Read: Mark 12:30-31 NIV |
I can imagine someone saying, “I would like to have just enough Jesus. I want just enough to save my soul, but not so much that my soul catches fire for the Lord. I want to be saved, but I still want to pay back my enemies. I do not want so much Jesus that I forgive those that owe me. I can forgive them after they pay me back. I want to be able to shout hallelujah when my soul is touched and not be carried away and lose control. I want to be able to feel the warmth of His presence when I need Him. I want Him in my life, but not totally in charge. I want just enough Jesus to be saved and receive eternal life. I do not want to go to Hell, but every once in a while I might want to raise a little Hell and have fun. I want my soul to be partially full of Jesus.” [Illustration borrowed and extensively altered from author Tim Hansel]
My illustration stretches the point to capture the essence of how some believers approach giving all of their soul to God. Since we do not know what will happen, we sometimes hold back and give God a little control at a time. By taking this approach, “whose we are” is not distinct since we are straddling the fence.
This week we focus on the “soul” as we continue our study of “Whose am I?” The soul is the eternal part of our being. The Bible teaches that our soul will live forever in one of two places – Heaven or Hell. As Billy Graham once said, “The body is the house, the soul is the tenant. When the body dies, the soul lives on.” The souls of born-again believers who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are destined for Heaven. The souls of the unsaved, who have rejected Jesus, are destined for Hell.
The biblical definition for soul includes our personality, ego and the inner self. To love Him with all of our soul means our decisions, behavior and lifestyle choices we make center on the source of our devotion. To love Him with all our soul, we need to maintain a healthy soul.
A healthy soul is one that is in alignment with God in our thinking, our attitudes and our relationships. To maintain a healthy soul, we should:
The sum of the choices we make reveal our core values and devotions. Thus, making godly choices is a goal for each believer. As we search our inner selves for answers, anchor the solutions in biblical principles to stay in alignment with God.
Storing God’s word by scripture memory and study takes discipline and concerted effort. Under the principal of sowing and reaping, we cannot avoid sowing our time in getting to know more about God. If we sow not, we reap not (Gal. 6:7-8). Get closer to God by getting to know His Word, His Will and His Ways better by studying and memorizing scriptures.
Allowing Him to use our time, talent and treasure is a true testament to how much Jesus we really have in our soul. If we allow Him to have His way in leading and guiding us, He will surely bless us.
Whose am I? I am a child of the King who loves Him with all my soul. I do not want just enough Jesus; I want all of Him to consume my soul today and every day.
1. Discover – Have you ever asked God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and have His way in your life?
A. If so, what happened?
B. If not, what is stopping you from asking Him now?
C. Am I fearful of having “too much” of Jesus in my soul?
2. Develop – Based on the three principles outlined to develop a healthy soul:
A. Which ones do I do best?
B. Which ones do I need to work on?
3. Demonstrate – The great benefit of being a Christian is that we have a chance to be a soul-winner for Him! This past Sunday while teaching Sunday School, I was lead to give the invitation in the middle of the lesson to kids ages 5-12. I had 8-9 kids accept Christ for the first time! My co-teachers helped take names and we were overwhelmed; I am still rejoicing!
A. In the last month, have you witnessed or given your testimony?
B. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is being a soul winner to you? Explain your response.