Posts Tagged ‘soul’

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)