What does the Bible say about feeding our souls?

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12).

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:1-2).

We not only need food for our physical bodies, but also food for our spiritual souls. Without food, living things die. Without food, your physical body will die. If you have pets, without feeding them, they will die.

All people need to feed their hearts and minds with the Word of God. God’s Word is the food for a person’s soul, and if people do not read and study God’s Word, then their souls will die.

Some of the things we buy come with an owner’s manual. In a similar way, the Bible is like an owner’s manual for us. God created us and knows exactly what we need to do and how we should live in order to be happy.

Wouldn’t it be good for all of us to read and study the Bible more than we have in the past? Now, at the beginning of this New Year let each of us resolve that we will do this.

Remember, if we love God we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). The Bible may be referred to as our “roadmap,” to tell us how to live and get to heaven. Also, God’s Word will judge us in the last day (John 12:48).

Happy New Year!

#bible-reading, #bible-study, #souls

Going home for the holidays

There’s nothing like going home or going to visit loved ones during the holidays. There’s something about going to a place you are invited, where you are welcomed, and where you will enjoy spending time with loved ones and friends. The only downside is a day of departure is always set. It can’t go on forever.

We visited our daughter, husband, and children in Mississippi during the holiday season. Our son went with us so our whole family was together. What a joyful time we had. There were lots of hugs, laughter, late night and early morning talks, and good times shared with each other. Also, it was a restful time to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and to finally sit down and totally relax. What a joyful time this was for all of us. I just imagine in a small way it will be that way when we all get to heaven. Let’s think about that.

First of all, we are invited to heaven. No greater invitation has ever been issued. The invitation was set long ago when Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Secondly, we are wanted. We don’t like to go places where we feel we are unwanted and uncomfortable. Jesus has prepared a place for us. He said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions if it were not so I would have told you.” Jesus wants us to be with Him. He said, “I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there you may be also.”

Thirdly, in heaven, we will be meeting loved ones and friends and talking and sharing stories. Who is it that you most want to meet in heaven beyond family members? What Bible character? How wonderful it will be to sit down and hear them tell of their work on earth.

Fourthly, we will not have a time limit on how long we can stay. We can stay forever in the most wonderful place we have ever seen or visited. In our world, we see many beautiful sites, but our eyes have never seen anything to compare with the beauties of this wonderful place prepared for us.

Finally, we will be singing and praising our Savior, thanking Him for laying down His life for us that we might have the hope of living in heaven with Him one sweet day. What a joy it will be to be in His presence.

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Now is the time to prepare, my friend.

#heaven, #home

What does the Bible say about the new year

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2).

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

We are in a new year, and we should have the attitude of the apostle Paul in the above verses. The past year of 2017 is gone. We cannot change the past. We have the present. We should look forward to the future with positive anticipation to do the best we can and with God’s blessings to make our lives what God would have them to be.

There is a sense in which it is good to have left another “long, weary mile” behind, as we pass another milestone on our journey to an eternity with God. As we approach another New Year, people are often heard to greet each other with a warmth of feeling “Happy New Year!” This is a beautiful and lovely spirit and a wonderful wish. John stated, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2). Certainly, we extend such good and pleasant things for each of you, and that you have the best year ever. It will be a wonderful year and blessings for eternity if you live for God.

At the beginning of a year, we usually think of resolutions, even though we can resolve to improve our lives at any time. What better time than the beginning of a new year to make new resolves? Hopefully, each of us will make some good resolutions and try our best to live up to them; never becoming impatient and quitting, even if we seem to slip, but try again.

God bless thy year,

Thy coming in, thy going out,

Thy rest, thy traveling about,

The rough, the smooth,

The bright, the drear:

God bless thy year.

#bible, #new-year

Ready or not we are going to die

As I was working on the bulletin Friday morning, I started looking over the birthday/anniversaries list and it shocked me to see the number from the January list who passed away in 2017. John McDougald, Becky Miller, Ruth Shields, and Van Parker are names that were on our list last year but who are no longer with us. Death has no respect for the age of a person as we can see from the names listed.

Friday morning I received word that my dear friend in Andalusia, Margie Thomasson, passed away. We were expecting Margie to go home to be with the Lord because of her lingering illness. We visited her recently and knew the process had begun. Margie was a fine Christian and the wife of Curtis Thomasson, an elder of the Cedar Grove congregation in Andalusia.

Death is sure and certain. It is appointed to each of us to die. It is not to be overlooked or ignored, pretending it won’t happen to us. It will come to us as surely as we take a breath. It is foolish, indeed, for a person to not take death and eternity seriously and to prepare for it. The scripture states, “It is appointed once for man to die and then cometh the judgment.” At death our destination is sealed. Prepared or not, we will be whirled out into eternity.

We used to play a game of hide and seek as children. We would yell out, “Ready or not, here I come.” Ready or not we will go into judgment. It is a serious matter and must be taken seriously.

At the beginning of this new year when people will be making new resolutions, new goals, new dreams, let us take our souls into serious consideration. How is it with our soul? The song states,

Some day you’ll stand at the bar on high, Someday your record you’ll see; Someday you’ll answer the question of life, What will your answer be?

Sadly you’ll stand, if you unprepared, Trembling, you’ll fall on your knees. Facing the sentence of life or of death, What will your answer be?

Now is the time to prepare, my friend, Make your soul spotless and free; Washed in the blood of the crucified One, He will your answer be.

#death, #new-years-resolutions

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.