By Irvin Himmel
Few of us miss feeding our bodies three times daily. Sometimes we slip in snacks between meals, and we usually register no objection to an extra big feed now and then, such as a holiday dinner or supper at the house of a relative. In most households mother has no problem getting the attention of the rest of the family when she announces that the food is on the table.
The soul, like the body, needs food. But a lot of us have starved ourselves spiritually while overeating physically. Some expect the Sunday morning diet to provide them with adequate spiritual nourishment for a whole week. Others come back on Sunday evening for another spiritual feed, and some return on Wednesday evening for a mid-week feed. Of course, there are a few who take time each day to feed on the good word of God at home.
Alas! it is no wonder that some are weak and sickly. It is no marvel that they are beset with various spiritual ailments. Their malnutrition has made them susceptible to many diseases, and they have lost their appetite. They are too feeble and sickly to come in time for Sunday ‘morning Bible classes, and in some cases the food distributed at the worship hour is too rich for their stomachs! If fed at all, they must be fed from a bottle!
Paul found some brethren like these in his day. He wrote, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able” (1 Cor. 3:1-2). Again he wrote, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:12-14).
Spiritual growth and development necessitate wholesome spiritual food. To be, spiritually healthy we must keep the soul supplied with sound doctrine. Classes, sermons, and study periods are, but spiritual meal times. When the family of God come together for a spiritual feast, are you as anxious to join them as you are to get to the dining table at home? Which has priority with you-feeding the body or feeding the soul? Have you ever missed a meal for the physical man in order to feed the spiritual man? I have noticed that some folks get in a hurry to end the Sunday morning spiritual feast so they can run home and feed the body.
Jesus said, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life . . . .” (John 6:26). Again he said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever . . .” (John 6:51). We are partaking of Christ as the bread of life when we read, study, and digest his words. “. . . The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). When Christ’s words are received through study and digested by belief, meditation, and obedience, the soul is built up.
We urge you to give more consideration to the needs of the spiritual man within you. May God grant you, “according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16).
Truth Magazine XIX: 17, p. 258
March 6, 1975