What is man 2 – A living soul

The aim of this devotional study is to consider the soul of man that distinguishes him from all other created things.


Genesis 2:4-9,15

4  These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. 5  When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up–for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6  and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground– 7  then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.

8  And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9  And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… 15  The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Observation and reflection

Note: The word “Adam” literally translated is “red” or “ground”; Adam got his name from the ground out of which he was formed.

  1. Retell this creation account in your own words.
    1. What details are highlighted in this version of the creation?
  2. From this second creation account,
    1. What do we learn of man’s environment?
    2. What do we learn of man’s uniqueness?
    3. What do we learn of man’s task?
  3. What do you understand from the phrase “man became a living soul”?

Personal reflection and Application and Prayer

The Psalmists frequently speak to their souls to console it or direct it towards God, as we see in this well-known Psalm.  Read through this Psalm and learn from the Psalmist’s understanding and relating to his own soul.  Then pray a similar prayer to God, as it applies to your own circumstance.

Psalms 42:1-11

1  As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.

2  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

3  My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”

4  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

5  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.

6  O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar.

7  Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.

8  The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me– A prayer to the God of my life.

9  I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

10  As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

11  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

BS1 What is man 1 – original intent

The aim of this devotional study is to consider that man was made “in the likeness of God” and the consequences thereof.


Genesis 1:24-31

24  And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds–livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25  And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28  And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29  And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30  And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31  And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.


  1. What do we learn about mankind in each of the following verses?
    1. Verse 26
    2. Verse 27
    3. Verse 28
    4. Verse 29
    5. Verse 31
  2. Now summarize what you observe in this Text about God’s original intent of mankind (in terms of role/ purpose).
  3. From this creation account, what distinguishes mankind from animals?

Personal Reflection

  1. Man was created “in the image of God” and “very good”.
    1. How should impact your self-image?
    2. How should that impact your relationship with God?
    3. How should that impact your relationship with your neighbor?
  2. Man was created to “have dominion” over everything in earth.
    1. How does that impact your attitude towards your environment and nature in general?
  3. Why are people precious to God?


Pray this prayer of David to God, and then pray that God will re-adjust your attitude to the people around you in accordance with His view of them.

Psalms 8:1-9

1  O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens… 3  When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4  what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5  Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6  You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7  all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8  the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 9  O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Apologetics 4 – The assumption of God

The aim of this devotional study is to consider some of the fundamental truths in the first verses of Genesis.


Genesis 1:1-8

1  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

2  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4  And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

6  And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”  7  And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8  And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day…

Observation and reflection

  1. Reflect on the well-known first verse in the Bible and record what you learn about God, the Bible, and creation phrase-by-phrase:
    1. “In the beginning”
    2. “God created”
    3. “the heavens and the earth”
  2. Consider the repeated phrase “and there was evening and there was morning, the [first/ second / third… ] day” (verses 5, 8, …) In which ways do these verses communicate that these were six consecutive days of creation?

Personal reflection

In your personal reflections also consider Hebrews 11:1 and 3 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

  1. Respond to the statement “the first four words of the Bible form the foundation for my faith.”  In which ways does it form the foundation of your faith?
  2. Consider the statement “the opening words of the Bible assumes the existence of God rather than seeking to prove it.”
    1. Can you “prove” the existence of God?
    2. Why is this essential?
    3. How does it correlate with the rest of Biblical Scripture?
  3. Whether God created everything in six literal days or not, what difference does it make
    1. To your view of God?
    2. To your view of the Bible?
    3. To your faith in general?


Look at everything you see (and let it remind you of everything you cannot see), and praise God for his power and wisdom in creation.  Affirm what you know to be true about God in Creation, then bring all your questions to Him in prayer, asking Him for revelation and peace.

Creation 5

The Aim of this devotional is to consider God’s relationship with his creation.


Psalm 104:1-31

I praise you, Lord God,
with all my heart.
You are glorious and majestic,
dressed in royal robes
    and surrounded by light.
You spread out the sky
like a tent,
    and you built your home
over the mighty ocean.
The clouds are your chariot
with the wind as its wings.
The winds are your messengers,
and flames of fire
are your servants.

You built foundations
for the earth,
and it
will never be shaken.
You covered the earth
with the ocean
that rose
above the mountains.
Then your voice thundered!
And the water flowed
    down the mountains
and through the valleys
to the place you prepared.
Now you have set boundaries,
so that the water will never
flood the earth again.

10 You provide streams of water
in the hills and valleys,
11 so that the donkeys
and other wild animals
can satisfy their thirst.
12 Birds build their nests nearby
and sing in the trees.
13 From your home above
you send rain on the hills
and water the earth.
14 You let the earth produce
grass for cattle,
plants for our food,
15     wine to cheer us up,
olive oil for our skin,
and grain for our health.

16 Our Lord, your trees
always have water,
and so do the cedars
you planted in Lebanon.
17 Birds nest in those trees,
and storks make their home
in the fir trees.
18 Wild goats find a home
in the tall mountains,
and small animals can hide
between the rocks.

19 You created the moon
to tell us the seasons.
The sun knows when to set,
20     and you made the darkness,
so the animals in the forest
could come out at night.
21 Lions roar as they hunt
for the food you provide.
22 But when morning comes,
they return to their dens,
23     then we go out to work
until the end of day.

24 Our Lord, by your wisdom
you made so many things;
the whole earth is covered
with your living creatures.
25 But what about the ocean
so big and wide?
It is alive with creatures,
large and small.
26 And there are the ships,
as well as Leviathan,[a]
the monster you created
to splash in the sea.

27 All of these depend on you
to provide them with food,
28 and you feed each one
with your own hand,
until they are full.
29 But when you turn away,
they are terrified;
when you end their life,
they die and rot.
30 You created all of them
by your Spirit,
and you give new life
to the earth.

31 Our Lord, we pray
that your glory
will last forever
and that you will be pleased
with what you have done.
32 You look at the earth,
and it trembles.
You touch the mountains,
and smoke goes up.
33 As long as I live,
I will sing and praise you,
the Lord God.
34 I hope my thoughts
will please you,
because you are the one
who makes me glad.

35 Destroy all wicked sinners
from the earth
once and for all.
With all my heart
I praise you, Lord!
I praise you!


  1. If you were to select one verse from this Psalm that summarizes the core message of the Psalm, which one will it be? Why do you choose that one?
  2. Verses 6-9 refer to a specific historic event – what does it refer to? And what is the promise contained in verse 9? Expand a bit.
  3. From this Psalm, how does God care for his creation?

Application and Prayer

  1. The promise contained in the Psalm is that ‘God cares for his creation’. How do you feel when reading v27-28?
  2. This text agree strongly with Jesus the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:25-34 saying ‘do not worry about tomorrow – what you will eat or drink… for your heavenly Father knows…’  Write down all the things that you worry about.  Then ‘cast your cares upon the Lord for he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:7)
  3. Paul wrote ‘do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.’ Do this now – bring all your worries and desires to God in prayer, thanking him that he cares for you and asking him to take care of the things you worry about.
  4. Read through the Psalm again as praise to the Creator who cares for his wonderful creation.

Creation 4

The Aim of today’s devotional study is to reflect on the preeminence of Christ over all of creation – both in the initial creation and its redemption.


Colossians 1:15-20

15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.   16  For in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. 17  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

18  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether in heaven or on earth, making peace by the blood of his cross.


Note: this beautiful poetic section is considered to be a well-known hymn in the early church which Paul (adapted?) and included in his letter to the Colossians.

  1. Who is the “He” being spoken of here? (if unclear, read the verses preceding v15).
  2. Note the repetition with purpose:
  • What is the most repeated phrase in this section? Why is it repeated so many times?
  • Read verses 15-17 and verses 18-20 in parallel and note the deliberate phrase-repetition and similarity in form. (“He is the” v15&18, “firstborn” v15&18, “For in him” v16&19, “in heaven and on earth” v16&20, and “through him” v16&20). What does the author want to say with this repetition in phrase and form?
  1. What is the primary thought in v15-17?
  2. What is the primary thought in v18-20?
  3. In less than 10 words summarize this section.
  4. If you read “image of (invisible) God” – what thought does Paul want to trigger? (hint: who is created “in the image of God”?)
  5. Consider the deliberate parallelism between v15 and 18.  If v15 points to mankind’s creation “in the image of God”, what does v18 imply of “the church”? (hint: what does Paul call the church in 2 Cor 5:17).

Note: the reference to Christ being “firstborn of all creation” does not mean he was created first – he made everything else and is God himself – but it refers to his heir and ruler of all. (Psalm 89:27 clarifies the concept of Firstborn: “I will also make him my firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.”)

Application and prayer

  1. Consider yourself – your body, your gifts, your passions, your dreams and plans – when reflecting on v16 “all things were created through him and for him”. How does your life and totally reflect that truth?  Talk to God about your future dreams, fears and plans in the light of his intended purpose with your life.
  2. Personally reflect on v 20 “through him to reconcile to himself all things… making peace by the blood of his cross”. Close your eyes and imagine yourself standing before Almighty God on His throne. What feelings do you feel?  What do you think feels when he looks at you (pleasure / displeasure / joy / agitation…)?  Jesus came to remove enmity between us in God, to “make peace” and “reconcile” us to God by carrying our sin and the wrath of God for our transgression on the cross. (see 2 Cor 5:21).  Spend some time in prayer to God – thanking Him for the substitutionary cross of Christ through which we can be reconciled to God (Ephesians 2:13).  Now pray to God for this peace in your heart – pray until you feel at peace with him, and thank him for it.  If you already know this peace, pray for someone whom you know have not been reconciled with God.

Image found at http://jazzmachine.tumblr.com/post/668916347/he-is-the-image-of-the-invisible-god-the


Creation 3

The Aim of this study is to reflect on the effect of sin on creation, God’s redemption in Christ Jesus, and consider your beliefs of the creation account.


Romans 5:12-21

12  Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned– 13  for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14  Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15  But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.  16  And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

17  For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.  18  Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19  For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

20  Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21  so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


  1. This Scripture can be confusing to some, so let’s break it up and summarize each sub-section with a short sentence: v12-14, v15-16, v17-19, v20-21.
  2. Considering the Text above, connect the words on the left with the words fitting best on the right:

Adam                                    resulted in justification

Christ                                    reign in death

Moses                                  reign through righteousness

Judgment                            resulted in condemnation

Free gift                               many made righteous

Sin                                          brought redemption

Grace                                    many made sinners

Disobedience                    brought sin

Obedience                          brought the Law

  1. God created everything very good. How did death enter the world?
  2. What is the analogy between Adam and Christ in the section above?


  1. In this section it is clear that Paul took Genesis 1-3 as literal history. What is your view of Genesis 1-3 (Creation and Fall).  Write your view down.
  2. This section states that that through the one act of obedience of Christ, the bondage of sin and death over creation brought about by Adam’s initial act of sin is nullified (for those who believe). How does that conflict with the Evolutionary view of creation with millions of years of “survival of the fittest”.  (hint: focus on the origin of death)
  3. When Christ comes to fulfill His saving work and bring his reign of eternal life when he “make(s) all things new” (Revelation 21:5) – how long will it take? What does that suggest of the first creation?


Spend some time and praise God for his creative work, including yourself, with David’s Psalm 139.

Psalms 139:1-24

1  O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

5  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7  Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8  If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12  even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

13  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

17  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18  If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

19  Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20  They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 21  Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22  I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

23  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Creation 2

The Aim of this session is to revise our understanding of the Biblical view of creation.

When you have time, look at a few of these interviews with scientists about faith and evolution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ  But don’t waste too much of your prescious devotional time there.


Hebrews 11:1, 3

1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

3  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.


  1. The Biblical author use the words “by faith we understand” which may seem like an oxymoron. How do you make sense of that phrase?
  2. How was creation formed according to this text? What does it refer to?
  3. The phrase so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” begs for a pause to reflect. What do you think when you read that phrase?
  4. The author assumes that one requires faith to conclude God created everything out of nothing. Why do we need faith?


  1. Why is it reasonable to put our faith in God as the Creator of all? (Hint: what do we know about God – his attributes?) Don’t rush over this one.
  2. If God is the creator of all things, what are the logical consequences that flow from that truth? i.e. how does it impact creation, and you as part of creation?


Close by praying with David from Psalm 8 (use your own words where you feel to expand or rephrase)

Psalms 8:1-9

1  To the Chief Musician. On the Instrument of Gath. A Psalm of David. O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

2  Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

3  When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4  What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?

5  For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6  You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7  All sheep and oxen– Even the beasts of the field, 8  The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.

9  O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

Knowing God 3

The Aim of today’s devotional study is to look at the very first revelation of God in the Bible and evaluate our experience of God accordingly.


Genesis 1:1-4

1  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  2  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4  And God saw that the light was good…


Genesis 3:1-9

1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

2  And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3  but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”

4  But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  5  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7  Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

8  And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9  But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”


  1. Concerning the Genesis creation account, and then the fall of sin, write down everything you can see about God, in the sequence it is recorded here.
  2. What do you note about this eternal creator-God’s relationship with his creatures?


Reflect on (and write down) your feelings and thoughts about God according to the following attributes from the Creation and Fall texts above:

  1. God exists.
  2. God is eternal.
  3. God is the creator of what is seen and unseen.
  4. God is Spirit.
  5. God speaks.
  6. God gives commands / the law.
  7. God is relational (walks with man).
  8. God seeks sinners.


Which of the above attributes of God have you not had experienced personally or received revelation from God?  For instance, you have read and heard about God speaking but you have not experienced it personally.

Take some time to pray about these and ask God to reveal himself to you.