This will be a two-part post maybe three. Hang around its going to be enlightening !
Much of my life I performed to try to gain the acceptance of folks – from my family,from my friends and especially God. I believed to be like and respected, I had to accomplish something to prove myself worthy of their approval.Many of my childhood experiences developed this belief. When I showed my parents my report card they didn’t say a good job for the A’s and B’s ” but ” Why the C’s? Can’t you do any better than that?” I also noticed that the athletes were always the popular people at school . They were asked to parties. They were recognized for their accomplishments. Everyone wanted to be with them. Because I was never athletic, I felt unaccepted and not worthy of attention from my peers.
I carried this false belief into my relationship with God. Who got the recognition in church? Usually they were the overseas missionary., the one with perfect attendance for 100 years! and the person who gave a lot of money. My definition for a saint was someone who taught Sunday school for thirty years! I hadn’t accomplished these things,so I knew I wasn’t important there either. I believed that I had to work to get God’s approval by having a quite time every morning., memorizing two bible verses every week and witnessing to anyone and everyone -especially anyone setting next to me! But as much as I tried to please God, there was always something more I should have done.
Maybe I should have joined the church choir. But I can’t sing.
to be continued…
Seeing Ourselves As God Sees Us
The “good news” of the gospel has many implications, including what is true about ourselves. The basic life beliefs about ourselves were developed from our experiences in this fallen world not from Gods word. I want to try to help us recognize our corrupt beliefs about ourselves which contradict who God had made us to be.
We Were Created In The Image Of God
The way we were created by God correspond to his purpose in creating us. Remember we were created to be friend and companion to God,to live by His life within us and to express His character.
So God created man in his own image ,in the image and likeness of God He created him: male and female He created them.
We are Made Of Three Basic Parts: Body,Soul and Spirit
Scripture addresses us as whole beings. It uses the term body,soul and spirit to teach us how we are to function within that whole.
Then the Lord formed man from the dust of the ground (body) and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life (spirit) and the man became a living being (soul).
God formed our bodies from the earth so we could relate to the physical world. He gave us a human spirit so we can relate to Him. We became a living soul, so we can know and relate both to the visible,physical world and the invisible spiritual world.
And may the God of peace himself sanctify you through and through… and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete (and found) blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ ( The Messiah).
1 Thessalonians 5:23
The Analogy of a tree helps us to understand our three-part nature.
Because a tree also has three parts, it helps illustrate how our body, soul and spirit combine to make us a whole person.
Like leaves,our body is the most visible and changing aspect of who we are. Our body has physical needs such as nourishment,exercise and rest. Our body is our means of “doing” and of relating to the world through our five senses. Our body is temporal and visible. Just as the trunk gives the tree its unique form, so the soul gives us our unique personality. Our soul has needs such as to be loved, accepted and significant . Our soul includes our mind to know God. Our soul expresses our thoughts,feelings and choices. It is our means of relating to others. The roots of the tree our not visible: however they are the most important aspect of the tree. A tree without roots is no longer a tree.In the same way a body without a spirit is dead. The spirit gives us life and determines our identity . The spirit was meant to receive life from God. The spirit is our means of knowing and responding to God. Who is Spirit. Our human spirit is eternal and invisible .
Leaves = Body had capacity for immortality. Obedient in God’s ways.
Trunk = Mind dependent on the spirit for truth.
Will in harmony with self and others
Emotions expressed God’s character .
Roots = Spirit alive and relating to God.
Desired to please God.
Was God’s image bearer.
What About The Spirit
The Spirit (Greek ” Pneuma”)
In Numbers 16:22, Moses and Aaron, “…fell upon their faces and said, ‘O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will you be angry with the entire congregation?'” This verse names God as the God of the spirits that are possessed by all humanity. Notice also that it mentions the flesh (body) of all mankind, connecting it with the spirit.
Another key verse that describes the separation between soul and spirit is Hebrews 4:12:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12 NASB).
We see in this passage of Scripture that the soul and spirit can be divided — and that it is the Word of God that pierces our heart to bring the division of soul and spirit, something that only God can do.
As human beings, we live eternally as a spirit, we have a soul, and we dwell in a body. We can rejoice with the Psalmist and declare,
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well (Ps. 139:13-14 NASB).
What About The Soul
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow (body), and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
In that immortal classic of the Psalms, David says: “He restoreth my soul” (Psalm 23:3). The Hebrew word translated “restoreth” is said to mean quite literally “turneth back.” At no time had David lost his salvation, but there were times when his affections and desires were turned from the Lord, as in the case of his sin with Bathsheba. Having become one of the Divine Shepherd’s flock, he testified: “The Lord turneth back my soul.” The Christian who is enjoying unbroken communion with his Lord will then be able to say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (Psalm 103:1).
(Proverbs 5:11 KJV)
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Here are some scriptures for those dear readers who like to go deeper…..
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT MAN EXISTS AFTER DEATH... 1. In the teaching of Jesus a. Man is both body and soul, and the soul can survive murder by a fellow man - cf. Mt 10:28 b. The story of Lazarus and the rich man - cf. Lk 16:22-23 1) Some say this is only a parable 2) Even if it is (which is highly unlikely), parables were "true to life" stories, not fantasy! c. His promise to the thief on the cross - Lk 23:42-43 2. In the teaching of Paul a. There is "the inner man who can renewed, even while "the outer man" decays - 2Co 4:16-18 b. One can be with the Lord, while absent from the body - 2 Co 5:6-8 c. There is a part of man who can be "out of the body" - 2 Co 12:3 d. One can be dead, yet still be with Christ - Php 1:23 e. Reference is made to the "spirits of just men" - He 12: 22-23 3. The teaching of Peter a. He wrote of those who are "dead, but live in the spirit" - 1Pe 4:6 b. He described the body as a tabernacle to be put off...if the body is a tabernacle (dwelling place), what dwells in it? - 2Pe 1:13-14 c. The unjust are under punishment, just like some angels - 2Pe 2:4,9-10 4. John, in the Revelation given to him, saw "souls of those slain", and they were capable of crying out with loud voices, and being comforted - Re 6:9-11 -- There is also much material in the OT
To Be Continued…………
Looking forward to the next post or 2 that tells your whole story. Tom, the first part can be told by millions and their are other millions that when they come to Jesus will tell it too. It’s my story as well. Thanks for sharing my Okie brother!!!
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Your so welcome brother.