What does the Bible say about humility?

By Douglas M. Williams Sr.

“Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4).

“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12).

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10).

Humility is the opposite of a prideful heart. In God’s sight, the way up is down. John Ruskin said, “I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility.” Continue reading

#bible-study

Spoiling out mistakes

Mama always “spoiled out” her mistakes.

Through my years at home I noticed when mother wrote something down wrong and wanted to correct it, she would say, “I’ll spoil it out.” Immediately she would turn the pencil eraser over, sometimes lick it, and start erasing her mistake. I never understood the licking part. It may have been a habit. I don’t know.

I was just thinking about spoiling out our mistakes. It’s hard to spoil out (erase) if we have written with an ink pen. I think few people use pencils anymore to write, though I’m not sure of that. Let’s think about things we can spoil out, or erase. Continue reading

#christian-living, #practical-lessons

Your church and mine

Your Church and Mine

As I read the Sunday paper

I ran across this line;

“Today you go to your church

And I will go to mine”.

Sincerely, friend, which is yours?

Is it one of your very own?

Frankly, now, I have no church,

And know of only one.

I’ve read the Bible o’er and o’er

But never found that line,

“Today you go to your church

And I will go to mine”.

“Upon this rock, I’ll build my church’,

The Savior said one day.

And before the dear Lord died

He humbly knelt to pray;

“May they be one as we are one,

All who believe on Me,

So that the world may surely know,

I’m loved and sent by thee.”

He bought the church with His own blood,

This firstborn from the dead.

He is the Savior of the church.

He is its only Head.

Yes, you may go to your church,

but may I tell you this?

The church that Jesus built exists today,

The name it wears is His.

“The churches of Christ salute you.” – Romans 16:16

                                                      – Author Unknown

What does the Bible say about forgiveness?

By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

Jesus teaches us to pray and in that prayer, he tells us to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

“And whenever you stand praying if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25).

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

The importance of forgiveness is so important, and the Bible has much to say about it. Here are some reasons why it is necessary that we forgive one another:

  1. God commands it.
  2. Jesus Christ has set the example of forgiveness for us.
  3. We must forgive one another because we ourselves have been forgiven.
  4. We must forgive one another in order that we may be forgiven in the future.

We should forgive as many times as necessary. At Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus teaches this, and at Luke 17:3-4 we are told, if necessary we are to forgive someone seven times in one day. Thus the Bible teaches that our forgiveness is to be unlimited.

There are many Bible examples for us to follow such as Joseph, David, Stephen, and the classic example is Jesus himself who even prayed for his enemies (Luke 23:34).

Forgiveness must be from the heart. It must be full and complete. We must not hold grudges, hatred, and malice in our hearts. Doing so, only hurts us.

What does the Bible say about the name of Jesus Christ

“And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Continue reading

#bible-study, #jesus-christ

Is there a church of Christ in this town

We enjoyed our trip to visit our daughter and her family in Ridgeland, MS this past week. On our way home we stopped at The Dinner Bell restaurant in Waynesboro, MS, to have lunch. Let me say it wasn’t a disappointment. 

I asked the waitress near the end of our visit, “Is there a church of Christ here?” She looked around and I could tell she didn’t know. She did the next best thing, she asked a man seated right behind me. “Yes,” he replied firmly as if she certainly should know. He continued, “It is right up here on highway 45.” I didn’t ask any further questions but found the conversation very interesting. Continue reading

#christian-living, #church, #church-of-christ

What does the Bible say about the new name

“The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name” (Isaiah 62:2).

“And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Continue reading

#bible-study

Sweeping around your own door

We have been attending gospel meetings in the surrounding area recently. One night the visiting speaker was preaching and was very enjoyable. He was a robust kind of guy. You know the kind. The one with the big stomach and the sports coat that won’t quite button? I wouldn’t have noticed that if he had stayed behind the pulpit, but he stood off to the side and preached.

Well, getting on with my story, he started naming the things that “really worried” him. It worried him that women let scissors touch their hair. It worried him about churches using multiple cups in taking the Lord’s supper. He said it really worried him and related how it all came about by naming the person in Chattanooga, TN who he said started the movement for multiple cups. He said it really worried him and kept emphasizing how it worried him.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that he was directing his thoughts probably more than I wanted toward me or us. Well, there was one other lady in the crowd with short hair and she happened to be seated on the front row beside an elderly couple. I thought they might be her parents. Hmmm, I wondered how she was taking what he was saying.

I wanted so badly to ask the preacher a question after the service but decided I should ask Doug, my husband if he thought it would be all right before I asked the question. After the invitation song and prayer, we turned and I whispered to Doug what I wanted to ask the preacher and asked if he thought it was okay for me to do so. He bent over to hear me above the crowd and I whispered, “I want to ask him if he also worries about gluttony.” 

Doug stood up quickly and erectly and said, “I don’t think you better do that, Glenda.” 

So I didn’t. I shook the preacher’s hand, greeted him warmly and exited the building, I couldn’t help but think that we better be careful about sweeping around our own door before we start sweeping around someone else. That’s just my way of thinking. 

#bible-study, #preaching

What does the Bible say about purity of life

by: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

“Keep yourself pure: (1 Timothy 5:22).

“Whatsoever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

“Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).

“Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). Continue reading

#bible-study, #purity

What does the Bible say about preparing for eternity

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12).

Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe
in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

The above verses with others and the entire tenor of God’s word tells us of the necessity of making preparation to meet the Lord in heaven and to escape hell. God has made every necessary provision for the salvation of everyone through the gift of His Son. And Jesus was willing to sacrifice in His dying upon that old rugged cross that we might be forgiven of our sins.

Even though God has provided the gift of salvation to everyone as the Bible states, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:14), God requires our faith and obedience.

Jesus stated the necessity of obedience when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Jesus also encourages us to follow the narrow way that leads to life because there are few that do so. But He says there are many who travel the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

It is so true that “Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people,” and that “not everyone talking about heaven will necessarily go there.”

#bible-study, #eternity

I’m not saved. I’ve been lied to all these years.

“I am not saved. I’ve been lied to all
these years.”

Those were the comments Kay Smith
made when she called me to say she had finished reading Muscle and a Shovel recently. I had given her a copy of the book Sunday evening after worship and she called Tuesday evening to say she had finished reading the book. Then she said, “I am not saved. I’ve been lied to all these years. I’m not saved.”

That had to be a stunning revelation for Kay when she read what the Bible teaches a person has to do to become a Christian and she knew she had not done it. I told her we could baptize her if she wanted to do it then. She said she wanted to study more and have some questions answered. She said, “I have pages marked and turned down in this book and I want to talk to you further.” We made an appointment to study with her the next day. After the study, Douglas left her with a list of Bible verses to study and read for herself straight from the word of God.

Sunday came around and I went to pick Kay up for Bible study. Immediately upon getting into the car, she pulled out pages torn from a small yellow pad filled with writing. She said, “I’ve written out each one of those scriptures you left with me.” Wow! I was impressed with her interest in studying the Bible. I asked if she was ready to be baptized and she said, “Yes.” Later when the invitation was extended at the end of the morning worship service Kay went forward and was baptized correctly for the remission of her sins. She said, “I’m going to live the rest of my life for Jesus Christ to the best I know how.”

Do you know what the Bible teaches about how to be saved? “Father, send us more people who are receptive to the truth of Thy Word.”

#bible-study, #faith, #truth

Fighting to save her babies

We walked silently to the city of the dead Tuesday afternoon to pay our final respects to a loved one. I heard a shrill scream in the stillness. It stopped and started over and over. I searched the area to see what was making the sound and then I spotted her. Right near the funeral home tent and near the velvet covered chairs standing on a small grave-stone was a little mother, a little bird. She was standing alert and any rapid movement near made her scream a warning. Different people were getting too close and she was giving a piercing warning to stay away from her guard. The wind was blowing, a plane was flying overhead, and with the little mother’s piercing scream I didn’t hear much of Doug’s final comments or prayer at the gravesite. But I fell in love with the little mother, the little bird that could have easily blended in with the area. I moved closer and she screamed and fluffed up her feathers. I wanted to see what it was she was so protective of, what it was she would have fought a human being over, what it was she would have given her life to protect. And then I saw her prized possessions, her eggs. Those eggs were hers. She had produced them and she was protecting them at all cost. No one was going to destroy her babies under her watch. Why she would have fought and given her very life to protect those four eggs. Ah, how wonderful it would be if young girls were this protective of the unborn babies they carry in their wombs. Nature teaches us the best way. If little birds have the protective nature such as exhibited by this little mother, how much more should we as God’s highest creation exemplify the same? “I will fight to save my baby” should be the battle cry of all potential mothers. Let no one destroy what you have helped create.

What does the Bible say about showing our faith

By: Douglas M. Williams Sr.

“There is a God in heaven” (Daniel 2:28).

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:17-18).

One way to show our faith is by defending God and His word. We show our faith each time we express enjoyment or wonder about the beauty of the seasons (Genesis 8:22), or God’s promise of the rainbow (Genesis 9:8-17). Or, talk about the innocence and wonder of a newborn child, or when we give God the credit for some aspect of how the cycle of life works on earth. Also, when we speak of some scientific truth, foreknown by the Bible, before being discovered by mankind such as the circle of the earth (Isaiah 40:22), the paths of the sea (Psalm 8:8), or the fact that the stars cannot be numbered.

These things may seem minor or of no great importance and out of mind when dealing with the struggles of every day living—work, school, health, or just making ends meet at the end of the month. Indeed, life is so full of many things that demand our time, talents, and money. But the truth about God and His word is so important to our daily lives that such thoughts should never be far from our mind (Matthew 6:33).

It is not difficult to defend God when we think of His many benefits in our lives each day, and that all good things come from Him (James 1:17; Psalm 68:19; 103:2).

Do you pray? And when good things happen in answer to your prayers, do you thank God and give Him the glory? These and other things will let everyone know that you know someone other than yourself is in control.

She gave the best she had to give

We visited our daughter and her family in Houston several years ago. Sierra, our granddaughter, was just a little girl. She had given up her bedroom for us to sleep in while there and she moved to a pallet in her sister’s room. When the time came for us to leave we decided to pay Sierra for the use of her room. We were packed and almost ready to go. My Bible was laying on the bed. We called Sierra into the bedroom, thanked her for allowing us to sleep in her room, and told her we wanted to give her some money to express our appreciation for her kindness. She looked at the bills we gave her and hurriedly dashed from the room with her blonde curls bouncing. Soon she came rushing back to our room and slapped something down firmly on my Bible. It was two stickers. She gave us the best she had to give and she gave it freely and gladly. Those two stickers remain on my Bible today. Every time I see them I remember the little girl that gave the best she had to give. Oh, but that we could give so freely of that in which God has richly blessed us.

Would You?

I read with interest a post by docmgphillips on 2018-02-17 in regard to baptizing a young couple living together but not married. Be sure to read it below. It reminded me of a young couple that came to us to rent mother’s house. I asked if they were married. He said they were not but they planned to live together for a while until they got on their feet and marry later. Immediately I said, “No, I can’t provide you a place to live together unmarried. Now if you two go ahead and marry, or you plan to live separately, you may rent this house. In fact, we would be happy to have you as renters, but living together outside of marriage is not according to God’s plan and we can’t support it.” Long story short, they got married right away and were good renters. Today they have a little daughter.

Jerry Davidson, long-time missionary to Guyana, deals a lot with couples in Guyana who are living together outside of marriage and after studying and learning the truth want to become Christians. Jerry says, “We have a wedding and then we baptize them.” Someone might add, “otherwise it would be getting the cart ahead of the horse.”

There’s nothing like following God’s plan.