Jesus is Our True Soulmate

God created us in the image of the Trinity as a triune being (Genesis 1:26). We are body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). At birth, our spirit (pneuma) is dead in sin, which we inherited from Adam and Eve.

 

Yet, at the moment of our salvation, God’s Spirit quickens our spirit; and it is no longer dead in sin, but alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-10, 3:3-4). When we pass from this life, our body goes to the grave, but our soul and spirit go to our eternal reward.

 

Our soul (psuche) is the place where our thoughts, emotions and choices are decided upon. It is our deep-seated personality, conscience, appetites and passions; and it drives our body and hinders or promotes our spirit (Psalm 31:10).

 

As we pass from this life, our body goes to the grave. Our spirit and soul go to our eternal home of heaven or hell, depending on our belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 3:18; Luke 16:22-24; Romans 2:9; Psalm 49:15).

 

At salvation, God also delivers our soul from corruption (Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 38:17; Job 33:18). If we allow His influence in our life, God is involved in every nuance of our moods to deliver us from evil (Acts 2:27; Hebrews 10:39; James 1:21).

 

When Jesus returns to earth to bring home His Bride, our spirit, soul and immortal body are reunited for eternity (1 Corinthians 15:45-57; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Matthew 16:26).

 

With an eternity in hell, our soul continues to experience weary, hungry, bitter, grieving, loving, rejoicing, etc. emotions (Psalm 42:2; 107:9; Jeremiah 31:25; Leviticus 26:11; Job 30:25; Song of Solomon 1:7). Yet in heaven, there is no more sickness or negative emotions (Revelation 21:4).

 

The Trinity created us in their image and calls us to surrender our spirit, soul and body to Him (Job 33:4; Genesis 12:5, 17:14; Ezekiel 18:4). With Christ residing within us as our true soulmate, we no longer face the prospect of separation from God in this life and the next (Haggai 2:13; Leviticus 21:11).

 

Prayer:

Father God, many people fail to realize that our eternal state not only involves our spirit, but our soul as well. Our soul registers all of the thoughts and emotions that it does during this life, including pain and joy (Luke 16:22-24). We actually condemn our self to an eternity of torment by our choice not to believe in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:18).

 

Help us to be wise and to respond to Your call when Your Spirit draws us to step out of the devil’s kingdom of darkness and into Your Kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). Remind us that You desire to rejoice over us with singing and You do not want anyone to perish in sin (Zephaniah 3:17; John 3:16-17; 2 Peter 3:9).

 

Thought for the Day:

There is no true profit for us if we gain the whole world, and yet to lose our own soul in the lake of fire for eternity – Matthew 16:26

 

 

 

 

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A Good Marriage – The Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine

Over the years of marriage, we recognize who our partner is and what they are not. We also develop a better understanding of our self and why we respond to people and events the way we do.

 

We come to identify what triggers negative reactions in one another, so we can avoid these issues whenever possible. We make concentrated efforts on working together to find mutually acceptable plans when our original personal preferences conflict.

 

We also fearlessly attack our personal issues and give the Holy Spirit full reign in our life, so that He can transform us with the mind of Christ. One way to recognize our faults is to pay attention to what our spouse complains about – do we procrastinate, withhold affection, watch too much TV, neglect to help one another with projects or daily chores?

 

Small adjustments in our schedule or habits will make a big difference in marital bliss and harmony. We can learn one another’s love language and show each other love in ways that will fulfill our mate’s needs and allow them to feel nurtured and cherished.

 

This will erase the small irritations which eventually erupt into major disharmony – the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). Do we expect too much from one another, forgetting that we are only human?

 

Do we greet one another as we would our best friend, or do we take one another for granted? We all appreciate being greeted with enthusiasm as someone who is highly cherished.

 

Do we agree to disagree or do we always feel like we are right and our partner is wrong? Do we need to have the last word, or do we stop talking when we have made our point?

 

No one like to live with condemnation, condescension, griping or constant belittlement. It is so good and pleasant when we dwell together in harmony (Psalm 133:1). This unity draws us closer to one another and makes us want to spend more time together.

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to recap once we calm down after a disagreement. Help us to honestly relate how we felt during the “fight” and what thoughts were going through our mind that we did not take the time to articulate. These thoughts fueled our emotional response during our discussion, and our spouse deserves to understand why we reacted as we did to their comment, behavior or reply.

 

Remind us to seek You in all of our decisions and discussions; not to rely on our own understanding, but to allow You to direction our thoughts, words and actions. Help us to be led by Your Spirit rather than to react in our flesh; but if we do act carnally, encourage us to ask for forgiveness from one another and to calmly discuss the situation until we find an equitable solution.

 

Thought for the Day:

Looking into each other’s eyes during a discussion enables us to see within the windows of each other’s soul; speaking honestly about how our partner’s words and actions make us feel will help us to understand one another better too and to make our interactions more intimate and productive. – Matthew 6:22-23

 

From Frightened to Freedom

As a young wife and mother of three, my life was hectic at best. On top of this, I viewed life and reacted to its challenges and issues from a codependent and perfectionistic attitude – double trouble.

 

I wanted to please everyone, so they would like and love me; I thought that the only way to accomplish this feat was to be perfect. I was under the delusion that if I loved and served everyone – even to the detriment of myself – they would love me in return.

 

However, all I did was to teach people to take me for granted and to treat me like a doormat and their unpaid servant – chief cook, bottle washer, baby sitter, housekeeper and problem solver. People took advantage of me, which stressed me out even further.

 

I even did this with God. I attempted to keep every “jot and tittle of the law” (Matthew 5:18), hoping to please God with my undying service, in order to earn His love. I turned into a foolish “Galatian” and ran myself ragged, meeting myself coming and going (Galatians 3:1-3).

 

Stress kept me from sleeping and sleeplessness made me grouchy, which caused me to be short-tempered with those I loved. I hated who I was…I hated me, but I had no idea how to change things.

 

My self-esteem was in the bottom of the tank and I felt like I was drowning in the details of life. Finally, in desperation, I started researching codependence: what caused it and how to get free from it.

 

I learned that I had to stop neglecting my own needs every day and to allow others to meet their own needs once in a while. The books promised that they would still love me anyway, even if I did not “earn” it.

 

I figured that even if they did not love me, then they had no true feelings for me in the first place. I also translated this into the spiritual realm. God already loved me when I was a lost sinner, and He would always love me unconditionally (Romans 5:8); therefore, I could enter His rest and enjoy His favor.

 

This fact stopped the codependence dead in its tracks. I did a 180 degree turn around and walked away from this driven lifestyle. God’s Spirit broke the shackles of expectations that I allowed to chain me to a meager existence.

 

When I entered into God’s rest, I found a security and warmth that I missed all my life. Over the ensuing years, the comfort of God’s rest brought me more peace and joy than I ever dreamed possible; and He continually supplies all of my needs with His glorious riches.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You so much for Your grace and mercy, which lead us in Your everlasting way (John 10:28-30; 1 Peter 5:10). You teach us lessons all along life’s path and You bring us into ever-increasing intimacy with Your presence within us. When we let go of the impossible demands of pleasing people and focus instead on walking by the direction of Your Spirit moment by moment, we enter into Your rest, we receive Your gift of mercy and love, and we learn to trust in Your wisdom.

 

Due to Christ’s saving redemption on Calvary’s cross, we are no longer slaves of the demon of perfectionism. Instead, we follow the leading of Your Spirit and rest in Your goodness and grace. We trust in You with our whole heart; acknowledge You in all of our thoughts, words and deeds; and glorify You as You direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Thought for the Day:

God invites us to bask in His love; abide in His peace and hide under His wings when life scares us (Psalm 91:4); we learn to accept love when it is given and to serve others only when God’s Spirit leads us to do so; this prevents burn-out and promotes joy in living regardless of our circumstances.

 

Saving Grace

 

People today are so turned off by legalism that they pervert the truth that we are forgiven of all sins – past, current and future – and allow sin to grow in their life. They feel no remorse for breaking God’s heart.

 

They sit around drinking beer, wine, cocktails and even hard liquor discussing the Word of God. They smoke their cigars and pipes in church fellowships, and they allow their language to digress to that of a drunken sailor.

 

They feel this is spiritual, because they are breaking the bonds of legalism. They claim that the current church emasculates men and say that the “letter of the law”, in the current evangelical church, prevents them from having a living relationship with our mighty God.

 

I agree that living only according to the “logos” – written Word of God – can mask the sinful desires within a person’s heart. I also agree that a ‘rhema’ – the living Word – relationship is the most important aspect of our salvation.

 

Legalism does kill the spirit, and relationship is more important than religion. However, I also believe that when we actually see the living Jesus, we shrink from living with a license to sin (1 John 2:15).

 

We forsake alcoholism, pornography, gay pride, abortion, adultery and all the other sins, which humanity explains away in our current Laodicean society.

 

The teachings of today’s so-called pastors mirror the gospel taught by the Nicolaitans, whom God hated (Revelations 2:6). These modern men are purporting old age deception cloaked in New Age Lies.

 

Add this to the gnostic element creeping back into the church through Satanic influence and deception, and the post-modern church has a stench that makes God want to vomit (2 Corinthians 11:4; Revelation 3:16).

 

Whatever happened to the holiness that Jesus exemplified for us in His life, calling us to emulate Him in our every thought, word and deed? His Spirit transforms us with the mind of Christ and fills us with His fruit to replace our carnality (Romans 12:2; Galatians 5:15-25).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You make it very clear in the Old and New Testament that You are a Holy God. You call Your Saints to walk in holiness and not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). You are the righteous judge, and sin grieves Your Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). We do not abound in sin, so that Your grace may abound in us (Romans 6:1).

 

Sin, in any form, is destructive and You protect us from its destruction by Your commandments and directives. If we compromise Your Word, we compromise our own success and blessings. We realize that our sin is already paid for by Christ’s crucifixion, but this fact drives us to a dedication to Your Word, rather than to participate in crucifying Jesus afresh by our lackadaisical dabbling in sin without honest remorse (Hebrews 6:4- 6).

 

Thought for the Day:

Modern “reformed” preachers reject solid Biblical principles and replace them with lifeless, liberal mysticism; they ignore the draw of God’s Spirit to walk in holiness just as our Father God is holy. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

– Hebrews 4:12, 13:8; 1 Peter 1:16.

God is Not Mocked

 

We often take our success for granted. We feel entitled to receive the rewards of all we accomplish, because we forget where our blessings actually come from or to show gratitude to God for His provision in our life.

 

We expect to live a pleasant life and to reap the rewards of our hard work and planning, regardless of our behavior. We even grow lax spiritually and compromise our holiness by dabbling in the devil’s den of iniquity.

 

We can be sure, however, that our sin will find us out (Galatians 6:7; Numbers 32:23). We will eventually reap the destruction that we are sowing. Our quality of life may suddenly be jerked right out from under us as this devastation catches up with us.

 

We start to reap the rotten fruit, which is the result of the tainted seeds we planted in our garden of life for so long. We saw nothing wrong with our little indiscretions with Satan’s suggestions, because we worked hard, provided for our family and lived for righteousness more than giving in to sin.

 

Yet, God will not be mocked, and evil corrupts our good morals and grieves the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:33; Ephesians 4:30). God will not endure our disobedience forever. There comes a time when we have to pay the dues of our corrupt flirting with sin.

 

We may experience God’s discipline in small, compassionate ways, which brings our repentance; or we may harden our heart and continue in immorality until we eventually lose the blessings of God on our life, which we are used to experiencing.

 

We tend to get angry with God at times like these, railing against Him for expecting us to walk uprightly before Him all the time, comparing our self to the lives of other people rather to understand God’s requirements that we live a holy life before Him (Luke 12:48).

 

If we stand firm in our pride and resist the Spirit’s drawing, we will sink lower and lower into the mire of destruction and wickedness, continuing to blame others for our behavior and making excuses for our thoughts, words and deeds.

 

However, if we surrender to God’s discipline, humble our pride and accept our fault in the circumstances, repenting with our entire soul and spirit for our duplicity, then God can favor us with His blessings once more.

 

Prayer:

Father God, human pride and self-assurance are snares of the enemy. You show us in Your Word how You want us to live our life. Unless we walk justly and love mercy and walk humbly before You, we will reap the corruption of our sin regardless of how inconsequential that we consider it to be (Micah 6:8).

 

Draw us close to You, never let us go, restore to us the joy of our salvation and help us to lay down our sins so we can hear You rejoicing over us with singing (James 4:8; Psalm 51:12; Zephaniah 3:17). Never allow us to grow so lax in our spiritual walk that we compromise Your values.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we choose to enjoy the momentary pleasures of sin, we set our self up for the loss of God’s blessings in our life; sin is ultimately destructive and always leads to disparaging times of injury for us. – Hebrews 11:25

 

Worship the Holy One

Worship is not about the style of music presented at our local church. Worship starts in our spirit and in the privacy of our own home. We begin each day with worship in our heart to the Holy One.

 

We are filled with praise to our God from the moment we open our eyes until we snuggle into our covers every night. Our spirit will even worship as we sleep; and we will wake with a song filtering through our mind.

 

We do not wait until Sunday morning and expect our worship team to take us to spiritual heights we neglected all week. Worship is a way of life for every authentic Believer.

 

This way, when we gather with the Saints at the appointed times and place, we can worship regardless of the song style, musical ability, stage presence or technological advances is the service (Ephesians 5:19-20).

 

We are already ministering to our Savior and King with songs of praise, filled with love and gratitude for His majesty and blessings in our life, which pour forth from our soul all day long.

 

Even in trials and tribulation, we praise Him for salvation through Christ, the leading of His Spirit, His unconditional love, His continual provision and His forgiveness for our sins, even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:7-9).

 

A life of continual praise prepares us for unexpected challenges that meet us during life on this sin-cursed earth. We trust only in the Lord and never rely on our human understanding or assessment (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

We see our self as a living sanctuary – pure, holy, faithful and grateful to our living Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16). Set apart for the Lord, we are no longer concerned about the temporal issues of life; but filled with the peace, joy and rest of the Lord (Hebrews 10:10-12).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to understand that our life is the true place of worship to You. Worship is not designed to make our soul feel good or our flesh to tingle, but as our offering to You. We dedicate our life to bringing glory and honor to You, even in the mundane aspects such as what we eat and drink (1 Corinthians 10:31).

 

Help us to focus on You rather than our self. Remind us to praise You all day long, to think only positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8), to bring You glory and honor with all that we think, say and do. We live with a heart devoted to worshipping only You. We dedicate the music in our heart and on our tongue as a worship to You every moment of every day of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are true worshippers in spirit and in truth, making music in our hearts to the Lord. – ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­John 4:24; Ephesians 5:19-20

 

 

 

 

God is in Control – Through Troubles and Trials

We live in a world that often frightens us. Unexpected trials and trouble attack us from every side when we least expect it; so we develop the mentality of fear and apprehension.

 

We constantly wait for the next shoe to drop, anticipating trauma around every corner and never allowing our self to believe in or hope for the best. This continues until we realize that every day in Jesus is better than the day before.

 

As a melancholy personality, I struggled for years to come to this place of total trust in God’s goodness and to have faith in His faithfulness and perfect peace in His will for me, regardless of how bad the circumstances seemed.

 

Very few of the imaginary worse case scenarios, which occupy our mind, ever materialize. We end up worrying for nothing; and spending time, when we could be praising God with our thoughts, in trying to be prepared for ever circumstance life may possibly throw at us.

 

Elections, terrorists, natural disasters, financial strain and insecurity, disease, strained relationships, etc. all dim in importance when we realize in our spirit and our soul that, if we live in total surrender, God is in control of every aspect of our life.

 

Life as an authentic, Born Again Believer teaches us that life in Christ is an adventure. We are already dead with Christ in God, living in His abundant rest, walking in His Spirit and enjoying His perfect will for our life.

 

Trouble is merely a tiny bump in the road when we hide under the shadow of God’s wings and allow Him to live life in and through us. Fear, anxiety, insecurities and worry no longer overwhelm our soul, and our spirit draws strength and life from Christ within us.

 

We live, move and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28). God’s Spirit controls all of our decisions, trials and troubles. The shadow of darkness in this world is dispelled by the light of Christ within us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we learn to trust in You, the issues which formerly sent us into the pit of despair, no longer rock our world. We learn over the days of our life spent in Your presence, that You have a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). If we pray without ceasing, walk in Your Spirit each moment of our day and trust in Your unfailing love and mercy, we have joy even in our trials (James 1:2-8).

 

Remind us to replace the negative self-talk and lies straight from the pit of hell with the Truth of Your Word, which is alive and powerful and able to separate the worries of our soul from the faith in our spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Give us Your grace to see us through the days when our faith wanes and the waters threaten to drown us (Habakkuk 3:7-19).

 

Thought for the Day:

Although the closets are bare, we have no job, the garden is overcome by weeds, the grocery prices are way beyond our means, our savings is depleted, and our relationships are hopeless, we can still rejoice in the Lord, because He is the God of our salvation, our strength, our provision, and our enabler in every area of our life. – Habakkuk 3:7-19