by Kristen C. Strocchia
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
The soul is that eternal part of us that can live in heaven with God one day. When we deny God’s existence, we deny that we have an eternal soul–though our lives regularly testify to its existence. Have you ever heard someone say that they feel like some decades old memory seems like just yesterday? Or that in their mind, they’re still 10, 16 or 21 years old? That’s our eternal soul-man pricking our earthly conscious to say, “Hey! I exist! You’re meant to live forever! Take care of me!”
John 12:24 equates our soul-man to a plant seed.
A seed has the beginning of a plant curled up inside and the food to start it growing. But it needs water and sunlight from the outside to grow–to break through the dirt and mature into its true plant form.
We are like this seed. Born with the start of our spiritual man curled up inside with childlike faith as the food needed to start our spiritual growth. But if we don’t care for this spirit-seed-man, it will shrivel up and dry out within us, even while our physical body seems perfectly healthy. Then, when our seed coat body falls off, there will be nothing left to go to heaven.
How do we tend to our soul-man? Love the Lord your God with all your soul [Mark 12:30]. Study His Word [Psalm 1:1-3]. Enter into a personal relationship with Him [John 15:9-10]. Continue meeting with other believers [Hebrews 10:24-25]. Worship and serve the Lord only [Luke 4:8].
Yet, while all of these will keep our soul-man healthy, these works cannot ultimately grant us access to heaven. It is by faith–absolute certainty in what we hope for, but cannot see–alone through grace alone [Ephesians 2:8].
Are you tending to your spirit-man? Do you love the Lord with all of your soul?