The Soul and Spirit of Mankind

Some people confuse the soul and the spirit of mankind. Many think they are different words for the same entity. Yet, the Bible is clear that they are separate (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

God originally created humans in His image and likeness as a tripartite being with a body, soul and spirit (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). We are set apart from other created beings because of this peculiarity (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Animals have a body and soul – a mind, will and emotions; but they do not have a spirit. Botanists say that plants have emotions and enjoy it when we to talk to them.

Yet, the spirit of man is our link with Almighty God. Due to Adam’s sin, our spirit is dead in sin when we are born (Ephesians 2:1). God draws us throughout our lifetime to come to Him for the rebirth of our spirit (John 3:1-21).

Yet, God also gives us a free will (2 Timothy 2:26). It is our choice to believe and to accept His free gift of salvation, or to condemn our self through our unbelief for eternity (John 3:16-18; Romans 3:23, 6:23).

Our body lives one day at a time, dying a little bit more each day. Our soul, made up of our will, feelings, thoughts, intellect and conscience, lives beyond the life span of our body.

The eternal destination of our immortal body, soul and spirit is determined by our choice to receive or reject Christ while we live on this earth (John 3:16-18).

Prayer:
Father God, help us by Your mercies to present our body to You as a living, holy and acceptable sacrifice (1 Corinthians 6:20). This is our spiritual service of worship to You. Remind us not to be conformed to his sinful world, with its dreams, goals and practices, but to allow Your Holy Spirit to renew our mind to live in Your will for our individual life (Romans 12:1-2).

We do not need to guess what Your will is, nor strain and stress about the issues of this life in which we get so bogged down every day. Your will includes so much more than obeying Your Word. It also includes fulfilling the purpose for which You created us (Ephesians 2:10). We simply enter into Your rest and walk in Your Spirit each moment of every day.

Thought for the Day:
Our spirit and soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – are considered our heart, and God calls us to watch over our heart diligently, because out of it flows the springs of life.
– Proverbs 4:23

Advertisements

The Name of the Lord – His Chosen Nation

God loves Israel, regardless of their behavior toward Him, because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He continually calls Israel to return to Him, to exalt His name and to keep His Word (Psalm 69:35-36).

He never abandoned Israel, even when she was not a nation, because it pleases Him to make them a nation for His great name’s sake (Isaiah 12:22). This increases our faith in God’s faithfulness.

God redeemed Israel continually through the generations to make a name for Himself, as He did great and mighty things for them. He even divided the waters before them (2 Samuel 7:23, 26).

He restored part of the Promised Land to Israel over and over through their history; and again in 1948, after the great persecution and judgement He sent on them because of their unbelief (2 Kings 21:4, 23:27).

He formerly scattered them among the nations of the earth, as He prophesied that He would; but now He calls them back to Himself for His own name’s sake (Nehemiah 1:9; Jeremiah 3:17).

People wonder how God can turn to the Gentiles and shut up His Kingdom to Israel for 2000 years; but He gave Israel 4,000 years to turn their hearts to Him.

Even now, many Jews return to God and find completion through Jesus Christ. For His name’s sake, He will use the Great Tribulation to give them yet another chance to take refuge in His name (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:9, 50:34; Micah 5:4; Zephaniah 3:9,12; 13:9).

Some people are blinded to God’s true character and provision by Satan’s lies and they curse Him, because they see only the trials, which come on us on this earth (Revelation 16:9).

Yet, people from every tribe, tongue and nation of the earth come before Him to worship His name and glorify Him, because of the blessings God pours out on His people (Revelations 15:4).

Prayer:
Father God, you are jealous over your people who glory in Your holy name (Exodus 34:14). Our heart is glad continually over Your provision for us in our life on this earth (1 Chronicles 16:10). We boast in You so that the humble will hear about Your provision in our life and come to You (Psalm 34:2).

There is salvation in no other name or means than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). As the perfect Lamb, He is the only way, truth and life (John 14:6). Whatever we ask in Your name, in order to perform the works You created us to do for Your glory, You will supply (John 14:13). There is no God like You, and we exalt Your name, which is great in power and might (Jeremiah 10:6).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus, the true King of Israel, is most highly exalted; and God bestowed on Him the name, which is above every other name; so that at His name, everyone who is in Heaven, on the earth and even under the earth will bow their knee to Him. – Philippians 2:9-11

4:2

The Name of the Lord – Our Power

The Lord saves us and raises some people into prominence and authority for His name’s sake, so that He may make His power known in the whole earth; such as the little shepherd boy who slew the mighty giant by the power of the name of the Lord of hosts (Psalm 106:8; Romans 9:17; Isaiah 17:45).

God revives us, delivers us, forgives our sins and brings our soul out of trouble for the glory of His name (Psalm 143:11; Psalm 79:9). God gives His people, who magnify His name, rest like cattle who are fattened by the sweet grass of the valley (Isaiah 63:12, 14).

The Lord knows those who are His and helps us to abstain from evil (2 Timothy 2:19). Since we love Him and intimately know His name, He securely sets us on high and delivers us (Psalm 91:14).

We know and trust the Lord who will never forsake those who seek Him (Psalm 9:10). He helps us to resist our enemies and through His name we have spiritual power and might (Psalm 44:5, 118:12; Romans 16:20).

God gives a chance for repentance and forgiveness to all by proclaiming His name to all the nations (Luke 24:47). He blesses anyone who lives in His name and through them He blesses the whole earth (Psalm 72:19, 118:26; Joel 2:32; Luke 13:35).

When we rely on the Lord, we are overcomers. He makes us strong pillars in His church, and He writes on us His name and the name of His holy city (Revelation 3:12).

Prayer:
Father God, You will make Jesus the only Lord and King over all of the earth. His name will be the only one glorified among the nations (Zechariah 14:9). From the rising to the setting of the sun, we praise Your name, and we look forward to You reigning as King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 1:11).

Many come in Your name in order to mislead the foolish (Luke 21:8; Matthew 24:5; Mark 13:6). Therefore, we must use discernment to realize who is speaking Your truth. Remind us not to follow any one person, but to feed from the life given to us in Your Word.

Thought for the Day:
The Son of righteousness has risen with healing in His wings, and enables us to dance with joy like a playful calf. – Malachi 4:2

Set Apart for God

Without God’s Spirit within, we do not belong to Christ or His family (Romans 8:9). God’s Spirit us makes us His children. We no longer live under the dominion of the flesh, the world or the devil, and we are not our own.

God owns our time, energy and resources (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are set apart for God. Though we live on this earth, we no longer have anything in common with sinners or the world (Psalm 4:3; 2 Corinthians 6:16).

If we continue to offer our self as slaves to sin, it leads to death; if we obey the dictates of holiness, we are part of God’s holy temple and He dwells in us by His Spirit (Romans 6:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16-18).

We are more concerned with spiritual aspects in our life than carnal ones. We have a new heavenly name (Revelation 2:17). Do you know the meaning of your earthly name? ( http://www.ohbabynames.com )

I like my name, Kathleen Anne. It means: pure one, innocent, God’s favor and grace. Someone with this name is usually dependable, solid, practical, hard-working, industrious, studious, conservative, spiritual, wise, peculiar, intuitive, imaginative, philosophical and solitary. This fits me to a “T”.

As a child, I yearned to be a good girl, so my parents would love me. I even wished on the first star every night that I would be a good girl, so I could be cherished and accepted.

At 18, I realized that that no one is ever good (Romans 7:18-25), and that I could not do enough good to be valued and approved. That is when I turned to Jesus Christ as my Savior. He loves me unconditionally (1 John 4:16).

God takes up residence in our spirit. He abides in His children and walks with us. He is our God and we are His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). We live as the church of the living God, and are the pillar and foundation of His truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

Prayer:

Father God, You accept us as part of Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:5-7). Our spirit, once dead in Adam’s sin, was Born Again by Your Spirit, and You came to live in us for the rest of our life and throughout eternity (Romans 8:10; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thank You for building us into Your house, as we firmly hold to our confidence and hope in Your glory. Christ is the faithful caretaker of Your House (Hebrews 3:6) and we realize the privilege, which You afford us, to allow us to take a part in all of Your plans.

Thought for the Day:

Anyone who leaves their sinful lifestyle, and believes that Jesus in God who came in human flesh as Emmanuel, will have a new name written down in Heaven. – 1 John 4:4

The God of Heaven and Earth

The heavens and earth are our whole world. Without them, we could not exist. A one-degree change in the tilt of our axis would demolish us. One inch closer to the sun would incinerate us. The exact precision of our position in our solar system and in the Milky Way ensures the existence of mankind on the earth. We can see God’s hand in this exactitude in nature (Romans 1:20).

He is so much greater than what we deem so important in our little microcosm on this earth. Consider the heavens with the sun, moon and stars, which are the work of His fingers (Psalm 8:3). There is no man-made cathedral, which can house His amazing influence and majesty (Acts 7:49). Even the highest heavens cannot contain Him (2 Chronicles 6:18).

Heaven is God’s throne and the earth is His footstool (Matthew 5:35; Isaiah 66:1). He lays the beams of His upper chamber on the firmament around the earth (Psalm 104:3). He makes the clouds His chariots and rides on swift clouds and on the wings of the wind (Psalm 104:3; Isaiah 19:1). The windstorms are His chariot and His horses are faster and more magnificent than eagles (Jeremiah 4:13).

He often uses tornados, hurricanes and storms to remind humanity of His great power (Nahum 1:3). He uses lightening as arrows and sends them forth to do His bidding (2 Samuel 22:15). He channels the sea; and even the heart of kings and the flow of rivers follow the course, which He prepares for them (Isaiah 43:19; Proverbs 21:1).

He constructed the foundation of the universe and at His rebuke, or a blast of His breath from His nostrils everything will be laid barren (2 Samuel 22:16). His voice is like a waterfall, like a mighty trumpet (Revelation 1:15; Ezekiel 43:2; Hebrews 12:19; Psalm 93:4). Clouds and thick darkness surround Him as His canopy, and a blazing fire goes before Him (Psalm 97:2; 2 Samuel 22:12-13).

He parts the heavens and comes down with dark clouds under His feet (2 Samuel 22:10). He cautions us not to swear by heaven, because heaven is His throne on which He sits (Matthew 5:34, 23:22). He fills heaven and earth and there is no place that we could ever hide from Him (Jeremiah 23:24). The earth, as we know it, will pass away, but His Word will live on eternally (Matthew 24:35).

Prayer:
Father God, You come to us with earthquakes and booming thunder, with windstorms and blizzards and flames of devouring fire (Isaiah 29:6). Yet, You also come to us as a baby in the manger, as a servant King and as a risen Savior (Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:5-7; Romans 10:9). You are so mighty that our mind cannot contain the fullness of who You really are. We praise You with all of our being, because although You are the great, powerful and awesome God, You keep Your covenant of love with those who love You and keep Your commandments (Nehemiah 9:32; 1 Kings 8:23; Nehemiah 1:5; Daniel 9:4).

Thought for the Day:
Our might God rescues us and is our support in a safe and comfortable place, even in the face of a strong enemy who overpowers us and hates us and confronts us in our times of misfortune. – 2 Samuel 2:18-20

Self-Confidence or God-Confidence

There is nothing on this earth that I want more than to be filled through all of my being with all of the fullness of God, and to have the richest measure of His presence until I completely overflow with God Himself (Ephesians 3:19). This starts at Salvation when we receive all of God’s fullness. He moves in by His Spirit with all of His glory and power.

I know that there is no way to contain more of God, because His fullness already abides in Believers; but I do want to experience a fuller awareness of His presence and leading. Too often, we are so full of our self, that we miss out on the fullness of God within us. The more we allow our flesh and self-confidence to dictate our life, the less we walk in the Spirit.

We need to surrender to God the self-assured part of our identity in order to trust Him. People with a high opinion of their assets have so much to overcome, but those who suffer with self-doubt and who lack self-esteem are closer to walking in the Spirit. The uncertain, timid person is already light years ahead of most people. Insecure people trust God more than those who are secure in their self.

What we need more than self-confidence in our human attributes is our confidence and identity in God. John advised us to decrease, so that Christ in us may increase (John 3:30). We gain our identity in who we are in Christ, not in who we are as a person. There is nothing, which God calls us to do, that we cannot accomplish, once we realize the extent of His power within us (Philippians 4:13).

If we list our human assets and talents, we discover the gifts God gave us. For instance, what are we good at? What positive character traits do we already have? These are the areas where God is already shining through us. We are His light in the world (Matthew 5:16). God lives in us, and we have all the power of the godhead working through us. Now, that fact will improve any self-image!

Prayer:
Father God, when we face challenges in life, which overwhelm our faith, we are tempted to roll up our sleeves and apply some human effort to the problem. We fail to realize our limited human resources. Remind us that the nation of Israel faced such an issue at the outskirts of Canaan, and felt like grasshoppers. They wandered in the wilderness, because they thought they had to rely on their human effort rather than on Yours. Give us the faith to follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit each moment of every day.

Thought for the Day:
When we gain our identity from Christ in us, rather than from our human capabilities or insufficiencies, we accomplish everything, which God calls us to do.

Trusting in the Almighty

The Lord preserves our life and inspires our devotion to Him (Psalm 97:10). He is our God and saves everyone who trusts in Him (Psalm 86:2). Our eyes are on the Lord, and we take refuge in Him. He will never leave our soul – our mind, will and emotions – destitute (Psalm 141:8). He is our constant help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Even if the earth erupts in multiple tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes, which level the mountains, surge the roaring waves from the sea and level the earth with quakes, we have no need to be afraid (Psalm 46:2-3). We simply cry out to Him, who is our provision for as long as we live on this earth (Psalm 142:5).

God listens to our prayers and pays attention to our requests. He faithfully answers us with His righteous choices (Psalm 143:1). He allows those who trust in Him to experience His unfailing love with each new morning. As we lift up our thoughts, choices and feelings to Him, He reveals His direction for our day (Psalm 143:8).

God’s hand deals out blessings and trials as we need them for our perfection. He allows defeat to mold us into His divine nature. He uses adversity to prove His faithfulness and to increase our faith in Him. Our weakness proves our need for His strength. Our independence melts in the furnace of affliction and we depend on Him more each day.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to listen to Your Spirit so that we may decrease as You increase in our life (John 3:30). Give us a hunger for Your life-giving Word of Truth, which nourishes and satisfies the longing of our soul (Psalm 107:9). Replace our hardened heart with one of flesh that is pliable under the nurturing of Your Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19).

Thought for the Day:
We will not harden our heart to the Truth of God’s Word, but respond to every phrase, and trust in the Almighty as we follow the direction of His voice. – John 10:27; Hebrews 3:15