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making the connection | June 18, 2017

June 15, 2017

As we continue our series titled The Soul, we want to help you become more aware of things that are harmful to the health of your soul. We also want to give you some different activities you can try out to help strengthen your soul. Our hope is that you discover practices that you find life-giving to your soul, you make them a regular part of your life. The soul needs to be fed and attended to, much like our bodies require food, exercise, and rest.

Life-giving Soul Practices:

Pray Your Calendar – Review your schedule for the day—or tomorrow’s schedule, if you’re reading this in the evening—and take just a moment to pray for each activity and person you expect to meet throughout the day. Jot down in your journal anything you prayed about so you can revisit that list and see how God answered your prayers. Why? If you’ve chosen to follow Jesus, you are righteous in God’s eyes (Romans 3:21-28), and the Bible assures us that the prayers of righteous people are powerful and effective (James 5:16). Take comfort knowing that God hears and honors your prayers.

Be a Blessing – Make a quick list in your journal of people you could bless somehow, along with ideas for blessing them. Ask God for guidance, choose somebody on the list and go bless them (anonymously). Why? Jesus told us that when we serve others, it was the same thing as serving Him (Matthew 25:40). It’s also interesting to see what we learn about ourselves when we put effort into investing in other people.

Enjoy a Story – Read the entire Book of Ruth (don’t worry, it’s short). Jot down in your journal anything that stands out to you as you read. Why? Ruth is a historical book. Nearly half of the Bible is comprised of historical narratives like this. These stories recount God’s interaction with and faithfulness to His people. The more you read, the more you see that all of these biblical narratives point to a perfect, loving God as the main character. (Other great Bible stories include: 1 Samuel 16 — 17, Judges 7 and Acts 12:1-19).

Find Rest – Make some time this week to do something that refreshes your soul. If you are normally a couch potato, maybe choose to get outside to walk, run, or bike. Get active and enjoy God’s wonderful creation. If you are normally active, find a book or an old photo album to help you sit still and take a break. Learn to give yourself a moment of peace to reflect. Why? God created human beings in His image (Genesis 1:27). Part of God’s design is a day of rest or Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11, Mark 2:27-28). This is meant as a gift to us and an expression of trust in Him. You may not be able to take a whole day, but make it a priority to step back from life and experience rest and renewal.

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