Your Spirit

1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 6:63
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I (Jesus) have spoken to you are spirit and life.

1 Corinthians 2:11-12
For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

Romans 8:5-6
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

You are a triune entity consisting of a spirit governed by a soul residing in a body.

When you align yourself with the knowledge and understanding of the relationship between your body, your soul, and your spirit, then you have a stronger grasp of how you can best operate to fulfill your human potential. In our previous writing, we highlighted your soul and body. This time we emphasize your spirit.

The Bible discusses different type of spirits:

Spirit of man (Zechariah 12:1, Proverbs 20:27, Job 32:8)

Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28, Romans 8:14, 1 Corinthians 2:14)

Holy Spirit (John 14:26, Luke 1:41, Luke 4:1)

Unclean spirits (Mk 5:8, Matt 12:43-45, Lk 6:18)

Evil spirits (Lk 8:2, Acts 19:12, Lk 11:26)

There is a constant battle going on between your spirit and the spirit in the world. We read of the encounter between Jesus and Satan in the desert at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Satan (evil spirit) tried to seduce Jesus with immediate gratification of his life goal if HE yielded to Satan’s temptations. Jesus prevailed and the rest is history.

Most of us allow outside spiritual influences to invade and overcome our spirit. When the spirit falls, the soul and body soon follow into decay. But Jesus came with a solution. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you become engaged to marry him; and the Holy Spirit and your spirit become one with the Triune God. The more you submit yourself to Him, the more you become like Him. And you join Him in his victory over Satan and the evil spirits of this world.

The Bible explains the continual struggle between our physical desires and spiritual needs. Most of the time, we satisfy the physical rather than the spiritual which leads to immediate satisfaction but produces long-term frustration and pain. Instead of placing the spirit first on our list of priorities, we make the outer casing, the body, the short-term winner. Only after we come to the place of realizing when the spirit is given top priority, the outer body also reaps the benefits of a wholesome, full life. And even when there may be short term pain for the body for emphasizing the spirit, the eternal reward makes it worth the effort.

In short:

Your spirit is a conduit which networks with God and others. You have direct access to the God who sustains the universe via your spirit. Likewise, your spirit bonds with others in a unified fashion. When two kindred spirits meet, there is a mutual bonding of mind and thought. On the other hand, when one walks in spiritual darkness, there is a repulsive battle between themselves silently screaming for help. Those who have been there recognize the situation and approach with their spirit on guard to help.

Your spirit is influenced by other spirits – some good, others bad. The good spirit is the Holy Spirit, God Himself. He produces good fruit in his children. The evil spirits are your demons and the dark forces working within the culture. Everyday, people are being swayed by the spirit of greed, fear, lust, covetousness, hatred, lies, etc. If you allow your spirit free range to inhale everything that comes your way, you will find yourself captured by unwanted hosts. Like a computer without virus software, you will find yourself soon non-operatable. Without a strong defense, which a healthy soul provides, the path only leads to destruction and pain. However, God has given us equipment to battle and defend our internal habitat. The solution is found in Jesus Christ and expounded throughout the Bible.  

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Your Body

1 Thessalonians 5:23

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.

Your body is a wonderful masterpiece of form and functionality. The precise detail of each cell and organ integrated together and working in harmony is a marvel beyond scientific and engineering design. A combination of your brain, skeleton, nerves, veins, and muscles working together to form an organic machine designed for the purpose of duplicating God’s image (in a limited, physical capacity) glorifies HIS genius. When combined with your soul and spirit, you have a triune entity we simply call a human person.

Though wonderfully made, the body requires maintenance to fully function at its highest capacity. The majority of us understand the importance of exercise and nutrition to keep the body operating at peak performance. However, what many of us ignore and abuse is the relationship between our bodies and our soul and spirit.

Mankind, apart from God, has made the body the central core of life. The body is glamorized, adored, and pampered by western civilization. The commercialization of products and services are designed around glorifying the outer shell of the person. The soul and spirit may be implied, but never given their time under the sun.

From God’s perspective, HE doesn’t look at humans from our outer image, but from our inner heart. For example, He chose David, the youngest of his family to be king of Israel. Samuel, who was sent by God to identify the next king, was more impressed by his older brothers. But God looks at the soul of a person. Again, Jesus himself would repeatedly get upset when he looked at people and recognized the hardness of their heart (their soul). Throughout the Bible, people would choose leaders based on their physical appearance, but not God. He chose based on the condition of their soul.

The body is the outer casing that houses your soul and spirit. The body and soul complement and submit to each other. When both are healthy, along with your spirit, we experience the fullness of being human. When one of the three is hurting, the scars are felt by the person.

Yes, we need to care for our bodies which have been redeemed by Jesus. Now as HIS, our bodies house the Spirit of God. This is why Paul writes that we are God’s temple and our bodies are to glorify HIM.  

Our biggest challenge is to bridle the passions of our human nature which causes harm for our soul. I Peter 2:11 reads Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul”.

When we understand the soul is the governing agency and needs to be buildup and strengthen to effectively manage our bodies rather than allow our carnal desires to influence the soul; only then will we maturely experience the Christ-like life HE spoke about.

The daily struggle for us Christ-followers is to channel more of God’s Holy Spirit toward our soul and deflect more of our carnal desires away from our soul.

Paul writes in Romans 13:14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires”.

Or how I like to state it, “More Christ, less me.” When you place Jesus as the center of your life, your soul will begin to take the lead instead of the physical desires to satisfy the self-centerness of our flesh. You realize your body is designed to glorify God and not you. You will take care of your body as best as you can so you can move through life serving your King and physically ready for every opportunity to do good work.

I left below a few Scriptures highlighting the challenge and battle between the body and soul. Read responsibly.

Romans 6:12

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.

Luke 11:34

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.

Colossians 2:23

These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Romans 7:18

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

Mark 14:38

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jeremiah 17:5

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.

Psalm 90:10

The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Next week we will discuss your spirit.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Your Soul

1 Thessalonians 5:23

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

As the apostle Paul states in today’s Scripture, the Bible describes people as having a body, soul, and spirit. In this blog we will review a few scriptures which highlight the soul.

From the Biblical summary aspect, your soul involves the mental aspects, emotional attitudes, and character willpower of your personhood. Your soul is the governing operating side of your body and defense system against the spiritual influences which surround you.

Every human being is born with a soul and every soul belongs to God. As written in Ezekiel 18:4, Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine. Every person born is precious in HIS sight. For every child’s soul has the opportunity to grow up into the image of her heavenly Dad. And every grown child’s purpose is to be prepared for eternity. For from the foundation of the world, Father God’s plan is to birth humanity for the sole purpose of rearing a heavenly family to rule and minister in HIS global kingdom in the new age (Mt 25:34, Rev 5:10).

The basic building block of rearing a healthy soul begins with the Word of God. James the brother of Jesus, wrote: Therefore, put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21). And again, the writer of Hebrews emphasizes the importance of using the Word of God to help determine the best course of action for your soul (Hebrews 4:12).

And contrary to public opinion, the soul is not immortal. Jesus stated that the soul could die, And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28). In other words, people can destroy your body, but only God can put an end to your inner soul. However, we have a part to play in how our soul matures.

Jesus states that instead of emotional roller coaster rides we can find rest for our soul. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus states – Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29). Yet to do so, one must first be responsible and accountable to Jesus. Life is a learning process preparing you and I for eternity. For those who accept God’s purpose, we learn to master the art of godly living now which we will live out as a witness now and into the future. Isaiah even wrote in the old testament while dealing with personal challenges, my soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9)

And again, in the old testament, God states how HE is concern for the health of our souls. In Jeremiah 31:25, For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” And again, the psalmist in 19:7 wrote, the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

In our culture today, we place heavy emphasis on maintaining the physical body and science tries to explain the psychology of a person apart of God. However, when one better understand the importance of the role the soul plays in the whole person, and understands the purpose and endgame of the soul, life’s priority shifts. God becomes more important and HIS purpose gives meaning to life.

As a parent rears a child preparing her for adulthood, God likewise prepares HIS children for an eternal role in HIS kingdom and family. He cares for your soul and works to discipline us whenever necessary so we grow up able to manage the challenges life throws our way. Not only in this life, but in the world tomorrow when we have proven to HIM, we can be and act responsibly and trustfully as good stewards of what he bestows on us. If he is going to give us authority over others in the next world, HE wants to be sure we are made ready before then.

The body is needed to carry the soul for the soul is the driving force behind the body. And more importantly, the soul is the intangible matter one will take with them from this life. The sum total of your mental consciousness, character, and emotional attitude developed and exercised in this life will be the starting point when we crossover into a new body at the resurrection. This is why Jesus emphasized the importance of the soul:   

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? (Matthew 16:26)

When your soul is built upon God’s righteousness and holiness, you experience life the way God intended one to fully live.

Next, we will explore the role of the body and spirit which along with your soul make up you, the person.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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The Difference Between Your Role and Your Identity

Ecclesiastes 10:10

If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.

identity

One trait that most people rarely develop into a positive habit is learning the art of turning failure into success. Like an old ax with a dull blade, we continue to exert more physical energy in its use rather than employ sound wisdom on the problem. Like the person who keeps trying to mop up the water in the bathroom without first turning off the faucet, we work harder rather than smarter. But sound wisdom is available for those who are tired of continually falling short of the mark.

To pursue any type of success without expecting setbacks is like running a marathon without expecting to take a drink of water. Life is not designed that way. The quicker one learns to turn lemons into lemonade, the more enjoyable life will become.

First failure is in the eye of the beholder. Thomas Edison failed over two thousand times to find the perfect filament for the electric light bulb. That is how an outsider viewed the situation. However, Mr. Edison himself simply viewed each test as one step in the process of eliminating what doesn’t work.

The largest reason, I believe, people are able to properly manage the mental anguish of failure is the ability to separate their identity as a person from the role they are working through. When you truly realize you are a child of the same God who holds the universe together, held in the grip of Jesus Christ, made and being morphed into his image, you have an eternal identity which no failure nor person can remove. However, when your identity is found in anything else (no matter how good it may look or be), you have made an idol that will eventually come crumbling down.

When you can separate your identity from your role in life, then you will find it easier to evaluate the situation and come up with more reasonable solutions to your dilemma. However, when you use your role as your identity cup, that cup will leave you totally empty when the role is over. Roles come and go but your identity in Christ remains forever.

You see this all the time. The person whose career is over becomes lost because their identity was solely buried in their work. The mother whose identity was found in her children becomes lost when the children leave home. The teenager whose identity is found with his friends becomes lost if not accepted by his peers or their friends move away. The athlete whose identity is found on the football field finds himself loss when he is discarded because of his age.

When you know who you are in Christ though, then each role you accept becomes a learning process of developing the necessary skills needed to succeed in that role. No matter how well you succeed or fail to succeed, you are only defining your ability to manage that role. Your identity in Christ doesn’t change. Yes, you may be a lousy waitress, but you are an awesome child of God. Yes, you may be a lousy ballplayer, but you can improve by sharpening the necessary skills need to succeed. The same with any role you have chosen to pursue.

Of course, when you build your role upon the God-given gifts and natural abilities given, the path will be easier. Yet motivation and hard work developing the necessary skill set is also necessary and doable. You may not become the #1 rated person in your industry, but you will be greatly respected for what and how you do it.

So, the next time you find yourself short of your mark, thank God for the opportunity you have been given, find yourself a mentor, and know that failure only sets the bar for you to discover what you need to change to become more effective in the role you are working through.

Don’t confuse your identity with your role. Master your role. Keep centered in your identity. Then failure is only a holding pattern in a learning process of improving your role.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Designed To Be Like God

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Gen. 1:27

Imagine a dog behaving like a cat. Or a lion acting like a monkey. Or an elephant like a snake. We would be concern that there was something mentally wrong with the animal. Yet when people behave ungodly, we have come to accept it as normal.

When we fail to pursue holiness, purity, or honesty, are we not being misdirected from our original design? God created humankind after His image; for God is love, full of joy and abundant in goodness. When we fail to live up to God’s design, aren’t we losing out on God’s best? Satan knows.

Adam and Eve had the opportunity to be more like God. But instead of trusting their Lord, they bit into Satan’s temptation that they may have it all now by taking things into their own hands.

Likewise Jesus knew his purpose and design. So did Satan. In the wilderness after Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led him into the desert to face the enemy (Luke 4). Satan made three offers to Jesus. Each was God’s destiny for Jesus. But Satan tempted Jesus to accept his destiny by disobeying His Father’s Will and take it all now. We know the event, Jesus resisted the tempter and continued to place His trust in His Father to bring about His divine purpose.

We are no different. God has made many promises for us; including to fulfill the purpose for what you were designed to be. But we must patiently wait on Him and resist the temptation to manipulate circumstances and situations as we believe they need to be.

Yes you are uniquely designed. You have a purpose. It may not be what you think it is. But when you lean on our heavenly Triune God, He will direct your steps toward its fulfillment.  In the late season of your life, in retrospect, you will recognize God’s hand in many of your life’s decisions. But meanwhile, while living through them now, you may question, doubt, and worry. Yet as you lean on Him, He will always be at your side reassuring you, coaching you, and creating His masterpiece in you after His image. For remember, ultimately in this life, it is your purpose to be molded and shaped into the image of Jesus Christ; to be His witness now and in preparation for eternity. Everything else is extra.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Slavery of Religion

 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?  These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Col. 2:20-23

Religion is man’s attempt to appease God. The practice and mindset is typically built around the premise that you are separate from God. If you want God’s favor, you have to do something to manipulate God your way. Contrast to real Christianity, where you are already reconciled to God. Not because of what you do, but what the Triune God has already done.

Real Christianity is an abiding relationship with the living God. A relationship built upon the finish work of Jesus Christ. Whereas religion typically is man’s idea of how one must perform to merit God’s blessings.

Throughout history, in the name of religion, mankind has done harmful acts one-to-another in the name of their idol god. From sacrificing babies at the altar to performing immoral sexual acts, all in the name of their god. In current times, we may have become more civilized, yet we still have the tenancy to practice religion rather than build an intimate relationship with the ONE.

We may burn candles, flog ourselves, sacrifice money, refrain from marriage, establish higher-than-God-standards of righteousness, ordain certain days more holier than others, deny modern conveniences, cloth ourselves in special outfits, refrain from eating certain foods, practice special or secret rituals, refrain from listening to certain music, place higher importance on “spiritual” occupations, vote for specific political parties, and the list goes on and on and on.

When the act becomes more important than the heart of a matter, and when the task has greater priority than the relationship, be careful. You may be emphasizing the religion rather than enjoying a relationship with the living Lord.

Many times the mechanics of faith are the same. The difficult part to identify is the heart of relationship with our heavenly Father. Only He knows for sure. So why not ask your Father-Son-Spirit how you can improve your relationship with Him? And yes, for those who value religion, don’t worry –  God also works through religion. You will also find Him in business, government, education, entertainment, sports, medicine, and every other institutional field. For wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor.3:17).

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Jesus Christ Chose You

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— Col. 1:22 ESV.

Before you were ever born, you were selected by Jesus Christ. Before you even heard the name of Jesus Christ, you were forgiven. And before you even acknowledged his existence, you were already included in the Triune circle.

The Incarnation teaches us that God chose himself before the foundation of the world as the sacrifice for humanity’s entrance into the heavenly. Entering the world in human form, He (Jesus) clothed himself with the darkness of the world. All sin, deception, anxiety, pride, shame, and blindness was captured within his humanness. God joined humanity and humanity joined God in this act of divine sacrifice.

The result is Jesus Christ lived and died a vicarious life. He represented you and I as our substitute to defeat Satan and restore humanity’s relationship with our Heavenly Father. In the process, you have been forgiven because of His sacrificial life & death. He did it for you and I.

Not only forgiven, but His resurrection and ascension into heaven paved the way for you and I into a new creation. He is the first of a new humanity.  The physical and spiritual merged together.

Though we are already included in the circle of life with the Triune God, many are still ignorant or in rebellion against him. We haven’t accepted the reality of Who He IS and our position with Him. There lies our chose. Whether or not we want to share life with him or not.

The Bible uses several examples to highlight this point. One is adoption. You, the child, have been adopted by the parent (God). Your decision isn’t to select the parent for adoption but whether or not you will become fully engaged into the family culture. The adoption has already occurred. You can either rebel against your new parent or accept the reality that you have a new guardian who truly cares for you. A new home with permanency.

Another example is marriage. In the first century Biblical culture, the woman didn’t decide who she was going to marry. The selection process was negotiated by the parent and/or groom. As a newly engaged bride, your choice was whether or not you will become fully engaged with your husband and learn to love him. As a newly married couple, you can choose to become fully engaged in a mutually shared relationship or not. The consequences of your decision is yours to make.

Lastly, a disciple didn’t choose his rabbi teacher. It was the rabbi who selected the student. Many may wish to learn at the feet of a great teacher, but the final decision wasn’t theirs to make.

In all three examples, adoption/marriage/discipleship, the instigator of the relationship wasn’t us, but the other side. Our chose is simply to accept our position in the relationship and become fully engaged in the relationship. The same is true with Jesus Christ. He has already chosen you. Will you accept your divine position and become fully engaged?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved