How Do You Value Your Soul?

How Do You Value Your Soul?

When all is said and done—when we all reach the end of our lives—what value do we place upon our own soul?  How can we each understand right now, in the present, what we will realize at the end of our life?

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?  (Mt 16:26 ESV)

But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’  (Lk 12:20 NKJV)

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  (Mk 8:36-37)

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?  (Lk 9:25)

As these Bible passages point out, what good is it to be wealthy, influential, highly educated or well-traveled if, after it’s all finished, we lose our own soul in eternity?  If we think that’s okay, then we do NOT place any value whatsoever on our soul or upon our very self.  God values human beings and we need to learn from Him to value ourselves very highly.  Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for each and every soul who accepts Him as Savior.

God created man in His own image!  What great value God places upon each one of us.  Another verse says that God gave mankind dominion or authority over all of the earth.  (Gen 1:26-27)  He put mankind in a place of authority over the planet.

God says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  (Ps 139:14)  God Himself forms each and every newborn baby.  (Ps 139:13 ESV)  Having a child is accurately thought to be a reward from God.  (Ps 127:3) 

God so loved and valued each one of us that He sent His only Son to redeem all of us.  (Joh 3:16)  This precious gift of redemption must be accepted and received, individually, to be able to take effect in our lives.  The Lord warns us to be fearful of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Mt 10:28)  The Lord is talking about the enemy of our souls, Satan.

The advice the Lord gives us concerning our souls is this:

  • The law of the Lord (God’s Word) refreshes the soul (Ps 19:7) – read, study, and meditate upon the Word of God, the Bible.
  • Pleasant words, like honey, gives sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. (Pro 16:24)  Speak pleasant words to others and over your family and over yourself.  These words will truly bless everyone.
  • The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible passage in 3 John 2: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.  (emphasis added)  We need to pursue those habits that contribute to the prosperity of our immortal souls!

We should live our lives in close relationship with Jesus, and obey His Word in order to be blessed.  We reveal that we value our souls very highly by this lifestyle, and God will bless each one of us for it.  Praise God!

Feet of a Deer: Hind’s Feet

Feet of a Deer: Hind’s Feet

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.  (Hab 3:19 NIV)

The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.  (Hab 3:19 KJV)

In Habakkuk 3:17-18, the prophet says:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Verses 17 and 18 show us that Habakkuk chooses to praise the Lord and to be joyful in Him in spite of life’s challenging circumstances. 

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.  (2 Sam 22:34 & Ps 18:33 KJV)

So what is the significance of hind’s feet?  A hind is a female deer (or a gazelle) who is able to place her back feet unerringly where her front feet have walked.  Because of this, a hind is able to run unreservedly on the roughest terrain.  In times of peril, the hind can run securely and stay on course.  Because the hind can scale high places, it can elude predators.

The spiritual lesson for us is that, despite our circumstances, when we are truly anchored by faith in Jesus, we’ll be able to run with joy the race that is set before us.  The Word reminds us that God Himself is our strength, and in Him our spiritual feet have become as sure-footed, nimble, and fast as the hind. 

The strength that God gives to us is an inward strength—confidence and assurance and courageousness in the face of all external afflictions and trials.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Phil 4:13 NKJV) 

. . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man . . .  (Eph 3:16 NKJV)

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), and the strength of the Lord is within each one of us.  Glory to God!

He Remembers that We Are Dust

He Remembers that We Are Dust

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  (Ps 103:13-14 NIV)

The Lord knows all about our frailties, and that our earthly bodies—formed from the earth—will one day decay and die.  We are compared to the grass which rises from the earth, and eventually wastes away and returns to it.

As human beings, we grow and mature and become strong and healthy.  We may be blessed with robust health, and even grow to be quite tall and attractive to others.  If we blossom in health and beauty, and riches and honor; even then we are destined to live only a certain number of years and then pass away, certain to be buried in the earth.

However, in spite of all of that, because the Lord made us in His own image, He has created us to be eternally valuable.  (Gen 1:27)  He calls mankind His special treasure. (Ps 135:4)

But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them.  Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath; 39 for He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again.  (Ps 78:38-39)

Because God is full of compassion, He never turned His full anger upon mankind.  Instead, He demonstrated His great love for us by sending Jesus, His Son, as our Savior and Redeemer.  (Joh 3:16; Rom 5:8)

God has poured His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  (Rom 5:2-5)  The Holy Spirit is our teacher and our guide.  (Joh 14:26; 16:13)

God has even made us conquerors through Jesus Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His powerful, unending love.  (Rom 8:37-39)  You are special in God’s sight, and you’re the apple of His eye!  (Zech 2:8)

The Lord calls you CHOSEN and PRECIOUS.  (1 Pet 2:4)  Glory to God!

Preparation for Glory

Preparation for Glory

One of the purposes of our lives here on earth, aside from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is to prepare us believers for future glory.  At times, our preparation will seem very difficult to bear up under.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. . . (2 Cor 4:17)

The apostle and his fellow sufferers compared their current light suffering with the reward that, by faith, they knew awaited them in heaven.  They considered the heavenly crown awaiting them to be far more significant than their current afflictions. 

 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  (Rom 8:18)

According to the verse above, our earthly problems will seem mild and temporary when we view them from the safe haven of eternity with Jesus.  At times, it will help us to endure when we focus upon unseen realities that exist in the spiritual realm.

. . . knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  (Jas 1:3-4)

When our faith is put to the test, the Word reminds us to patiently endure—or to cling to the truth of God’s Word.  Remaining steadfast in faith through a time of suffering will result in our faith becoming more mature, deep and strong.  When we live in this way, we are following Christ’s example.

. . . though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.  (Heb 5:8) 

This verse is referring to Jesus Christ, our Savior.  This passage reminds us that our Savior learned, through suffering, all about the unique obedience needed to qualify Him as our High Priest.  (See Commentary on Hebrews 5 by A. R. Fausset, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown)

The point of this article is to meditate upon the fact that Jesus—the Savior of mankind—endured great suffering for our sake.  He didn’t grumble about it but focused upon His love for His Father and the end result of His obedience which was the reconciliation of mankind to God the Father.  At the cross, Jesus could say, “It is finished.”

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials . . . (Jas 1:2)

Lips of Grace

Lips of Grace

Thou art fairer than the children of men:  grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.  (Ps 45:2 KJV)  This psalm is speaking of the coming Savior of the world, and pointing out that He had grace literally POURED out upon His lips.  Did Jesus prove the truth of this verse?  Yes, He did!

Jesus’ lips were anointed with such grace that it poured from His lips like streams of living water.  His words blessed all those who heard and received them.

He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend.  (Pro 22:11)  Jesus was loved by all who came to Him and were touched by Him.  We may also have this same blessing if we allow the Lord to use our lips to bless others.

So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.  (Lk 4:22a)  People who heard Jesus’ words were astonished, awed, and impressed by them—they had such an impact.

Charles Spurgeon, in his commentary on Psalm 45:2, had this to say:

“Imagination’s utmost stretch cannot conceive of anything more gracious; and the contemplation of the most devoted Christian cannot think of any words more majestic in goodness, more tender in sympathy, more full of honey, and more luscious in their sweetness, than the gracious words that proceeded out of the lips of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus, as our Savior and example, is our model for life and faith.  As His words blessed the people who heard them, so also, should ours.  As we spend time meditating upon the Bible, and time in worshiping the Lord, our words will become more and more like His.  For Jesus’ words bestowed grace upon grace to all those who heard them. 

Listen to and learn from Jesus’ words; meditate upon the Scriptures; obey the Holy Spirit; and then follow Jesus’ example of speaking grace-filled words.

The Righteous

The Righteous

. . . and the desire of the righteous will be granted.  (Pro 10:24b)

. . . the righteous has an everlasting foundation.  (Pro 10:25b)

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.  (Pro 11:4)

Let us understand that when the Bible refers to the righteous it is talking about those who have been justified by Jesus Christ by accepting Him as their Savior.  Now I’m going to share some thoughts about each verse shown above, in order.

  1. How often does the Bible say that God will give us the desires of our hearts? It may be stated in different ways, but this theme is mentioned in Ps 37:4-5; Ro 4:21; Jer 1:12; Mt 6:33; 7:7-8; Lk 11:9-10 as well as the first verse shown above.  How often do you really believe and trust that the Lord wishes to give you the desires of your heart?  Yes, we do need to live obediently to Him and to seek His kingdom, and as we are doing that, we have been encouraged by these Scriptures to ask Him to give us what we desire.  So many people think only of monetary things, but what we desire may be the salvation of a loved one or the healing of a relationship or any of a number of other spiritually worthy things.  And if you do need physical healing or financial blessings, the Bible gives us many promises to encourage our faith in these areas, as well.  So, I encourage you to share your desires with the Lord.
  2. The foundation that the righteous have that is everlasting is Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone. (Mt 21:42; 1 Cor 3:11)  In Him, we are secure and anchored, so don’t let go of your foundation of faith.
  3. Humanly speaking, people appreciate having more than enough money because it solves so many challenges and problems in the natural realm. But even more important than wealth (according to the Bible) is righteousness, because righteousness liberates us from spiritual death, and from the fear of physical  death.
    1. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jo 14:6, emphasis added)
    2. And He said to me, “It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  (Rev 21:6, emphasis added)

Today we may rejoice in the blessings and the promises that God has given to us—His righteous, blessed children.

Watch & Prepare

Watch & Prepare

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.  (Mt 25:13 NKJV)

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.  (Mt 24:42)

The Bible verses above remind us to be aware of the return of the Lord—to have a watchful frame of mind and heart.  It’s a good idea to watch and to be expectantly, eagerly awaiting our Savior’s return. Here are two good tips for doing that:

  • In holiness, we prepare ourselves for His coming;
  • Meanwhile, we continue to preach the Good News (gospel) to all mankind.

The Lord instructed us to be holy (Lev 11:45; 19:2; Nmb 15:40; Rom 12:1; 1 Pet 1:15, 16), because we serve a holy God.

In obedience to the Lord, we serve the Kingdom by sharing the gospel with everyone—right until the moment of Jesus’ return.  Lastly, we want to maintain a vital, loving relationship with the Lord Jesus!