Breath and Spirit

“Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.” (Isaiah 42:5)

“God the LORD” (Elohim Jehovah) is here identified as the Creator and organizer of all the universe, the heavens, and the earth, and all things therein. In context, He is also identifying Himself as the One sending forth “my servant” to be given as “a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:1, 6), the coming Messiah of Israel.

He who does all these things also gives every person born both breath and spirit. The “breath” (Hebrew neshumah) is that “breath of life” that God breathed into Adam’s nostrils when He created him at the beginning. Even those who do not believe in God must depend on Him for their very breath, since “he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” Therefore, He is “not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:25, 27-28).

He also gives each person a spirit (Hebrew ruach), a word used first of all in reference to the “Spirit of God” (Genesis 1:2). It is this attribute in particular that constitutes the created “image of God” in man (Genesis 1:27). The higher land animals all possess “the breath of life” along with man (Genesis 7:22), but only men and women are created in the image of God, each with an eternal spirit.

Man’s breath and spirit are closely related, and sometimes the words are used almost interchangeably. When the breath departs from a person’s body at death, the spirit also departs with it, but the latter “shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The breath also will be activated again on the coming resurrection day. HMM

From The Institute Of Creation Research 

 

With His Power, Day 5

Today’s reading is drawn from Psalm 127.

The best-constructed house will crumble without God. The most heavily guarded city will fall to its enemies if God isn’t invited inside. And a career defined by going in early and staying out late will not succeed if God is not at its center.

No one is smart enough, beautiful enough or wealthy enough to successfully navigate life without God’s help. In fact, an abundance of worldly resources may infuse us with too great a confidence in our own abilities and make us vulnerable to errors in judgment.

During the freshman orientation for the College of Engineering, David began to suspect that university classes were going to be much more demanding than those in high school. His first few weeks confirmed this assumption, and he soon concluded that if he wanted straight As he was going to have to study—a lot.

At first, David studied seven days a week. But before long he became so fatigued that he was struggling to earn even Bs. At that point, he prayed to God for help. God made an unexpected answer clear to David: Don’t study so hard. Get your sleep. And spend 24 hours per week without studying whatsoever.

David struggled with God’s message. How could he attain good grades without those 24 hours of studying? Surely his GPA would plummet. In the end, though, David decided that God was probably a bit wiser than he was. So he gave it a try.

David stopped studying from Saturday at 6:00 p.m. through Sunday at 6:00 p.m. During that period, he devoted himself to attending a worship service, reading Scripture, praying, sleeping, spending time with friends and relaxing. After those weekly breaks, David found that his Sunday night study session was more productive than any other time of the week.

By the time the semester ended, David had reached his goal—a straight 4.0. And he credits that success to obeying God’s call to let him be both his Lord and the center of his desire.

  • Why do you think the writer of Psalm 127 has such confidence that God outranks hard work and expensive resources?
  • Do you think you can enjoy a successful career without working abnormally long hours? Why or why not?

Bible Gateway

Nurturing Great Kids, Day 9

Today’s reading is drawn from Proverbs 20:18.

Seek Advice

We can’t build a strong family by acting on our own! Going to God for advice and then seeking others to come alongside us as we follow that advice is a recipe for a good, healthy family.

Here is some advice for building a strong family: Establish some guidelines that everyone in the family can follow. You need to communicate these early on in your children’s lives so they have a clear understanding of your expectations. This should help eliminate surprises or claims by your children that you are inconsistent or that rules are constantly changing. By setting these unswerving, basic rules from the very beginning, you have laid a foundation that can be built upon. Remind your children of this when they try to dodge compliance by asserting unfairness. That won’t happen if you are reliable in your application.

Needless to say, the advice you seek for creating these guidelines is critical. Seek wise people and wise principles that are supported by the Bible, not opinions. It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel when solid instruction is already available. The most respected parents are the ones who stick to their standards when the going gets tough.

Parenting Principle

Plan today to prevent issues tomorrow!

Points to Ponder

How do you go about seeking advice?

Who can help you establish a good family plan?

How and when will you communicate this plan to your children?

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

Bible Gateway

Devotional

Mercy Tree
The Bible says the apostle Paul “went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. ‘This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the [Christ],’ he said” (Acts 17:2–3 NIV).

When you look for Jesus you will not find Him on the cross nor will you find Him in the tomb—the cross is barren, the tomb empty. Your empty heart, though, can be filled with the forgiveness of the bloodstained cross and glory of the vacant tomb. He lives and abides within those who believe and obey Him by following His Word. We live and die, and in between we are all given the same choice—what will we do with Jesus—the resurrected Christ? . . .

Are you looking for Jesus? He is near you today. Look at the cross, and you will see the evidence—His blood shed for you—but He is not there. Look at the tomb, and you will see the evidence—it is empty—for He lives! The Bible says, “Look to Me, and be saved. . . . For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22). Look for Jesus—He is knocking at the door of your heart.

. . . The evidence is before you. Examine it and then examine your heart. Roll back the stone of unbelief and behold the glow of an empty tomb and the thrill of a full heart and new life. The stone at Christ’s tomb was not rolled away to let out Jesus but to let in the eyewitnesses to declare, “He is risen!”