The First Commandment: Strength

The First Commandment: Strength

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“HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND,

AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH:

(from Mark 12:29,30)KJV

He ripped apart a lion with his bare hands, killed thirty men, and killed another thousand with the jaw bone of a donkey. He possessed strength of body but weakness in heart, soul, and mind, which resulted in the loss of his physical power. In his death, by God’s grace, Samson’s physical strength was renewed, and he brought the house down on his enemies, killing more in his death than in his life.

Over a thousand years later, another man stood unimpressive in physical strength and suffered much in the weakness of his body. But what he had, the apostle Paul offered to the Lord, along with all his heart, soul, and mind.

“And he trembling and astonished said,

Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

And the Lord said unto him,

Arise, and go into the city,

and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

Acts 9:6, KJV

The Lord chose Paul to bear his name to the nations, kings, and the children of Israel. He would suffer much in this mission.

Paul labored through the whippings, the prison stays, near death experiences, and adverse elements of nature. He endured beatings, dangers by thieves, Israelites, and false brothers. He knew weariness of body, mind, and soul; pain, hunger, thirst, and want. He bore the responsibility of the churches he had planted. And he says,

“Who is weak, and I am not weak? 

Who is offended, and I burn not?

If I must needs glory,

I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.”

2 Corinthians 11:29,30, KJV

When Paul asked the Lord to remove the thorn or weakness he suffered from, the Lord answered him,

“My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect in weakness …

Paul’s response—

“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches,

in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10, KJV

Paul knew the Lord’s strength, his power, would enable him to be God’s chosen vessel of the gospel. What strength he had, Paul traded for the power of the Lord. He could say,

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Philippians 4:13, KJV

When facing his death Paul told Timothy—

“For I am now ready to be offered,

and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight,

I have finished my course,

I have kept the faith:

Henceforth

there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,

which the Lord the righteous judge,

shall give me at that day:

and not to me only,

but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

2 Timothy 4:6-8, KJV

Two men:

  • Samson the weakest strong man, whose life and death leave us with questions.
  • Paul the strongest weak man, whose life and death leave those who love the appearing of Christ with living hope.

Ours is to offer the Lord all the physical strength we have, be it little or much, and he will multiply it by his strength for his glory.


When has God’s strength been evident in your life?

Sitting Or Standing Strong

Sitting or Standing Strong

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The oak tree towers over our house. My oldest son started the oak from an acorn dropped into a jar of water. Roots soon broke through the hard shell and then a small shoot. My son planted it in a pot, kept it watered, and in time transplanted it in our back yard. He put a fence around the sapling to protect it from deer, but he couldn’t protect it from the seven-year locusts that swarmed through one summer killing most young trees. The oak withstood the challenge and grew stronger and taller.

One summer a thunder storm threw a bolt of lightening at it damaging the oak’s trunk. It stood and continued to grow. Some years later the inland hurricane that swept through our area took out numerous trees. But the oak continued to stand and remains standing strong today. For as long as the oak stands it will be a testimony of the Lord giving strength to the weak.

Solomon must have felt like a sapling planted beside a larger than life oak tree as David encouraged him.

“And David said to Solomon his son,

Be strong and of good courage, and do it:

fear not, nor be dismayed:

for the LORD God, even my God,

will be with thee;

he will not fail thee,

nor forsake thee,

until thou hast finished all the work

for the service of the house of the LORD.”

1 Chronicles 28:20, KJV

The Lord’s creation declares the strength of our God. It creation’s work. We are a part of that creation and in our weakness God reveals His strength. He has made us a living testimony of himself through the work He has given each of us to do. When I think about the Lord entrusting us to show His glory to unbelievers, I shake my head. How can this be?

It is a job bigger than I—bigger than any of us. But as Brian, my oldest son, cared for and prepared the little acorn to live and grow; as David prepared all Solomon would need to succeed in the work he was to undertake; so, our heavenly Father has given each of His children life and all the materials we need to succeed in the work He has given us.

We will face enemies of the gospel, pestilence, storms, and winds of change. Just as the oak did. Each one has the potential to destroy us or to grow us. The Lord, through Paul’s writing, tells us to be strong in Him by putting—

“on the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil …

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,

and having done all, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:11,13, KJV

Just as God was with Solomon, He is with us. Not only is the Lord with us, He gives us friends like Paul wrote about—

“Epaphras, which is one of you,

a servant of Christ, saluteth you,

always labouring fervently for you in prayers,

that ye may stand

perfect and complete in all the will of God.

For I bear him record,

that he hath a great zeal for you …”

Colossians 4:12,13a, KJV

Whatever the task,

  • the Lord is our strength,
  • He has given us His armor,
  • He has made us able,
  • and He has given us friends to pray for us and with us.

The only thing left to say is— “Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded … 2 Chron.15:7

“and having done all, to stand.”

As David told Solomon,

“and do it.”

For Thought: What steps will you take to be strong enough to stand when you feel like sitting?

A Strong Heart

bloglion-515029__340“I have written unto you, young men,

because ye are strong,

and the word of God abideth in you,

and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

1 John 2:14b,KJV

The fire burned low in the cool of the evening sending its spiral of smoke into the heavens to join the myriad of stars dancing to the rhythm of the shepherd’s song.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

The gentle echoing twang of the young shepherd’s harp cascaded through the valley. The full moon rising over the distant hill bathed the resting flock in its circle of light. David smiled at the white and dark patched quilt the sheep created in the valley.

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures …”

The music stopped. The tenor voice quieted. The sheep began to fidget. David left his harp on the ground, picked up his rod, and cautiously walked around the flock singing quietly.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil …”

Then he saw it—the tall grass at the edge of the valley waved and parted, not from a breeze but a predator. David guarded the movement. As he walked toward the waving grass, the shepherd continued to serenade his flock.

“for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

A deafening roar filled the night. Sheep scrambled to their feet, jumping and trembling not knowing where to flee. The lion burst into their midst scattering them as he grabbed a bleating lamb. David landed his rod against the beast’s head. The lion dropped the lamb, roared, and started swatting mighty paws at the young shepherd. David ducked and dodged the attacker as he grabbed the lion’s beard with one hand and began beating him around the head and throat—with his other hand? A rock? His rod? We don’t know. What we do know—the LORD delivered David,

“out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear.”

And when the great giant, Goliath defied the God of Israel, David could say to King Saul with confident faith, God,

“will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”

The victorious Christian life is not for the faint in heart, but the strong in faith. A faith that knows its God as David did that—

“the LORD saveth not with sword and spear:

for the battle is the LORD’S …”

The Lord had prepared David for this moment in time­—a moment when a young lad would be used of the Lord to display His strength and glory through a yielded vessel. The Lord continues to seek yielded vessels to display His glory.

“For the eyes of the LORD

run to and fro throughout the whole earth,

to shew himself strong in the behalf of them

whose heart is perfect toward him …”

2 Chronicles 16:9a

Whatever giant you face in your life, the Lord is with you, fighting for you. He knew this time was coming and has prepared you for it. It is the strength of Christ in you that gives evidence of your faith. Your faith is the product of hearing, believing, and receiving the word of God into your heart. His word is mighty to change a weak heart for the strong heart of Christ, one filled with the power and might of God. This is your promise of victory, for Christ has defeated our enemy, even as the Lord God empowered a young shepherd to defeat a mighty giant.

“For whatsoever is born of God

overcometh the world:

and this is the victory that overcometh the world,

even our faith.

Who is he that overcometh the world,

but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

1 John 5:4,5, KJV

A Last Word of Encouragement

“Finally, my brethren,

be strong in the Lord,

and in the power of his might … Ephesians 6:10, KJV

because ye are strong,

and the word of God abideth in you,

and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

(Ephesians 6:10;1 John 2:14b,KJV)


Story adapted from the account in1 Samuel 17.
Reference material used: Study Guide by David Guzik

The List Goes On

2 Corinthians 6: And the List Goes On

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“And working together with Him,

we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain—”

(6:1)NASB

In our last post, the apostle Paul pleaded with us, as God’s servants, not to render God’s grace useless in our lives, not to bring shame on the ministry of Christ, but to exemplify God’s grace in everything.

I know believers who desire to serve God, show His love to others, and be an encouraging voice. Yet, every time they take a step forward, they are knocked back two—miles not steps. Their lives are filled with pit falls, but they keep rising out of the pit stronger than before. This also describes Paul who knew what he was talking about when he told the Corinthian church—

“but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God,

in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses …

And the list goes on for six more verses as Paul graphically shows everything means everything—

  • in what the world throws at us—holding strong in every kind of trouble, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonment, facing angry mobs, being worked to exhaustion, enduring sleepless nights, and hunger;
  • in our character—be pure, growing in knowledge and patience, being kind, living by the Spirit, and loving as Christ loves us;
  • in ministry—speaking the word of truth, relying on the power of God; having as our weapon righteousness;
  • in what others think of us—whether we are praised or put down, slandered or spoken highly of, called hypocrites but are true, considered a nobody or a somebody, as dead but living, as worthy of punishment but protected from death;
  •  in our response to all of the everything—having sorrow but filled with joy, being poor while making others rich.

Paul ends the endless list of things reminding us that we are—

as having nothing but possessing all things

If you need refreshing about the all things, read 2 Corinthians 5. It contains the beginning of another endless list.

Speaking of lists, the apostle Peter adds reason to Paul’s everything list.

“to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

seeing that His divine power has granted to us

everything pertaining to life and godliness,

through the true knowledge of Him who called us

by His own glory and excellence.

For by these He has granted to us

His precious and magnificent promises,

in order that by them

you might become partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

2 Peter 1:1-4, NASB

What kept Paul and Peter going in the face of a culture and people who despised them and their message? The same thing that keeps us taking another step forward when facing a constant barrage of trials.

“For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God;

if we are of sound mind, it is for you.

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this,

          • that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all,
          • so that they who live might no longer live for themselves,
          • but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 2 Corinthians 5:11-15, NASB

We do it because Jesus did it out of love for us.

For Thought: What keeps you going— when it would be easier to quit—when you feel like you’re spinning your wheels going nowhere?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have supplied all we need to become all you designed us to be, to do all you have ordained for us to do. Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus who did it all for us. When we are weak, be our strength. When we are tempted to quit, help us remember the love of Christ that went the distance. As you died for us, help us live for you.

A New Wardrobe

2 Corinthians 5: A New WardrobeIMG_0606

“For indeed in this house we groan,

longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,

inasmuch as we, having put it on,

will not be found naked.”

2 Corinthians 5:2,3, NASB

Children whooped and hollered as they ran up the steps to the slide. “You can’t catch me!” Down the slide they would fly—the slicker the slide the better. Then boundless energy carried them to the monkey bars where they raced across hand over hand to the other side. Smiles and laughter made endless circles on the merry-go-rounds—until faces started turning green. While children played, the park benches filled with those who once were the children. Delighted smiles remembered youth. Those following their grandchildren, walked with careful steps that couldn’t keep up, and then chose to participate from the benches. Canes stood propped against the seats. Conversations turned to the aches and pains belonging to the old folks.

“For indeed in this house we groan…”

But take heart, be encouraged. This house of flesh grows weaker with age, but the Spirit of Life grows stronger.

“Therefore we do not lose heart,

but though our outer man is decaying,

yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”

2 Corinthians 4:16, NASB

As our youthful vigor faces the trials of life, our dependence on self grows weaker as our dependence on God grows stronger. We begin to realize this earthly house of flesh doesn’t last forever—we need a new eternal dwelling. That dwelling is being built in Christ’s followers—and one day it will be completed. The building begins when we are born again by the Spirit of God—when we become a new person.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ,

he is a new creature;

the old things passed away;

behold, new things have come.”

2 Corinthians 5:17(NASB)

2 Corinthians 5 bulges with the new eternal things we are clothed in now—things that grow stronger the older we get. Our wardrobe is completed when we see Jesus.

Our new wardrobe consists of:

  •   immortality—what is mortal will be swallowed up by life (5:4)
  • God’s Spirit—God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.(5:5)
  • a new way to walk—we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage (5:7,8)
  • a new home—absent from the body … at home with the Lord (5:8) 
  • a new ambition—our ambition … to be pleasing to Him. (5:9)
  • a new identity—Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh (5:16)
  • a new work—God, … gave us the ministry of reconciliation (5:18,19)
  • a new title—we are ambassadors for Christ (5:20)
  • a new nature—the old is gone, the new has come—

He made Him who knew no sin

to be sin on our behalf,

so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

(5:17, 21; NASB)

Take heart. As the body of flesh begins to sag with age, the spirit gains in strength. The secret of living out this strength is found in our focus—

“For we know that if the earthly tent,

which is our house, is torn down,

we have a building from God,

a house not made with hands,

eternal in the heavens ….

Set your mind on the things above,

not on the things that are on earth.”

(2 Corinthians 5:1; Colossians 3:2; NASB)

For Thought: Check out all of chapter 5. See what I might have missed. Or think of other scriptures telling us about more new things we have been given by God through Christ, and share those blessings in the  comments.

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, you give our lives an eternal purpose that does not die with the death of the flesh but lives on. May we walk as one with you in our new life with courage and focus. May we live to please you—you are not hard to please. May we give ourselves to the ministry you have given us and do so in the righteousness of Christ. Thank you for making your home in our heart and making your Holy Spirit our home, until our faith becomes sight. Blessing, honor, and glory belong to you.

Staying Strong

2 Corinthians 4: Staying Strong

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Four men rushed to aid the balding gray haired pastor trying to push his car door open, grab his bible, and his cane. I watched the scene wondering what possessed the elderly minister to drive forty miles to the church gathering—and thanked God he made it safely. He no longer had the strength of his youth that once challenged a group of teen boys to a race—he won. I thought the short little man was old then. In those intertwining years between bodily strength and weakness, his spirit grew stronger.

During the meeting, holding to the pew in front of him, he stood and encouraged the younger ministers, “There is no place for retirement in serving the Lord—until you’re in your coffin.” He finished his course strong.

“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy,

we do not lose heart.”

2 Corinthians 4:1, NASB

From his first encounter with Christ, the apostle Paul knew the Lord’s direction for his life. He did not shrink from the work when it brought tears and trials. He continued to testify to Jews and Gentiles the need for repentance and faith in Christ. When his ministry to the Lord came to its last stages, he knew more suffering waited for him wherever he went. Yet, he was able to say—

“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself,

in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus,

to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God …

I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.”

Acts 20:24,27; NASB

The Lord blessed another brother in Christ with a booming voice. With it, he shouted “hallelujahs” and testified of God’s saving grace—until the day he suffered a severe stroke. It took his voice. But lack of speech didn’t take his testimony. Instead of shouts and words, he would raise his hands and eyes to the Lord, as the tears flowed down his cheeks, and a dimpled smile glowed with joy. He lost his voice, but he didn’t lose his heart for serving his Savior.

We may not be called to pastor a church, or go to a foreign field to plant a church leaving family and friends behind. We may not be teachers of the word or an evangelist like Billy Graham. But the Lord has put us in his body of believers as ministers of the gospel in the way He has created us to be.

“For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared before hand,

that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10, NASB

Not only has God prepared the works of service for us, He has given us all we need to succeed in the work.

“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets,

and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

for the equipping of the saints for the work of service,

to the building up of the body of Christ;”

Ephesians 4:11,12, NASB

Each of God’s children have a work of service—a way of encouraging the body of Christ to grow in the knowledge, strength, and love of the Lord.

A dear sister in Christ, uses a card ministry to encourage the sick and let others know they are missed. Sometimes she sends funny—no, hilarious cards—other times more serious, but always it’s the right one for the moment. I’m thankful for her ministry for it fills up one I’m not good at. That’s how the body of Christ works together to encourage and strengthen the whole.

For Thought: Look around. Who can you encourage today? How will you do it? The answer to these questions will vary according to the ministry God has given you.

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you, for giving us purpose in life, strengthening us by your grace for the work of ministry you have given us. May we count our lives as nothing and offer ourselves to you each day in ministering to others the mercy, grace, and love you have ministered to us. May we, your body, not lose heart in the work of service but stay strong until our course is run.

The Glory of the Lord

2 Corinthians 3: The Glory of the Lord

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The early morning fog veiled the view from her window. The sun hid behind the gray curtain. It mirrored the heartache of the young woman’s soul. Why did it have to be this way? A tear slid down her cheek. She shut her eyes. Where are you, God? All who have suffered life’s hard challenges can identify with the young woman. What keeps us going forward? This week’s scripture holds our hope, our strength to continue.

This Week’s Scripture:

“But we all,

with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror

the glory of the Lord,

are being transformed into the same image

from glory to glory,

just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB

A hint of light filtered through the young woman’s closed eyes. She glanced towards the morning sky. The sun had risen above the treetops lifting the fog and chasing away the mist. Surrounded by wispy gray clouds a blue lake illuminated the sun’s brightness, it’s glory ignited hope in her heart.

For Thought: Where do you look for hope when life’s hard challenges overwhelm you?

Our Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we have seen your glory, your beauty, your goodness in the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When pushed to the limit, help us remember to look to you who are limitless in glory, power, and strength and know you are working your glory in us and through us.

Prayer and Praise for Strength

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He healed the lame, the blind, the deaf. He walked on water and calmed the sea with a word. He raised the dead to life – and He raised me.  Do you need strength? We have his promise to give it to us in abundance.

“Fear thou not:

for I am with thee:

be not dismayed:

for I am thy God:

I will strengthen thee;

yea, I will help thee;

yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Isaiah 41:10

The same Spirit indwelling Christ as He walked the earth, indwells each who receives him. The same power, the same might that raised Christ from the dead has been sent to strengthen us. He is the same Spirit with the early church and with Paul and Silas who when they prayed –

“The place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness…

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Acts 4:31; Acts 16:25-26

This is the power of Christ in us. Take courage. Be strengthened. Who else can and wants to supply all you need when your flesh and heart fail you?

“Whom have I in heaven but thee?

And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth:

but God is the strength of my heart,

and my portion for ever…

it is good for me to draw near to God…”

Psalm 73:25-26,28a

OUR PRAISE:

“Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power,

and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty;

for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine;

thine is the kingdom, O lORD,

and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee,

and thou reignest over all;

and in thine hand is power and might;

and in thine hand it is to make great,

and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God,

we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”

1 Chronicles 29:11-13

OUR PRAYER:

  •  “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man…Ephesians 3:16
  • That I may know him,
  • and the power of his resurrection,
  • and the fellowship of his sufferings,
  • being made conformable unto his death…Philippians 3:10
  • Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,
  • unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness…Colossians 1:11
  • the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while,
  • make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10

OUR ASSURANCE:

“Now unto him that is able to do

exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory in the church

by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.

Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20-21

He is able and willing to answer your prayer. It is a work only He can do. Are you willing to receive his answer and find his strength in your weakness?

Needing Strength?

“…spirit of counsel and might…” Isaiah 11:2

man in black reebok shoes about to carry barbell

I don’t know about you but I am needing a good dose of might – strength to perform anything. Today, I would settle for the mundane tasks of every day. You see, and old, uninvited, unwelcome friend came to visit last weekend and stole the strength of my back. In my weakness I am reminded how much I rely on the strength of the Lord each day. I hear the Lord telling Paul in his letter to the Corinthians –

“My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 

It’s Paul’s answer that I struggle with –

“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,

in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Glad, glory, pleasure, and infirmities. Which word is not like the others.

Then I look at Jesus in his weakness and find hope.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith:

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross, despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

Jesus came to earth fully man. He came in the Spirit of the Lord God. He endured the weaknesses of the flesh. He experienced weariness, hunger, thirst, pain, rejection, and what it is to depend on the strength of the Spirit. He could glory in these things as He showed us the victory of living in the strength of the Lord, as He listened to and obeyed all his Father gave him, even to death. For the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him to strengthen him. He kept looking at the joy set before him – the glory that is his.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth:

And that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father …

And the seventh angel sounded:

and there were great voices in heaven, saying,

THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD

ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST,

AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”

Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 11:15

Jesus experienced it all, showing us God’s grace is sufficient to provide for our every weakness, physical, spiritual, and emotional. By the Spirit of Christ in us we have his wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might. Without the might to walk in the other characteristics of the Spirit we would not know victory over our weaknesses. With the strength of the Lord, we can do all things.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Philippians 4:13.

Including setting my eyes on the joy of the Lord as my strength when I experience weakness. No, I don’t enjoy pain – that would be sadistic. But, yes, when I remember where my strength comes from, I can still have joy. Whatever weakness we may suffer, the grace of God brings his children strength through the Spirit of Christ. He will bring us to victory. We don’t go it alone. He goes with us in our weakness, understands our weakness, and strengthens us through our weakness. When broken and in need of strength – lean on him. He does not disappoint.

“O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee?” 

Psalm 89:8a

Strength to Stand

“And because ye are sons,

God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts,

crying Abba, Father.”

Galatians 4:6

kidsThat first cry, the first cuddle, the first glimpse of a life born into the world. These things filled my heart with joy when I experienced the births of my three children. I remember the first time they stood on wobbly legs. Almost a year of countless bottles of milk, playing little exercise games with their legs, and watching them learn to crawl came before seeing them stand alone. Yet, they were not really alone.

A few years later each increased my joy. At different ages they declared their faith in Christ. At that time they didn’t understand being born again. They only knew for the asking and believing Jesus came into their hearts. They were babies in Christ born of the Spirit and now cried, “Abba, Father,” as they waited for us to continue feeding them the milk of the word.

“As newborn babes,

desire the sincere milk of the word,

that ye may grow thereby:

If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

1 Peter 2:2,3

All who have been born of the Spirit of God have tasted the Lord’s grace. Through the word we are strengthened to stand in the knowledge of our God, what he has done for us, and in us.

  • “Therefore being justified by faith,
  • we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
  • By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,
  • and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1,2

Our strength to stand in a world wanting to knock us down comes in learning who we are in Christ and recognizing it is not by our strength we stand. It is by the Spirit of Christ in us.

In Christ we are –

Justified by faith…

“the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
  • Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Romans 3:22-24

Paul said all this to say this –

  • Christ’s death paid our debt of sin.
  • He took on our sin and gave us his righteousness.
  • We now have peace with God.
  • We are right/just before him since we have been born of his Spirit.
  • This is God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ
  • and no one or power can ever take it from us.

Stand in this truth when Satan, the world, or personal weakness tries to accuse you otherwise.

“What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us, who can be against us?

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,

how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s  elect?

It is God that justifieth.

Romans 8:31-33

We no longer stand in our strength but by the grace of God. And we do not stand alone. For the Spirit of Christ dwells in us –

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;

yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20

and he clothes us in his strength –

“Finally, my brethren,

be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

Ephesians 6:10

He has given us an arsenal of protection to stand against the darkness of this world. It contains His – 

  • Truth,
  • Righteousness,
  • Gospel of Peace,
  •  Shield of Faith,
  • Salvation,
  • and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Found in Ephesians 6:14-17)

The Spirit of Christ in us also carries us to the throne of God for strength when feel we cannot stand.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:

for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:

but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us

with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,

because he maketh intercession for the saints

according to the will of God.”

Romans 8:26,27

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,

  • let us hold fast our profession…
  • Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
  • that we may obtain mercy,
  • and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

When your legs of faith become wobbly remember –

  • Christ in you is your strength;
  • He is your arsenal of protection;
  • He is praying on your behalf;
  • His grace is sufficient

“And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee;

for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me…

for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10b


When you are weak, where do you turn for strength?