The First Commandment: The Soul(2)

The First Commandment: The Soul’s Redemption

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picture courtesy of Pintrest

The apostle Peter would hear none of it. Minutes earlier, he confessed Jesus to be the Christ, the anointed one to save Israel from all her enemies. And now, Jesus told him and the others he would be rejected and killed. The one could not happen if the second came to pass. Peter, so much as told Jesus he was wrong. It wouldn’t and couldn’t happen. In not listening, Peter missed Jesus’ words about rising again in three days.

Jesus knew Peter looked and listened through a worldly perspective. After rebuking Peter, Jesus explained the cost and the effect of keeping a godly perspective on the value of a soul. Jesus had taught the disciples earlier that life is more than what we eat or wear. He reiterated the teaching with an explanation and a question for them to answer and us to consider.

“Whosoever will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it;

but whosoever shall lose his life

for my sake and the gospel’s

the same shall save it.

For what shall it profit a man,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Mark 8:34-38, KJV

The soul houses the heart, mind, and strength of our new spiritual life. It reflects who we are and whose we are, through the lives we live.

The soul is our immortal inner being that lives forever in eternal death or eternal life, depending on whom we surrender it to in love.

Jesus quoted God-given words of Moses to a questioning lawyer.

He began like this—“HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART …

AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

(from Mark 12:29,30)KJV

In the beginning, Adam and Eve possessed access to eternal life, through the tree of life. Satan deceived Eve into believing she didn’t need God’s way to life, because if she ate of the forbidden tree, she would be like God. God is the source of life. Adam chose to exchange his eternal promise of life for eternal death. Death entered his soul.

In life there is a battle fought between God and Satan for our soul. God seeks our soul out of love and the desire to give us back eternal life. Satan seeks our soul out of hatred for God and the desire to devour our soul in eternal death.

“Be sober, be vigilant:

because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,

walketh about, seeking whom he may devour …

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

(1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10-11, KJV)

Our soul means nothing to the devil but a tool to hurt the God who loves us. His eternal destiny is sealed. Keeping us from returning to God, and destroying our soul in the here and now, is his only source of pleasure.

The worth of our soul, our life, is found in giving God possession of our soul as he meant it in the beginning. God showed us our soul’s worth in sacrificing his Son, his only Son, that we might have life.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood,

the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace …

For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God

in your body,

and in your spirit,

which are God’s …

The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants:

and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

(Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Psalm 34:22, KJV)

Our soul’s redemption cost Jesus his blood.

  • He took up his cross and demands us to do the same.
  • He surrendered his soul into the Father’s keeping—and was raised from the dead.
  • Jesus set the standard—exercising love for the Father through surrendering all his soul to him and
  • Turning away from the body’s natural lust for self control.

This is an all or nothing opportunity. Our salvation is immediate when by faith we receive him as our Redeemer. But it takes a lifetime to learn to live giving God the love of all our heart and all our soul. Thankfully, he is patient with us and will complete the work he has begun in us. In this,

“I will praise thee … O Holy One of Israel.

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee;

and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long …”

Psalm 71:22-24, KJV

Heavenly, Father, may all who read, release our soul into your hands. May we give you full possession of our soul and learn to live out 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

“What? Know ye not that your body

is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,

which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God

in your body, and in your spirit,

which are God’s.”

If you are not God’s, you’re giving yourself to the wrong one.

 

First Commandment: The Soul

The First Commandment: The Soul

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Image courtesy of pixabay

He opened the leather bag stuffed with coins, clutched a handful of the precious gold, and let it filter through his fingers. The clinking coinage sang a satisfying song to his soul. He was rich. The final coin dropped. The song faded. Zacchaeus had sold his soul to the Romans by collecting exorbitant taxes from his people. His people? They hated him. He couldn’t blame them. He had become rich through their poverty. That was who Zacchaeus use to be—until he met Jesus and heard him speak the words,

“This day is salvation come to this house,

for asmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of man is come

to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Luke 19:9,10, KJV

Zacchaeus had lost his soul to the love of money. But it was saved from certain death when he surrendered his soul to the truth behind the first commandment.

“HEAR, O ISRAEL;

THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD:

AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD

WITH ALL THY HEART …

AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

(from Mark 12:29,30)

The day salvation came to his house, in one moment, Zacchaeus  received a new heart filled with the Spirit of God. His body was infused with a renewed soul fit to embody his new heart. The spiritual heart, soul, mind, and strength are mysteriously woven together. Here the soul and spirit unite in our inner being to enable the soul to live out the new life emanating from the heart.

  • The heart pumps life into what was considered dead.
  • The soul, dead in sin, comes to life in righteousness
  • and houses the new heart, filled with the Spirit of Christ.
  • The heart sends the pure blood of Christ through the mind
  • to give it the mind of Christ,
  • and into the spirit to provide the strength of Christ to rule our new life.

To clear up this muddy water, think about the development of life in the womb. When the seed and the egg unite, a soul is born with everything needed for life. The soul houses the heart. The beating heart pumps blood through the soul, feeding the brain, and giving strength to survive.

In essence, the soul that loves God is the part of us that lives out the new life we’ve been given. The new heart, Christ in us, supplies all the nourishment the soul needs. The reborn soul reflects spiritual life in the deeds of the body.

When Zacchaeus’ soul was reborn, he no longer wanted to cheat others to get rich, but—

“stood and said unto the Lord:

Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor;

and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation,

I restore him fourfold.”

Luke 19:8, KJV

Zacchaeus’ actions proved a soul reborn, even as the life we live shows our soul reborn.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? …

  • Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
  • and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
  • and hath given himself for us an offering
  • and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour …
  • For ye were sometimes darkness,
  • but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
  • (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth:) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-10)

If our soul is not reborn, it is dying an endless death. The heart pumps blood, tainted with deceit, through that soul. Only the pure blood of Christ pumping through the heart can make a soul clean and acceptable to the Father. What would a person exchange for his soul?  Or, how much value do we put on life? More on that next time. Until then, think on this—Jesus gave great value to our souls when he redeemed us with his precious blood.

“Redeemed! How I Love to Proclaim It!”

When Ruth obeyed the counsel of her mother-in-law, she did nothing promiscuous. She sought salvation through submission to the one able to save her from a life without hope to a glorious hope. She sought Naomi’s kinsman redeemer for her own.

 “And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.” Ruth 3:6,7.

According to the custom of the day, Ruth’s actions mirrored those of a servant relying on the complete mercy of the master. Boaz’ response reflects Israel’s Kinsman Redeemer who is our own.

Boaz Redeems Naomi through Ruth:

“And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.” Ruth 4:9,10.

Boaz, a near kinsman, proved  able to pay the purchase price of redemption. He also showed himself willing to pay it.

God, our Maker,pexels-photo-291759.jpeg Redeems Israel and Us through Christ, the Holy One of Israel:

“Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” Isaiah 54:4-8,17.

Christ Our Kinsman:

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons…Gal. 4:4,5;

For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren…Heb. 2:11; For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matt. 12:50.

Christ Our Purchase Price for Redemption:

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“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him…2Cor. 5:21;

But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens…Heb. 7:24-26;

For the wages of sin is death…” Rom. 6:23a.

Christ Our Willing Payment:

“As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father…John 10:15-18;

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.

Our Response and Reward:

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Image by pixabay.

“And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation: and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth…Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Rev. 5:9-13.

May we, as Ruth, lay our lives at the Redeemer’s feet, follow him to the empty tomb and receive the sure hope of life everlasting. Our Bridegroom is coming.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28.

 

 

Exodus: Who Are You Meant to Be?

“And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.” Hosea 2:19,20.

The foreign student pondered the thought of God having a Son. “If God has a Son, who is his wife?”

blogflag-186476__340In Genesis, God reveals the beginning of all things, specifically, the beginning of a nation, a pursuit of a people to call His own and to love now and into eternity. He chooses His betrothed from among all peoples not because she is holy but because she is polluted and in need of only what He can provide. His choosing will make her who she is meant to be.

“…Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem: Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan…And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live: yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” (Ezekiel 16:4-6.

Exodus begins the account of God redeeming unto Himself his betrothed.The time of Isreal’s redemption came after being swallowed into Egypt for 431 years, most of which found them enslaved. But the cry of their birth, their travail, did not fall on deaf ears.

“And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” Ex. 2:23,24.

“Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.” Ezek. 16:8,9.

In Exodus, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob continues to reveal Himself to his betrothed and enters into a betrothal covenant with her. He invites Israel to be His own, using Moses as a mediator, but there is another who fights to keep her to himself, Pharoah, an agent of Satan. Death to the people of God would mean the death to the promised seed and God’s plan to redeem His people and bless all nations. But God will always remember His covenant to perform it.  One day Israel will be saved and become all she is meant to be.

”And I will being the third part through the fire…they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God… For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: The God of the whole earth shall he be called… Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God…and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride , so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” (Zech. 13:9; Isa. 54:5;Isa. 62:3,5).

cross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpegAs the LORD God entered into a covenant relationship with Israel, so has He entered into a covenant relationship with those who call on His name today. The blessing is to all nations. It began with Israel. It has come to us who were not a people but have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Here is where we each begin the journey with the Lord to become all He means us to be. When time is fulfilled we will sit at the marriage supper of the Lamb. And He will rejoice over us! Are you among the bride of Christ?  How are you waiting for His return?

YOUR INPUT:

Exodus is filled with many characters and types of Christ. This being the week of Passover, I plan to include the lamb. If you have one you would like to see included, please, leave your suggestion in the comments.

Some of my followers suggested Moses, his mother, Pharoah, and the role of the priestly system included in the parade of characters from Exodus. That’s the plan for this week. Who would you suggest from Leviticus? Why?