Summary: How is your soul?
Opening Video Illustration: “Devil went down to Georgia”: Charlie Daniels
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7p817ErVsQ – Live 4th of July 2005
This fiddling song catches the essence of our topic today – You and your soul! You have it but the Devil wants it! So How is your soul?
Acts Too – Preview “How is your soul?”
Jesus said in Matthew 16:26: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
Jesus emphasized the importance of your soul not just in eternity but it’s health in the here and now!
John Orberg states this about our souls: “If your soul is healthy, no external circumstance can destroy your life. If your soul is unhealthy, no external circumstance can redeem your life (Pg 40, Soul Keeping).
How is your soul? One of the most important words in the Bible is this word "Soul."
Listen to some other Bible verses:
Deut. 4:29: “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Deut. 10:12: “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul...”
Psalm 23: 1-3: “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.”
Psalm 42: 1: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God?”
What is the soul? How does the Bible describe our souls? We know the Devil wants our soul - - made famous in our Charlie Daniels song – who by the way gave his life to Jesus a few years back!
1. But what really is the soul – your soul – my soul?
a. Dallas Willard explained the soul this way, “What is running your life at any given moment is your soul. Not external circumstances, not your thoughts, not your intentions, not even your feelings, but your soul. The soul is that aspect of your whole being that correlates, integrates, and enlivens everything going on in the various dimensions of the self. The soul is the life center of human beings.” (Ortberg, John (2014-04-22)- Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You (p. 39). Zondervan. Kindle Edition).
i. The soul is the innermost recess of your life – it encompasses you body, mind, heart and even spirit!
b. Boyd argues that we see people who have a strength of soul that simply will not be degraded by the humiliation their body puts them through. He writes of a woman named Patricia who suffered from the effects of diabetes, a heart attack, and two strokes; she went blind, went into renal failure (which required dialysis), and had both her legs amputated all while only in her thirties. She was placed in a nursing home, except for those several times a year when she had to be hospitalized, frequently going into a coma for one or two weeks during those stays. Pat was part of a church in Washington, D.C., that wanted to create a homeless shelter. They could not find anyone with the leadership skills to pull it off, so she volunteered. In between dialysis and amputations and comas, she pulled together the team and got the zoning changes, architectural help, and fund- raising done. She then helped the team figure out the rules for the homeless people who used the shelter, and she recruited and trained the staff who ran it. When Pat died after the shelter’s first successful year in operation, homeless people stood next to U.S. Cabinet members such as Secretary of State James Baker at her funeral. The soul knows a glory that the body cannot rob. In some ways, in some cases, the more the body revolts, the more the soul shines through. People may claim to believe that all you are is your body. But Pat said one time, “The only thing I can depend on with my body is that it will fail me. Somehow my body is mine, but it’s not ‘me.’ ” Greatness of soul is available to people who do not have the luxury of being ecstatic about the condition and appearance of their bodies.
i. We speak of the soul as a source of strength, and yet we speak of it as fragile.
ii. Something about the soul always seems to be at risk.