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

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

No Longer Condemned

Regardless of our struggles as Believers in Christ, no action on our part can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). We are no longer condemned, because Christ set us free (Romans 8:1).

When certain sins continue to entice us, we can ask God to reveal the need in us, which they supply. He gives us wisdom on how to meet those needs in a Godly fashion, and we no longer desire sin.

All sin is rooted in unbelief, because whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:22-23). Satan will even attempt to condemn us with shame for our lack of faith; yet, we can cry out to God, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:23-25).

We reject the devil’s condemnation, and respond with repentance and surrender to the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit. As we strive to enter God’s rest, we abide in His peace and joy (Hebrews 10:4; Romans 14:17).

Choosing to refrain from running off on our own tangents, we reduce our need to cry out to God to find us and restore us back to a life in the center of His will (Luke 15:4).

Centering our life with our source in Christ in us, we do only those works, which God preordained for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, 3:17). We walk in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

We find our fulfillment in this life by walking the straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:14). We rejoice in the Lord always in every situation, because of His love and presence residing within us (Philippians 4:4).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for providing for us the pearl of great price to pay the ransom for our sins and to set us free from Satan’s lies (Matthew 13:45-46). We rejoice in knowing that we are wholly Yours and that You have a purpose for our individual life (Ephesians 2:10).

Remind us that we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us, directing our day and giving us the desire and the power to accomplish Your will for each moment (Philippians 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 4:11). We give You all of the praise and glory forever and ever.

Thought for the Day:
Satan tells us that we will never measure up and be enough, but Christ died for us and reminds us that in Him we are complete. – Job 19:26; Colossians 2:10

This Free Gift is Yours

At the age of 18, I was plagued with negative emotions from betrayal by my father, who was supposed to protect me. I tired of my string of boyfriends, because I could not find my soulmate.

I wrote morbid poems about the devastation, which I felt inside, and I even contemplated suicide. This drove me to question the empty spot within myself, which called out to me for fulfillment.

Thankfully, during an extra work-day to ready our college yearbook for press, I met a vivacious red-head who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with me (John 3:16-18).

This resulted in God giving me feet like hind’s feet to traverse the heights of His love (Habakkuk 3:19; Psalm 18:33; 2 Samuel 22:34). Since then, I feel no shame in proclaiming to the world that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord.

So often, we reject Christ, because we fear the rejection of our family and friends, as well as ostracism by those we respect and hold in high esteem. Yet, we are willing, by our unbelief, to alienate the King of kings for all eternity.

I share the free gift of the gospel of Christ with anyone who will listen. I view every stranger as a potential friend, and I realize that everyone I pass in a day’s time is a prospective member with me in the family of God.

Christ paid the ultimate price for our salvation, but He gives it to us as a free gift (Romans 6:23). We do not deserve it, and we cannot earn it (Ephesians 2:8-9). We simply receive it.

There is no end to God’s love. I want everyone to enjoy God’s bountiful benefits. There is no valid reason to miss out on His free gift (Psalm 103:2).

Prayer:

Father God, Your love is boundless and Your generosity is limitless. You spoil us as Your children and You share with us the inheritance of Your Kingdom for all of eternity. We simply need to believe and to surrender our entire body, soul and spirit to Your Lordship.

You do not demand perfection before we come to You; you perfect us from glory to glory once we trust You with our life (2 Corinthians 3:18). Your only requirement to receive Your free gift of salvation is that we love you with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Romans 6:23; Mark 12:30). This is so easy to do, because we simply respond to Your love for us.

Thought for the Day:

God gives us both the desire and the ability to walk in obedience to His ways. –  Philippians 2:13

Help My Unbelief

A father brings his son to Jesus. The boy has a mute spirit and experiences epileptic-type seizures. He believes Jesus can heal his son; yet because the disciples already failed to do so, he is afraid to try again. He asks Jesus for help with his unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).

We all feel this way sometimes. We know what the Word of God says, what preachers tell us, and what our friends share with us; yet, we still have such little faith!

Through this tiny verse God shows His humor and mercy in the same breath! He teaches us that the important aspect is to choose to believe, even when circumstances cause us to feel uncertain.

God understands that we lose hope and get discouraged. So, God put this powerful verse in the Bible to remind us that as long as we choose to believe, then He will do the rest.

Prayer:
Lord, we want to walk in obedience, trusting in Your promises and doing greater works than Jesus did (John 14:12). We believe in You; yet, at times, our faith is weak. Thank You for helping our unbelief, and for providing for all of our spiritual, physical and emotional needs.

We praise You day and night for Your wonderful works and multitude of blessings to the Your children. You do so much for us and take such an active roll in the details of our life. Thank You for caring enough to give Your life for our redemption and salvation.

Thought for the Day:
Hearing from God often requires that we find a quiet place to still our thoughts and focus on His presence in our life.

Belief or Unbelief

Unbelief is the only sin, which prevents us from enjoying eternity in Heaven (Romans 11:20; Ephesians 3:18; Galatians 2:16). Therefore, God gives every person ever born a measure of faith to help us to believe in His redemptive work, and to claim our salvation through Christ (Romans 12:3). Then He gives us a portion of faith in order to function in the gifts He gives us through His Spirit (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Galatians 5:22-23).

If we depend on our human effort for our salvation, we fall short of God’s glory; however, if we believe in and trust in Him who justifies the ungodly, God credits our faith toward our right standing with Him (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:5, 9:32). Our God justifies Jews and non-Jews alike (Romans 9:30). There is no one on this earth that He does not desire to reconcile to Himself (Romans 3:30).

Since this is true, why do so many good people refuse to believe? Some have never heard that Jesus loves them. Others fail to realize the manuscript evidence, which proves the Bible is true. People need to know that we find peace with God through our faith in the justification provided for us by the Lord Jesus Christ through His crucifixion, death and resurrection (Romans 5:1).

He also gives us access to God’s grace, so that we can rejoice in the hope of sharing in His glory (Romans 5:2). His Word is in our heart and in our mouth, in order to share it with those who also need salvation (Romans 10:8, 17, 1:18-32). We can present to them the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is based upon the foundation of Biblical truth established by practical evidence and human history.

Prayer:
Father God, allow us to walk in the truth that we are crucified with Christ. Teach us what it means to live in this flesh by the faith of the Son of God, who loves us, when at the same time Christ lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Help us to stand firm in our faith and to walk by faith rather than to rely on our earthly senses (1 Corinthians 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:24, 5:7). Remind us to examine ourselves to prove our faith and that Christ abides within us (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Thought for the Day:
Our faith does not rest on human wisdom, but on the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:5

Drawing Near to God

The world in which we live, and everyone in it, is held captive by sin. However, through faith in Jesus Christ we are given God’s promised salvation (Galatians 3:22-23). Now, with a sincere heart, we can draw near to God. Our mind, sprinkled by the blood of Christ, is cleansed from a guilty conscience and the pure water of God’s Word washes us clean (Hebrews 10:22).

We can only abide in God after we first seek Him and His Kingdom, and live in the truth that He lives in and through us. He will never, ever, for any reason leave us (Hebrews 13:5). As we wait on Him day by day, He grants us the grace to abide in Him. We rejoice in His fellowship and we work in His power. We completely give up our self to Him and live by faith in His faithfulness.

God allows trials to test our faith, which increases our perseverance through them (James 1:3). Thankfully, Jesus is both the developer and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Even the prophets of old knew that the righteous live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4: Romans 1:17). Since Jesus’ faith and Spirit abide within us, we multiply the works of Christ on this earth (John 14:12).

The core truths of God’s Word energize the authentic Christian and thrill our soul. First and foremost, we wait on the Lord, we live in His presence continually and we enter into His eternal rest on a daily basis. Once we completely surrender to Christ, God takes us up spiritually into His Holy Temple (2 Corinthians 5:1). We abide in His rest, and all of our work on earth is done only through Him.

Prayer:
Father God, even if other people refuse to believe in You, their unbelief does not make our faith in You worthless (Romans 3:3). Through the blood of Jesus, we become Your righteousness, and You wipe away our sins through Your love and forbearance (Romans 3:25). Help us not to grow weary or to lose faith in Your promises, but to remain strong in Christ’s faith in us, as we give You all of the glory (Romans 4:20).

Thought for the Day:
We are justified and reconciled to God by faith, not by our own good deeds. – Romans 3:28, 4:14; Ephesians 2:8-9

Know That He is God

God brought Israel out of the bondage of Egypt to give them the promised Canaan Land. Even after that miraculous deliverance, the Isrealites discounted the benefits of their freedom from bondage. They missed the delicacies of Egypt. They forgot that their 40 years of wandering were the result of their disobedience to enter the land after God delivered them from Pharoah’s army.

 

Even after that disobedient generation died, the next generation also despised God’s provision for them. Our Father God wants to provide a blessed life for us, as we follow His will during each of our days. We may not have the delicacies of this world, but we will have more than we need. God desires for our focus to change from self-reliance to reliance on Him for everything.

 

The more we take our eyes off our self and focus them clearly on the Lord, the more peace we experience in our life. We have no idea what God is capable of doing and providing for us until we put our total trust in Him. He is faithful and worthy of our faith in Him. He often provides our needs before we even ask Him. He cares about every area of our life.

 

Sometimes, we demand blessings from God. We attempt to hold Him over a barrel, as if we have something to bargain with that God actually wants. God does not want us to grasp at the gifts He is waiting to supply. He wants us to sit still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). He wants us to wait with open arms to receive all that He has for us. He has a blessed life just waiting for us to receive.

 

Prayer:

Father God, our unbelief keeps us from entering Your promised land, just like it did the Israelites. Help us to relinquish the secret sins, which we think we cannot live without. We want to devote more time to seeking You than we do to pursuing an income, a family, our hobbies and our earthly priorities. Remind us to obey by faith instead of trusting only in what we can see with our natural senses. You will supply all of our needs, according to Your glorious riches, if we simply trust in You (Philippians 4:19).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gave His own life to ransom us from sin; yet, we defile His gift with our disobedience and rebellion.

God’s Abiding Presence

Good and evil do not determine whether we go to Heaven or hell. Belief and unbelief are the key issues in our eternal destination. Those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, as God who came in the flesh to secure our salvation, condemn themselves (John 3:18). God prefers that everyone come to faith in Christ; however, He knows that many will refuse His love.

Unbelievers suffer the wrath of God as a result of their choice not to believe (Acts 17:30-31). Pride and rebellion keep them from totally surrendering their life to Christ. They prefer to serve the devil or their self rather than God (Ephesians 2:1-3; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Some even live a religious life, attempting to be good and to do good by their own human efforts, looking to their own self-efforts to save them.

There is obviously a Satanic lie fueling their behavior, because he makes them feel safe in rejecting God. It is a Believer’s responsibility and privilege to reveal the Kingdom of God to anyone who will listen, to help to draw them out of the kingdom of darkness and to share with them the truth of the gospel of Christ (Romans 10:14-15).

We desire, as God does, that no one shall perish in eternal damnation and to see all people everywhere saved (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus steals us back from the kingdom of darkness, which once captivated our mind (2 Timothy 2:24-26). He reveals His truth to us that He is all and in all, and that all things belong to Him (Ephesians 4:6; Psalm 24:1). Then, in the sanctification process, Christ is fully formed in us (Galatians 4:19).

Christ’s elect bride is all around us, some know of His place in their life and some are still resisting His invitation to come to Him. It is only when we live, move and have our being in Christ that we live a fulfilled and productive life (Acts 17:28). As Believers, the divine life of Christ is ensconced in our mortal bodies, giving life to us in spirit, soul and body.

This keeps us from taking any credit for what God’s power does in and through us. This world often beats us up, confuses and terrorizes us, but we are not disheartened, because God lives in us by faith in Christ through His Spirit. Because of God’s abiding presence within us, we cannot help but to broadcast the news of God’s love to everyone who will listen (2 Corinthians 4:7-15).

Prayer:
Father God, Your gospel turns family members into enemies (Matthew 10:34-36). This should not be so. Yet, due to rebellion and pride, many of our family will reject the gospel message and us as well. However, we never know what is going on the heart of that loved one to cause them to react to You and to us as they do (Psalm 19:9). You are the only one capable of judging a heart. Draw our loved ones ever closer to Your heart.

Thought for the Day:
Our faith in Christ gives us the victory to overcome the world. – 1 John 5:4

Our Faith Overcomes the World

Gold is a precious metal that will perish, even though it is refined by fire. Our faith has much more value than all the gold, silver or platinum in this world. Because God promised us before the beginning of time, we have the faith and hope to know that God has given us eternal life (Titus 1:2).

 

One component of our faith is to have faith without doubting (Matthew 21:21). Most people do not realize this, and not doubting is almost impossible to comply with. In frustration, Jesus reprimanded people, like Peter, for his doubt as He pulled him up out of the sea (Matthew 14:31). He also commended people for having faith without doubting (Matthew 15:28). God will always help our unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).

 

As we live one moment at a time, our faith grows. We place our faith in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead; because if He is still dead, then our preaching is useless. We are also false witnesses about God, since we testify that He raised Jesus from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:14-15). Jesus’ resurrection builds up our faith to know that He also forgives our sins and raises us from the dead as well (1 Corinthians 15:16-17).

 

Our faith enables us to build up the Kingdom of God. Prompted by our love for Him, we do the works, which He called us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Our hope in Him inspires our endurance in this sin-cursed world (1 Thessalonians 1:3). Everyone born again by the Spirit of God will overcome this world by our absolute faith in Christ in us (1 John 5:4).

 

God opens our eyes to see the spiritual realm of life. He turns us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to His Kingdom of power. We flee from temptation and practice holiness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11). When our faith in Christ is proven genuine, it results in our praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we receive from You the forgiveness of all of our sins. You place us in the ranks of those who are sanctified by faith in Christ alone (Acts 26:18). You give us faith in tribulation and persecution and help us to encourage others in their distress (1 Thessalonians 3:7). Help us also to stand firm in our faith and to work with one another with joy (2 Corinthians 1:24).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our faith does not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. – 1 Corinthians 2:5