Saturday, February 13, 2016

February 14, 2016

"The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7

Nowadays the word "soul" is often attached to a type of food or a genre of music.

While I have no problem with either of those and like both, it is deeply troubling that our understanding of the soul is so limited and lacking.

How can you fully appreciate the significance of salvation and the demand for discipleship until you capture the concept of the soul?

You can't, so you'd better!

In yesterday's post I shared the OT word for "soul". In the New Testament, the Greek word for "soul" is transliterated as "psuche" or "psyche." We will use "psuche". This word occurs over 100 times in the New Testament. Combine the OT and NT references and you will find 850 "soul" scriptures.

Add to that number the other synonyms used in conjunction with the soul. Consider:

"Heart" is synonymous with soul and refers to the seat and source of your emotions. Your "heart"  is where you set your desires. (Luke 10:27)

"Mind" refers to the bias that forms your thoughts and your attitudes. Your "mind" includes your assumptions and your predispositions. You could say it is the "mind behind your mind."
(Colossians 3:2; Romans 12:1-2; Luke 10:27)

"Spirit" is the image of God within you. It is what gives life to your soul. It is where God desires to dwell and rule.

Your soul (heart, mind and spirit) is the core of your being and the essential you. Your soul is what forms at the instant of conception and endures eternally. The destination of your soul depends on the decisions you make during life. It is your soul that slips into eternity at the moment your body dies.

Jesus, as you would expect, posed the most poignant question in regard to the soul when He challenged, " For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul." Mark 8:36

How is it with your soul?

February 13, 2016

“That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Number 14:1-4

The story of Israel is the story of God’s leadership.

He was a much better leader than they were followers. Despite their reluctance and their resistance and their occasional outright resistance He was able to use Moses and Joshua to get them into Canaan.

God leads in three ways but only in one direction. He leads us out, He leads us through and He leads us in.

He led them out, as in out of Egypt.

Egypt was a place of bondage. For 400 terrible grueling years they served as slaves to the Pharaoh in forced labor. From sun up to sundown the taskmasters drove them often beyond the breaking point and that was their plight for generation after generation until God heard the cries of His people and sent a deliverer to lead them out.

Like Moses of old, God sent a second Deliverer and a Greater One. His name was Jesus, God’s own Son who died and rose again to set us free from the bondage of sin. He led me out of the darkness and bondage of my sins.

After God led His people out of Egypt with a series of miraculous acts that humbled the proud Egyptians and broke the Pharaoh’s heart, He led them through the Red Sea with a greater miracle. Over the next 40 years (it should have been 40 days) He sustained them in their wandering through the wilderness with miracles providing food and water for 2,000,000 Hebrews. He provided for them so He could lead them through the wilderness.

God brought me out of the bondage of my Egypt so He could lead me through my wilderness seasons. During those dry, desolate, desert seasons of my life He has always led me through. Sometimes I have made it a longer journey that He intended but He has faithfully lead me through.  And He can do the same for you! He will lead you out of your Egypt and through your wilderness if you will follow Him.

So, God led His people out of Egypt and He led them through the wilderness in order to lead them into Canaan.

Ah, Canaan! The Land of Promise! The land that’s flowing with milk and honey! The place where His power, His presence and His possession are enjoyed!

I’m so thankful for God’s faithful leadership in my life! Through the sacrifice of Jesus He led me out of the slavery of sin. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit He led me through my wilderness.  Through the blood of Christ and the work of the Spirit He led me into the fullness of His power, His presence and His possession.

God leads out, and He leads through and He leads in! One way He doesn’t lead is back. So if, like the losers in the verses above you are thinking about going back to Egypt. Thank again! God doesn’t lead in that direction.