owner said, “if you leave you will have to leave as in as empty handed as your coming in.” The young man agreed. Weeks passed and then months. He worked faithfully and the owner was very pleased. All his needs were fulfilled. He was looked after. He really lived good working for this man but by and by he started feeling uneasy and in the beginning it was not clear what the cause of it was because in fact there was no cause to be uneasy. Every need he had was taken care of. It was like a dark cloud surrounding him, a sort of heaviness, the feeling of something missing. But not knowing exactly what it was he was confused, then one day it flashed like lightning before him. He understood the cause. He went to the owner and said he was leaving. The owner could not believe it. He said “Why are you leaving?” “If there is any difficulty, tell me and I will fix it. I’ve been very pleased with your work and I would like for you to be here for your whole life.” The young man said, “No, no, no, no! I am leaving.  Please allow me to leave.” “But why?” the owner asks. The young man said, “Because nothing here belongs. Empty handed I have come and empty handed I will have to leave. This is just like a dream. Nothing belongs to me here. It feels like I am trying to refill empty shoes!”
How do you refill empty shoes? You refill empty shoes first, through repentance and baptism, second, through humility and third, by the receipt of the Holy Spirit. Failure to realize that empty handed we come into this world and empty handed we will go can lead us to holding onto things as if we are going to live forever. Most of us have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. All we have to do is look into our closet or garage and see all the clothes we will never wear and all the stuff we will never use. We spend a great deal of time storing and protecting this stuff. We would be surprised how much time we spend working for things and if we don’t stop spending so most of our precious time on earth acting like owners of the world, like this is our home, we will miss our real home in heaven. As we go forward in life, we will not be ready to fill the shoes that count. Let me tell you what I mean. There are three ways of refilling our empty shoes.
One of the certainties of life is that all of us will die. All of us will leave empty shoes. Have you ever watched or noticed the clothes and shoes left behind when people die? Have you ever wondered what happens to them? We know that many of them are sold or given away at flea markets, Good Will or at the Salvation Army. Most old empty shoes are thrown away. Nobody wants shoes that somebody else has worn. Look into your closet and think about your life and your shoes. Believe me they will be empty one day. Those shoes need not be left empty. Let me tell you why, we can prepare now to refill our shoes by being sure we spend time preparing for the world to come. We need to be sure that we have been initiated into the spiritual world that we all hope to transition into when we pass on. The sooner we realized that empty handed we come. And empty handed we will go, boom! Like a flash of lightning it will all come clear! We are here for a short while and tomorrow we go, yesterday gone and tomorrow never comes! Today, one day, we will be no more. We can start refilling our empty shoes today. Right here and now, at this moment, by repenting of our sins, turning around and returning to God before the end, before our shoes are empty, before we die. If you are not initiated by water (Baptized), I encourage you to be baptized and allow God to descend into you. Surrender to God! Receive the Holy Spirit and catch fire for the Lord. Prepare to ascend to God and refill your empty shoes.

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