• Nourish the Hunger of the Soul

    Posted on September 4th, 2009 bob.kellemen No comments

    How to Care Like Christ

    Part IV: Nourish the Hunger of the Soul


    Blog Series Note: How to Care Like Christ equips lay people, pastors, and professional Christian counselors with the biblical knowledge and relational skills to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth.


    Preventative Medicine—God’s Word (Matthew 4:4)


    Doctoring the body does not begin with the treatment of illness, but with preventive maintenance of health. Knowing how to keep the body healthy requires that we understand what the body needs. What diet? What nutrients?


    So it is with doctoring the soul. What does the soul need? What nutrients? Jesus reminds us in Matthew 4:4 that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Our souls need the Bread of Life, the Word of Life. What are the implications of this for biblical counseling?


    Feast on the Word of God: Coram Deo Sola Scriptura—Colossians 2:3-10; 2 Peter 1:3


    We nourish the Word-hunger of our soul by feasting on the Word of God. Martin Luther called this living coram Deo sola scriptura: face-to-face with God by Scripture alone. Deo is Latin for God; coram is Latin for in the presence of, face-to-face with, sola means alone, and Scriptura is Scripture. Luther used this phrase to illustrate that we live and breathe with reference to God every second in every situation. Luther perceived all of life as a story of personal encounter with God, that the deepest questions in the human soul are God questions, and that we find our deepest answers in God’s Word.


    Paul sends the same message when he insists that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Therefore, we must not let anyone take us captive through worldly philosophy which depends on human reason instead of upon Christ (Colossians 2:3-10). Peter echoes Paul when he reminds us that in Christ we have all things that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The Word of God is profound—it deeply addresses the real life issues of real people in a really messy world! That’s why biblical counselors join their spiritual friends in feasting on God’s Word for daily existence.


    Make Truth and Love Kiss: Philippians 1:9-10; Ephesians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:8


    As we minister God’s Word to people’s suffering and sin, we must make truth and love kiss. We need to make Philippians 1:9-10 our spiritual friendship prayer. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best.”


    Love is not enough. Truth is not enough. Love and truth must kiss. When our love abounds in depth of insight, we are able to discern what is best for our lives and for the lives of our spiritual friends.


    Paul is excited. It is as if he says, “I’m praying that your love very much exceedingly spills over!” The word he uses for “abound” relates to the word used for the abundance remaining after Christ fed the 5,000. It speaks of liberality, lavishness, overabundance, and spoiling. Don’t you want to spoil others with Christ’s love?


    You can if you do it in full knowledge and depth of insight. “Full knowledge” pictures noticing attentively, discerning, fully perceiving, observing, and discovering. That’s what God calls soul physicians to do: diligently dig to uncover the buried treasure of truth contained in God’s Word.


    “Depth of insight” suggests the experiential use of wisdom—knowledge applied to life. Don’t you long to share Christ’s changeless truth to change people’s lives?


    The Rest of the Story


    *Return tomorrow when we explore how to nourish the spiritual hunger of the soul.


    *For the full story, feel free to visit: http://bit.ly/7vaE

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