The Daily Care of the Soul

//The Daily Care of the Soul

The Daily Care of the Soul



The Daily Care of the Soul — Introduction

Every day we care for our body. Why do we not have the same care for our soul, which is so much more valuable? No matter what we do for our body it will die one day. But if we care spiritually for our soul we will benefit both now and in eternity. The following study uses five things we do daily for the body that suggest ways to care for the soul on a daily basis.

Washing

Every day we wash. We may bathe the whole body once, but we might wash face or hands several times. Just as our body gets dirty, so does our soul. Even the “smallest” sin of thought, word, or deed defiles our soul, and breaks our fellowship with God. We cannot have fellowship with Him and walk in the darkness of sin (1Jo. 1:6). In Joh 13:10 Jesus said that once we have been bathed (the washing of salvation -Eph. 5:25-26, Tit 3:5) we only need to “wash our feet”. This is a picture of the confession of daily sins (1Jo. 1:9). When we come in bold faith to God’s “throne of grace”(Heb. 4:16) and confess our sins, we are forgiven and cleansed of “all unrighteousness”.

A good picture-story to illustrate this truth is found in 2Ki 5:1-14, the story of Naaman the leper. His leprosy is a picture of sin. At first he rejected Elisha’s message to “wash and be clean”. When finally he acted in faith he found himself cleansed of his terrible disease. For the unbeliever, faith in Jesus Christ provides the seven-fold (that is, perfect and eternal) cleansing of salvation. But for believers, there is still the need for that daily cleansing, or “foot-washing”, from the sins we commit. By daily confession God will always faithfully cleanse and heal us of the soul-damage of sin. Every time you wash, ask yourself, “Have I washed my soul lately?”

Eating

When we feel the pangs of hunger, we are eager to eat. We feed the body for nourishment, strength, and health. How sad that we do not take as much care to feed our soul! Jesus declares a blessing on those who hunger spiritually (Mat. 5:6) for they will be satisfied. While there are many foods for the body, there are only two for the soul. .

The first is the word of God. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mat. 4:4) Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (Joh. 6:35). We nourish the soul from Him by feeding on His word daily. The second food for the soul is doing His will in obedience to His word. Once, when the disciples were urging Jesus to eat bread, He said, “I have food to eat that you do not know about” (Joh. 4:32). He was speaking of doing His Father’s will in leading the Samaritan woman to saving faith.

It is essential that we eat both of these spiritual foods for the soul to grow in strength. We must not only know God’s word, but also do it (Jam 1:22). It is in both knowing and doing that we reap spiritual blessing (Joh. 13:17). Be sure when you feed the body to take even more care to feed the soul. Remember, the benefits of feeding the soul are not based on quantity, but on consistency. God fed Elijah and the widow and her son on “a handful of meal”, but it was multiplied as often as they used it (1Ki. 17:8-16).

Walking

It is amazing how much we walk every day! If we counted our steps, even around the house or at our work, we would find we have walked quite a distance. Walking is such a simple and natural activity that we often do not even think about it. Those who have lost the ability to walk know how difficult even simple things in life are without it.

The Bible uses walking as a figure for living a spiritual life. “If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1Jo. 1:7). The cleansing here is preventive. In other words, it keeps us from sins. It is the power of the blood of Christ applied by the Holy Spirit in a life of obedience. Paul says, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). When we confess our sins, we are restored to fellowship with God. The indwelling Spirit of God is now free to fill us (Eph. 5:18) with His power and control. As we surrender to His leading we “walk by faith and not by sight” (2Co. 5:7). By living in obedience to God’s word in the power of His Spirit we are enabled to “walk worthy” of our calling in Christ (Eph. 4:1) .

Walking is a simple exercise of putting one foot in front of the other. In the spiritual walk we could consider the steps to be dependence and obedience. Depend on His Spirit for power, then obey His word in life. As the old song says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” .

Working

In most village settings around the world, people walk to their fields to do their daily work. We all have to work in some way to meet our daily needs. As believers we know that we were born into the world to do some work that God has planned for us (Jer. 1:5, Gal. 1:15). Although we are saved “By grace through faith”apart from any works (Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 4:3-5), yet as believers we are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10). God’s purpose in saving us is to “purify for Himself a people zealous for good deeds (works)” (Tit 2:14). In fact, the goal of all our Bible study is to be “approved by God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed” (2Ti 2:15). .

The Bible assures us that God has given to each of us “his own work” (Mar. 13:34) and it is to be a “work of faith” (1Th 1:3, 2Th. 1:11). Each of us will give an account to God for our own work, and be rewarded for what has been faithfully done (1Co. 3:13-15, Gal. 6:4, 1Pe. 1:17). .

Every day we should first wash (confession), then eat (Bible study), then walk (enjoy fellowship with God) and then do our own work (serve God and others). This leaves one more thing to consider in the daily care of the soul.

Resting

At the end of a long and tiring day we look forward to our night’s rest. God is concerned that we take rest to recover our strength and be refreshed. This is why God gave Israel the Sabbath day (Exo. 20:8-11) as a weekly day of rest. God set the example by resting after His work of creation was finished (Gen. 2:2). In the same way that our body needs rest, so does our soul.

In Mat. 11:28-29 Jesus invites us to enter into His rest. He mentions two different kinds of rest. The first is the rest He gives to us at salvation. It is a free gift, received by faith, and is eternal in nature. But the second rest comes by learning and labour. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me and you will find rest for your souls” (Mat. 11:29). Here the yoke speaks of service in Christ’s school of discipleship. We cannot ‘find’ this rest until first we take the “yoke” of study and service.

The author of the book of Hebrews tells us that we enter into this spiritual rest through faith in God’s finished work (Heb. 4:3). Jesus did the work for our salvation on the cross, and at the end said, “It is finished” (Joh. 19:30). As we serve God in our own life, we continue to “rest” in the finished work of the cross. Our “work of service” (Eph. 4:12) is not done in our own strength, but in His. In this way we are “renewed daily” (2Co 4:16). A good method of finding this rest for the soul is to daily review the promises of God, and rest in them. Be assured that “it is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18), and “what God has promised, He (is) able to perform” (Rom 4:21). When your soul is weary from the burdens of the day, find and claim the promises of God. Rest in them and let them refresh you. You will find that your strength is restored.

Summary
When the apostle Paul wrote on the subject of marriage he said that husbands should “Love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Eph. 5:25. Paul surely knew this standard was so high that many would wonder how we could possibly attain¬†it. So he later gave a first step in reaching it by saying, “so husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.” (Eph. 5:28). In other words, if husbands would protect, nourish, purify, and care for their wife as they do for their own body, they would be well on their way to “loving just as Christ loved the church”. In just the same way, if we care for the soul each day as we do for the body, we will be well on our way to a spiritual life of peace, power, and productivity.

Solomon wisely said “Keep (watch over) your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Pro. 4:23) Another way to say this would be, “take care of your soul, because everything in life depends on it.” I pray this simple study will be a help and encouragement to each of you as you strive to honour Jesus Christ.



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2018-08-02T16:29:23+00:00