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No Nutritional Value

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No Nutritional Value

The evening camp meeting service was over in Ontario. I stood there talking to three Outfitters and five Hunting Guides. The men were all from Ontario and New Brunswick, Canada. They were talking to me about the moose-hunting story that I had told in my sermon.

After a few minutes, one of the Outfitters said to me, “Brother Ballestero did you know that if you were stranded and had nothing to eat but moose meat, you would eventually starve to death? Even with your stomach full? It has basically, no nutritional value. It’s too lean, besides.”

“No!” I said. “That’s unbelievable! I didn’t know that,”

I stood there in unbelief. Just the thought of having a full stomach and yet not being fed caught me off guard.

While I knew that the old Outfitter was probably not a nutritional expert, there were years worth of practical and sound advice being dispensed here for my benefit. I chose to believe him. That’s what he did for a living. He organized and guided moose hunts. He was a woodsman.

My mind immediately went to the lunch conversation I’d had with Brother Wade Bass. He and I had eaten at the little roadside café in Henrietta, Oklahoma back in July. Because he was fighting cancer, his Doctor had him on a very strict diet. He ordered only a salad for his meal.

“Do you have any ‘Romaine’ lettuce?” He’d asked the waitress.

While she went back to the kitchen to ask, he explained to me that he had to eat a lot of salad on his diet. He said that Iceberg lettuce had basically no nutritional value in it, so that’s why he’d asked for the Romaine.

With these two incidents freeze-framed in my mind, I begin to think about spiritual foods and spiritual diets. Or maybe I should have said, “unspiritual” diets.

How many sit every week in church services and hear sermons, sing songs, and then go home pretty much unchanged?  Even though they felt like they were absolutely ‘full’? This type of pill is hard to swallow as a preacher, it is something we need to keep close to our hearts.

Is it possible to get ‘full’ on sermons that don’t say much and never seem to change any lives?

It’s possible, I think, to get full on ‘worship’ services that never touch the heart and are not much more than drum beats accompanied with powerless repetitive phrases.

I pretty much enjoy all kinds of Worship. But if I can’t feel God touching my heart, I know there is no nutritional value involved.

There is a big difference too, between being fed the “finest of the wheat” or having to live on a constant sermon diet of Faith, Blessing and Prosperity.

Am I against those sermon subjects? Not at all! Keep preaching them.  We need our faith built and we sure could use some prosperity. But there’s more to the Word than just that. Feed me some ‘doctrine’ and feed me some ‘practical living’ sermons while you’re at it. I need something to feed me, not just fill me.

Thank God if you are blessed to be in a good church where you are not only get full, you get fed!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Christian Living, Doctrine, Worship

Tagged with ,

5 Responses

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  1. Great post!! Thanks for sharing it. God bless…

    Paul Weaver

    April 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm

  2. Reminds me of the church our family attended when I was growing up….not much to feed a person. I finally stopped going since it was so dead and dry with its vain repetitions and no real feeling behind the preaching. How my eyes opened wide to hear a real message being preached over a Pentecostal pulpit!! I relish every “meal” now as I get fed at church. Thank you, Lord, for making a way for me to find the Truth!

    Bonney Thompson

    April 7, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  3. Love this comparison!We are blessed to be nurtured and fed by our pastor. Recently someone shared with me that there had been a time in their lives that church was pretty much a “punch in…punch out” thing.Wonder how many children of God are starving while we are feasting on manna each time we come to His house. We are blessed!

    F Walton

    April 8, 2011 at 12:35 am

  4. Elder Ballestero, this is SO RIGHT ON! This week at AMC one of the men spoke of those filled with praise, but with very little worship! Last night another man preached about the need of meaningful preaching! Wisdom abounds in your post! Thank you so much! I, too, in the past year have changed my eating trends, and am on a heavy “nutrition based” diet. There is so much we call “food” that is just filler here in America. I was amazed at how much I ate, but how little nutrition I got from the SAD (Standard American Diet). I want my soul to be healthy Elder. Preacher, PREACH TO ME! Great post Elder Ballestero!

    james self

    April 9, 2011 at 9:13 am

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