Summary: The importance of Scripture to the life of the healthy soul.
True Spirituality Series
Food for Your Soul
Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister
First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO
You are what you eat, so the saying goes. That must be right. I look out here today and I am sure I see several dozen glazed donuts, several chocolate bars, and couple of bags of potatoes! I think I even see a lot of baloney in the back pew.
No wonder eating healthier and losing weight are at the top of most people’s New Year’s resolutions. Because of that, I want to share with you the latest research on eating healthy. You won’t find this in the New England Journal of Medicine. Even the Weight Watchers and South Beach Diet folk have yet to discover these secrets.
The Top Five Little Known Diet Secrets: #5--If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories. #4--If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are canceled out by the diet soda. #3--When you eat with someone else, calories don’t count if you don’t eat more than they do. #2--Foods that have the same color have the same number of calories. Examples are: spinach and pistachio ice cream; mushrooms and white chocolate. NOTE: Chocolate is a universal color and may be substituted for any other food color. And the number one diet secret--#1--If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner.
Seriously . . . We are in the midst of a series of messages on True Spirituality—Finding the Life You’ve Always Wanted. What we are really talking about is the Care and Feeding of the Healthy Soul. If there is one verse of scripture that sums up all that we are talking about over these several weeks, it is 1 Timothy 4:8, “train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Both physical and spiritual training require the right diet.
Jesus knew this, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). Jesus taught his disciples that the Word of God produces life and health in our lives (Mt 13: 23). You need to feed on God’s Word. It’s a matter of your soul’s health.
My message has two parts—one for each hand. Each part, just like your hands, has five fingers. Together they explain how we can get a grip on God’s Word—the food for a healthy soul.
First the right hand—God’s part, what the Bible can do in our lives. This explains why the Bible is so important for a healthy soul. According to the text I read a moment ago, the Word of God benefits in five ways.
First, God’s Word Converts. It makes us “wise unto salvation.” God’s Word contains the truth about life and death, sin and salvation, heaven and hell. The Bible says we are born again “through the living and enduring word of God. … And this is the word that was preached to you” (1 Pt 1:23-25). It says we are included in Christ when we hear the word of truth and believe it (Eph 1:13-14).
Like Timothy in that passage, I first learned of God’s love as a young boy. I eventually accepted Christ because Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, and preachers feed me God’s Word. I can still remember the preacher sitting in our living room, opening his Bible, and explaining what it meant to be a Christian. That’s how people become Christians and set their course for heaven.
The Word of God converts. It also convinces. “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of,” our text encourages. That passage refers back to a previous warning. The chapter begins, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” How does a person remain strong in faith in a spiritually crazy world? Not by believing everything he hears! That’s for sure! By sinking his roots deep into the Word of God!
Dwight L. Moody once said, “I used to want a stronger faith. I prayed and I prayed for more faith. Then one day I read in the Bible that “faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God.” So I picked up my Bible and began to read. My faith has been growing ever since!” So will yours.
God’s Word converts. It convinces. It also convicts. That’s what that the word rebuke means in our text. The Word is like mirror. When we look into it, we see our dirty faces. It reveals us for what we are.