It’s what’s on the inside that counts

Recently we mailed our granddaughter in college a book she was interested in. We placed a twenty dollar bill inside the book and secured with a paper clip. Last evening she called us, and I asked if she had received the book. She said she had, and it was on her bookshelf. I asked if she found the paper clip inside it. She admitted she had not. I replied, “You need to check the paper clip. She was shocked to find the money inside the book as she said we didn’t have to do that. She joyfully said it would buy a small table she wanted at a discount store for $20.00, and she would pick it up tomorrow. Continue reading

Questions to ask before marrying someone

When I was a girl growing up I thought quite a bit about the boy I would hopefully one day marry. I thought about the qualifications in which I wanted him to meet. During that time I picked up a tract by brother Johnny Ramsey, “What God Hath Joined Together.” Inside the tract he had a section called “Questions to Consider Before Marriage.” Here are the questions and some comments in the tract:

  1. Does this person put spiritual values first?
  2. Will he help me go to heaven?
  3. Will I grow spiritually as a result of living with him?
  4. Is he a member of the church? If so, is he a member in name only?
  5. Does he believe in the power of prayer and the strength found in studying the Bible?
  6. Does he have those characteristics that will make him a proper father (or mother) of our children?
  7. Is he pure in speech, in body, in action and heart?
  8. Can I thank God for this person?

Jesus tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). It would be impossible to obey this injunction and marry a follower of Satan. Someone has well stated:

“He that married a child of the Devil may expect trouble from his father-in-law.”

That concludes brother Ramsey’s statements pertaining to that subject. I recently found a like-new copy of the tract and it brought back precious memories to me. I well remember the first time I read the tract and said to myself, “Douglas fits every one of those qualifications.” That made things crystal clear in my mind. By the way, he still does after 52 years of marriage and counting! God has blessed us richly.

What does the Bible say about eternal life

“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).

“That whoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:15-16).

“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life” (1 John 2:25). See 1 John 5:11-13.

The Bible has much to say about that which is eternal or everlasting which means the same thing. God is eternal. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). “Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2).

The concept of eternity is beyond our full comprehension. Many illustrations have been used, and efforts made to try to help us understand eternity. There is no end to eternity. It is forever and ever. When time, as we know ends, then eternity begins. Since God is eternal, He is not bound by time. “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

The important thing is for us to make preparation for eternity. God has provided for us to have eternal life by His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. We must believe and obey by repentance, confession, and baptism. When we do this we are forgiven of sin and can live faithfully for Jesus to receive eternal life in heaven.

To think of eternal life is to remind us of eternal death. Jesus said our eternity will either be in heaven or hell (Matthew 7:13-14).

Prepare to meet thy God for eternal life in heaven (Amos 4:12).

Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

I’m not going to teach anybody

“Father forgive them for they know not what they say,” is my thinking on the above disturbing statement and “We’re not going to reach people around here. So many are already established in their own churches and aren’t going to change.”

It chills me to hear members of the church making such bold statements about not trying to win souls for Christ. “Jesus gave us our marching orders,” brother Ira North used to say. Jesus said to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel. He that believeth and is baptized will be saved. He that believeth not will be damned (Mark 16:16). Though that command is old, it is still as young and fresh as it was the day Jesus issued the command. And it will still be fresh on the day of judgment.

Who are we to say, “I’m not going to teach anyone.” Who is so bold? Is it a fear of asking another to study the Bible with us? Is it that we in the church believe that one church is good as another? Is it that we believe everybody is going to heaven, just in different directions? Is it really acceptable for us to attend the church of our choice?

Jesus died for one church, the church He built. The worship pattern is the same as we read about in the Bible, the real “first church.” We don’t have the right living under the blessings of God each day to say, “I’m not going to teach anyone.”

Even Jesus said, “I must be about the Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). He said for us to go and teach others. Dare we do any differently?

#evangelism

What does the Bible say about the miracles of Jesus

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. “ (John 21:25).

John sent disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah, and Jesus told them, “Tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Luke 7:22).

People marveled when they saw the miracles of Jesus saying, “even the winds and the sea obey Him” (Matthew 8:27). They were amazed and said, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:12). The Bible says, “they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!” (Luke 5:26).

What is usually referred to as miracles, are also called signs, wonders, and mighty works.

The Old Testament tells of miracles, as well as miracles performed by followers of Jesus, but more were done by Jesus than others. Jesus performed miracles to show that He was the Son of God. His disciples performed miracles to confirm their teachings, and that they were doing God’s will (Mark 16:20).

As noted in the verses above, Jesus did miracles to convince us to have obedient faith in Him that we might be saved from sin and have eternal life in heaven. As Jesus stated, “I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

#bible-study, #miracles

Sinning Against God

The Lord was with Joseph. He was a prosperous man. When Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand, he made him overseer over his house and all that he had. The Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake. Potiphar left all that he had in Joseph’s hand. Joseph was a good man and well favored.

Potiphar’s wife liked Joseph and set her sights on him. She asked him to “lie with her.” Joseph refused and told her that his master, and her husband, had committed all that he had to his care. He reminded her that he was the greatest in his house, and she was Potiphar’s wife. Then he asked the question: “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”  Continue reading

#bible-study, #sin

What does the Bible say about anger

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil” (Psalm 37:8).

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:8).

“Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). Continue reading

#anger, #bible-study