Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Soul and Spirit

For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things [are] naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we [must give] account.

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] confession.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all [points] tempted as [we are], [yet] without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:12-16

The division of the soul and spirit.

The soul and spirit. Hmmm. Now, understand these are only my thoughts. I do not declare this is how it is. I make no such proclamations or announcements.

I once had an atheist ask me, “Do you think man has a ‘soul’?”

I knew he didn’t really care what my answer was. I’ve had many conversations with him and even though he and I are friends I’ve also come to understand he was only interested in giving me his point of view. So I said, “I don’t know. What do you think?”

He said, “He didn’t think man had a soul, therefore his ‘soul’ didn’t need to be saved, because he didn’t have a soul.”

What is the “soul?”

One definition according to dictionary.com is “the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.”

Although I agree that it is separate from the body, I disagree that it is “spiritual.” I believe that they are two separate entities, the soul and the spirit.

I believe everyone has a soul. To me, the soul is the personality of the person. People can have a soul and still be heartless. For I believe that the “spiritual” part of a person is that which is connected to God. People can be body and soul, but “have not the spirit.” (Romans 8:9)

I do believe that the ‘soul’ can be emotional. But, I believe that love, true love, is controlled by the spirit. This is why I believe that Bible states that “the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…”

Emotions and feelings can cloud love.

When you accept Jesus into your life and heart you are tapping into God. You are giving life to the spiritual side of you. Learning to distinguish between love and feelings can be a foggy road to traverse, but the Word of God can help clear the clouds and be “… a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Bringing the soul into the obedience of the spirit can be a hard thing. But we have been given grace and mercy through Jesus Christ as we learn by God’s Word (Jesus) to yield to the spirit.

Before I close my thoughts on this allow me to give an example of what I mean. Some people have fun personalities and they like to joke around. Sometimes the jokes can be mean and hurtful. A soul yielding to the spirit of God now dwelling within them will discern when a joke will be hurtful and will surrender to the spirit and not say the joke. Although the joke may have made a lot of people laugh, it may hurt someone in particular, so it is not told. The enjoyment of the many that may make you popular is yielded to the love for the individual who will be hurt.

Do you sacrifice love for your own pride? That’s what the religious leaders did when they lied about Jesus and had put Him to death.

But, that was all part of God’s plan for us.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

Be blessed. Be a blessing.

Send all contributions to me…LOL…

Thank you brothers and sisters…

Send me cheesecake.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Being "Spiritual"

Years ago I had a conversation with someone on the phone. Eventually our conversation got around to Jesus. My phone partner got defensive which is funny since his phone conversation started with him lying to me.

I asked him why he was hostile.

He explained about his sister and her being this “religious” person and how she would always attack him.

I asked him if I had attacked him, or judged him, or in any way was rude to him.

Which lead him to comment about how the most “spiritual” person he had ever met was a Buddhist monk who, at the age of 16, went to live at a monastery and, at 60, is still living there.

I told him I could be the most “spiritual” person in the world if I didn’t have to deal with people.

Which leads me to another conversation that I had with a friend - we were talking about life on other planets. He asked me if I thought life existed on other planets.

I said, “I don’t know. But how does that help me to love you.”

My simple point to him, which he figured out, is that we can get so sidetracked on things that have no bearing on the people around us, that we forget how to love the people around us. Take the monks for instance – how does separating yourself from everyone help make the world a better place? Should we not be there for our family and friends?

We, as a people, like to be in our little “bubble.” We prefer not to have to deal with conflict or with people who disagree with us. We avoid people we consider “undesirable.” I’m guilty.

Jesus, the Lord of the universe, in one of his most simple acts told Zacchaeus that “I need to eat with you.” It profoundly changed Zacchaeus’ life. Zacchaeus was one of the most hated Jews of his day – a tax collector. Most of us know the story. He was a short guy that worked for the Roman government. Despised by the Jews and probably looked down upon by the Romans, which is probably why he did what he could to profit. Possibly all he had was money to befriend him.

Jesus simply loved him. He didn’t recoil in horror because he was a dreaded tax collector. He didn’t make fun of him because he was short. He simply loved him. “I need to eat with you.” Simply put he told Zacchaeus, “I want to hang out with you” - a simple act of love.

How many people around us just need someone to smile at them? How many people just need someone to acknowledge their existence?

Without getting into a long rabbit trail, realize there does come a time when you have to “brush off the dust from your feet and move on.” Some people will just hate you.

Anyway, we are called to be “in” the world but not “of” the world. Seek God’s kingdom first. Touch those you can, walk away from those who will seek to drag you down, and pray that God gives you the discernment to know the difference.

Am I good at this? Nope. But I’m pressing towards the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Be blessed. Be a blessing.