Posts Tagged ‘1 Thessalonians 5:23’

Health and wellness and more

April 23, 2019

This morning I noticed the words on an advertisement for health insurance which serves as the Quote of the Day for April 23, 2019:

“It’s your life. Live it well.”

The packet of information provided tips, activities, programs, and services related to health and wellness. Generally speaking, the concept of wellness brings to mind our physical well-being. Perhaps, if pressed, most people might also acknowledge the desire to achieve a state of well-being mentally or emotionally.

We recognize wellness is a difficult word to define. Charles B. Corbin of Arizona State University offers this definition: “Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.”

Wellness usually connotes “a healthy body and sound mind.” As the old folks used to testify: “I thank God for a reasonable portion of health and strength and that I am clothed in my right mind.” God, our Father and creator, however, desires for us to experience wholeness, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally, as well as physically. I Thessalonians 5:23 in the Amplified Bible reminds us of this truth:

And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; 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).

Apostle Eric L. Warren acknowledges that Christians most often place emphasis on the “Body Man” or the “Soul Man” but totally overlook the “Spirit Man.” The Bible encourages believers to be renewed in the spirit of their mind. We must walk in the spirit and not according to the flesh. Without question, spiritual wellness is the most important dimension of one’s sense of total well-being.

Those who seek to find and maintain wellness physically, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually obtain a priceless treasure. Indeed, they are wealthy beyond belief, as expressed in this response:

A Question of Wealth

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper
in all things and be in health,
even as your soul prospers.

3 John 2

 

How do you measure the fullest meaning of wealth?
What is the total value? How much is the price
Of a fruitful spirit, a sound mind and good health?
Can you calculate the sum and then square it twice?
To prosper and be in health, even as your soul
Prospers cannot be measured by any amount
Withdrawn from the world’s treasures, for even the whole
Earth could never contain so vast a bank account.
But those who set their affections on things above
And not on things on the earth are free to explore
The infinite riches of God’s favor and love,
For they alone know their true value even more.
The truly rich ask to receive and seek to find
The priceless wealth of strength in God and peace of mind.

Many times when someone asks, “How are you doing; how’s it going?” I will respond, “It is well.” The lyrics to one of the most popular hymns of all time come to mind as we close with this rendition by Chris Rice:

Spirit, soul, and body

March 22, 2018

1 Thessalonians_5-23Although this particular verse is not designated as the Verse of the Day for March 22, 2018 for Biblegate.com, this scripture came to mind as I began my day with a time of prayer and reflection:

1 Thessalonians 5:23

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As part of the benediction that closes out the first epistle to the Thessalonians, the verse reminds us that believers are tri-dimensional beings with a body —the physical dimension–as well as a soul—the mental or emotional aspects of our being, along with the spiritual components—having been created in the image of God. .

I happened to think growing up in the church and hearing the personal testimonies of older members, many of whom began by saying, “I thank God for my life, health, and strength.” Some would remark, “I thank God for a reasonable portion of health and strength.” Others would express their gratitude that they were “yet clothed in their right mind.” Years later, I recall an elderly gentleman who always expressed thanks to God for “a healthy body and a sound mind.”

This morning I recognized the importance of having a sound mind and being able to process whole thoughts and to recall information needed to complete a particular task. As I was preparing today’s blog post, I thought of a particular poem that I thought would be appropriate for the discussion. I went to retrieve it from a file of collected poetry, but it was not there. I knew that it was somewhere on a flash drive that I was using, but I couldn’t pinpoint the location. “Out of the blue,” the name of another of collection of poetry flashed across my mind, and I went on to locate the piece I was searching for.

When I realized what I had done, my soul erupted in praise to God for the presence of mind and the mental stamina to figure out how to retrieve “the lost item”  and then go on to incorporate it into my blog. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I couldn’t complete the task at hand. Yes, indeed, I had to stop and thank God that I am “yet clothed in my right mind.”

The selected verse of the Day reminds us that, as believers, we are formed, made, and created as marvelous displays of the wisdom, power, and might of God in these three areas:

Spirit

The spiritual dimension is vitally important because God is Spirit, and His masterpiece is created in the image and likeness of God. Those who are born-again of God’s Spirit receive everlasting life. God’s desire for His people is conveyed in this powerful prayer:

Ephesians 3:16-21

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Soul

When God breathed into man the “breath of God,” man became a living soul, with a mind, a will, and a host of emotions.  Again, the Psalmist asks, “What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?” God’s masterful creation is always on God’s mind. Shakespeare also expresses admirable qualities of humanity:

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason!
How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how
express and admirable! In action how like an angel!
In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the
world! . . .

Body:

The human body with its delicate and intricate parts was initially formed, in that Adam’s body was fashioned from the dust of the Earth. The Psalmist reveals that God knows all about His matchless creation:

Psalm 139:13-16

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

In looking for the poem I could not find earlier today, I came across this piece relating the absolutely priceless value of having “a healthy body, a sound mind, and a fruitful spirit”:

A Question of Wealth

 Beloved, I wish above all things

that thou mayest prosper and

be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

3 John 2

How do you measure the fullest meaning of wealth?

What is the total value?  How much is the price

Of a fruitful spirit, a sound mind and good health?

Can you calculate the sum and then square it twice?

To prosper and be in health, even as your soul

Prospers cannot be measured by any amount

Withdrawn from the world’s treasures, for even the whole

Earth could never contain so vast a bank account.

But those who set their affections on things above

And not on things on the earth are free to explore

The infinite riches of God’s favor and love,

For they alone know their true value even more.

The truly rich ask to receive and seek to find

The priceless wealth of strength in God and peace of mind.

We close with a musical benediction from Hosanna! Music – The God of Peace (1 Thessalonians 5:23 – NIV)

Sanctified, set apart for God

November 18, 2017

John 1717 [widescreen]

The Verse of the Day for November 18, 2017 comes from the prayer Jesus Christ offers to His Father in the garden before he goes to fulfill His destiny as the Savior of the World:

John 17:17 (AMP)

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

John 17:17 is part of the final prayer that the Lord Jesus prays before his crucifixion and ultimate resurrection, as he notes,  “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message”(John 17:20). The Lord refers to a group of people who are to be “sanctified, purified, consecrated, set apart for the purposes of God.”

In the Old Testament we find that the Children of Israel were such sanctified ones:

Exodus 31:13

Say to the Israelites, Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you [set you apart for Myself].

In the New Testament born-again believers were likewise set apart by God:

1 Thessalonians 5:23

And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; 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).

In a similar manner to Jesus Christ’s prayer in the Garden, Paul expresses this desire for the believers at Thessalonica:

2 Thessalonians 2:13

But we, brethren beloved by the Lord, ought and are obligated [as those who are in debt] to give thanks always to God for you, because God chose you from the beginning as His firstfruits (first converts) for salvation through the sanctifying work of the [Holy] Spirit and [your] belief in (adherence to, trust in, and reliance on) the Truth.

In the tabernacle and temple every vessel and article of furniture was dedicated, even the priests themselves and their garments were consecrated wholly for the service of God. Likewise, in the Temple of the Living, believers are to be sanctified and set apart solely for the purpose of serving God. In reflecting upon our being sanctified and set apart, this poem came to mind:

Sanctified Vessels

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter,

he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified

and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

II Timothy 2:21

 

We offer these yielded vessels, now sanctified,

Set apart and consecrated for God’s glory,

Transformed from faith to faith, from victory to victory.

Tested in the furnace of affliction and tried

Seven times as silver, as gold is purified,

We have been purged to be a vessels of honor,

Prepared and made suitable to serve even more,

Even as the Lord presents his beloved bride.

As miracles revealed, no longer to conform

And be poured into the molds of this present age

But beholding fullness of glory to transform

Our total being into His glorious image.

Set apart in a place where miracles abound,

Through these sanctified vessels God’s praises resound.

We conclude these comments with “Vessels of Honor” by the Maranatha Promise Band:

Life, the spirit of life

August 19, 2017

 

1 John 5--11

The Verse of the Day for August 19, 2017 differentiates between those who have life and those who do not, as 1 John 5:11 in the English Standard Bible clearly reveals:

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

To more fully comprehend what God is saying, we need to examine these related verses:

1 John 5:11-13 (ESV):

11 And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

That You May Know

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we recognize that his ultimate purpose was to offer his life that humanity might have life, life in all its fullness, more abundant life, overflowing life abounding throughout all eternity.

This passage also brings to mind Paul’s reference to the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the inspiration for this work:

The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus  

has made me free from the law of sin and death

Romans 8:2

As we move into this new season, we shall see what it brings,

As we learn that the life in the Spirit is where we should be.

No longer in bondage to sin and death we have been set free.

Since we have been brought into the new, we can now do new things,

For our desire is to please God, to succeed and to excel,

We know that we are saved by grace, not by our own merit.

We covenant with God that we will walk in the Spirit

And provide a place where the Spirit of God may dwell.

Ever aware of God’s loving kindness and faithfulness,

We embrace the Spirit of the Living God and understand

That to walk in the spirit, not in the flesh, is God’s command.

As we mature, our lives reveal the measure of Christ’s fullness.

The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set us free

To walk into the fullness of all God has called us to be.

As believers, we navigate through the challenges of life, endeavoring ever to walk in the steps of Jesus Christ while seeking to find “the balanced life.” God’s desire is expressed in the final benediction in 1 Thessalonians 5:23:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our desire for wholeness, for balance merges with God, our Father who assures us with these words:

So shall you find the balanced life

Oh, let me be weighed in a just balance

and let Him weigh me, that God may know mine integrity!

Job 31:6 [Amplified Bible]

 

My

Children

Beloved,

Faithful and true,

All that you have asked

I have given to you,

For I, the Lord, weigh the spirits.

I know your deepest desire to please.

As you transform yourselves by renewing your mind,

So shall you find the balanced life you seek.

It is My good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.

You have not withheld from Me, so I balance your equation

And stabilize your life, as you strive to do My will.

For in the innocence of your hands and the integrity of your heart

I have found in you a perfected dwelling place where My Spirit can abide.

We close our comments with this reminder of the ultimate purpose of Jesus Christ, this lively musical rendering of John 10:10: “I have come”

Sanctified vessels: Vessels of honor

November 18, 2015

John-17-17

The Verse of the Day for November 18, 2015 comes from John 17:17 in the New Living Translation:

Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

The verse is rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

John 17:17

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your WoPrd is Truth.

The Psalmist confirms that the Word of God is the truth and that it endures forever:

Psalm 119:160 (AMP)

The sum of Your word is truth [the full meaning of all Your precepts], And every one of Your righteous ordinances endures forever.

John 17:17 is part of the final prayer that the Lord Jesus prays before his crucifixion and ultimate resurrection, as he notes,  “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message”(John 17:20). The Lord refers to a group of people who are to be “sanctified, purified, consecrated, set apart for the purposes of God.”

In the Old Testament we find that the Children of Israel were such sanctified ones:

Exodus 31:13 (AMP)

Say to the Israelites, Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you [set you apart for Myself].

In the Book of Ephesians, we find a reference to the term sanctify in the often quoted passage heard during marriage ceremonies where the groom receives the following exhortation, as a parallel is drawn between the bride and the Church:

Ephesians 5: 25-27 (AMP)

 Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God], 27 so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless.

Here we find another group of individuals who are to be sanctified or set apart for the purposes of God.

Finally, there is also a reference to the Church of the Thessalonians with a similar application to the universal Church of Jesus Christ, of which all Christian believers today are a part.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (AMP)

And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; 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).

In reflecting on the being set apart for the purposes of God, I thought of this poem related to believers becoming “vessels of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master. . .

 

Sanctified Vessels

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter,

he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified

and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

II Timothy 2:21

 

We offer these yielded vessels, now sanctified,

Set apart and consecrated for God’s glory,

Transformed from faith to faith, from victory to victory.

Tested in the furnace of affliction and tried

Seven times as silver, as gold is purified,

We have been purged to be a vessels of honor,

Prepared and made suitable to serve even more,

Even as the Lord presents his beloved bride.

As miracles revealed, no longer to conform

And be poured into the molds of this present age

But beholding fullness of glory to transform

Our total being into His glorious image.

Set apart in a place where miracles abound,

Through these sanctified vessels God’s praises resound.

We conclude these comments with “Vessels of Honor” offered by the Maranatha Promise Band: