20 January 2011

Nephesh (to breathe)

I love a Bible Study! And Wednesday night church!

Unfortunately in my hometown (where I currently reside), my home church does not have Wednesday night service :( and that makes me so sad...because WNS (Wednesday night service) is something that I so look forward to and crave.  Its that mid-week intimacy that you don't usually get on a weekend service---and I love it! But since we don't have it....I get to look forward to Bible Study! CONFESSION: I haven't really engrossed myself in a study group since I moved back to the "hometown".  I just never really found the right one where I felt like I meshed well with the people and felt a sense of growth.  Well, hubby and I took a chance and went ahead and partnered with a group of people for the 40 days of Relationships emphasis series that our church is doing....and i love it.  The material that we are all reading together is AWESOME! Daily I am challenged and encouraged....and I'm getting to do it with my husband and best friend.  :)

I just read a chapter called "Love God with all your Soul".  Interesting concept that we have heard over and over and over as one component on the greatest commandment.  But when you're out right asked what it looks like to "love God with your soul"...you kinda pause for a second to even define "soul".  In the book (The Relationship Principles of Jesus) Tom Holladay goes on to explain what the word "soul" means.  In the Old Testament, it uses the Hebrew word nephesh which means "to breathe".  It's explaining itself as God literally breathing life into each and every person.  Then, in the New Testament, it uses the Hebrew word psyche, which has to do with our will, our drive, the passion of our life, and the power in which we live.  He goes on to say that when we put these two words together, you get this principle: 
Your soul is your desires and passions.

Very interesting....so now, its easier to understand better when God calls commands us to Love Him with all of our Soul.  And understand that God has created each and every person differently.  So loving God with all of our SOUL is going to look different for every person.  And that's just how God intended it.  Know that you are the only you.  Know that you  love God in a different voice; a voice that God distinguishes amongst all of creation.  So don't feel that you have to express your love and respect for God in the same exact way that everyone else does.... you don't have to worship in the same way that everyone does, either.  Just know that God calls it "wonderfully different".  And that's just how He likes it.

Decide to do what He wants you to do.... Try and pray this prayer with an open heart:

This day do I , with the utmost solemnity, surrender myself to thee, I renounce all former lords that have had dominion over me; and I consecrate to thee all that I am, and all that I have; the faculties of my mind, the members of my body, my worldly possessions, my time, and my influence over others; to be all used entirely for thy glory, and resolutely employed in obedience to thy commands, as long as thou continuest me in life.... To thee I leave the management of all events, and say with out reserve, "Not my will, but thine be done."
Philip Doddridge, "'The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul"

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