Strong at Last

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Would you rather be weak or strong?  Most people would say, “That’s a no brainer.  I’d rather be strong.”  “I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you.”  Eph 6:10   Every believer truly has the ability to be strong on the inside where it really counts.  We receive this strength by depending on our great support team.  First, God supplies the motivation to accomplish his plan.  “For God is at work within you, helping you do what he wants.”  Phil 2:13   Jesus Christ is the powerhouse.  “…For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.”  Phil 4:13   The Holy Spirit provides unbelievable resources, “…out of his glorious unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.”   Eph 3:16

We should never again say we are weak.  Besides the triple triune there is also the body of Christ.  Countless numbers of Christians, from the local church family to the worldwide church, are also trusting in Christ to save them and give them the help they need.  These Christian brothers and sisters are able to understand what we feel because they are experiencing the same kind of difficult times and trials.  “…Remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too.”  1 Pet 5:9   Can we get it clear?  We do not succeed without God!  He possesses the essential power.  “God of the present age and hour, thrill us anew with holy power.”  William S. Gordon   Without him we haven’t the transformed character nor the spiritual ability to change ourselves and the world.  “…Not because we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves.  Our only power and success comes from God.”  2 Cor 3:5

We have been given, through our support team, the actual ability to partner with God.  “The great need of the world today is the spiritual power necessary for the overthrow of evil …and that spiritual power begins in the surrender of the individual to God.”  William J. Bryan  We can be confident that our strength is as near and as real as the next beat of our immortal heart.  “…Since future victory is sure, be strong and steady, always abounding in the Lord’s work.”  1 Cor 15:58   Thank God, we can be strong at last!  Are you ready to be a powerful instrument in the hands of God?

Click here to read insights from Marcy Alves on being a light to our world.

Click here to read another blogger’s take on God using us in spite of who we are.

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In Light of Eternity

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       Did you know there are powerful forces at work within us?  We continually seek to satisfy the drive for pleasure, possessions, and prestige.  There is a constant preoccupation to set up our own personal kingdom here on earth.  We accumulate material possessions and crave status.  We desire to gratify bodily appetites that are never satisfied.  We become frustrated by this human perspective that focuses on the desire to get what we want and we always want more.  At times these unfulfilled longings cause us to hurt others who appear to stand in our way.  Yet the scripture exhorts us that our real world is not just found in the here and now.  “…Men of faith, though they trusted God and won His approval, none of them received all that God had promised them; for God wanted them to wait and share the even better rewards that were prepared for us.”  Heb 11:39, 40  

       We do have genuine needs but the believer looks to Christ to meet those needs.  “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”  Phil 4:19   Cardinal J Newman writes, “Life passes, riches fly way, popularity is fickle, the senses decay, the world changes.  One alone is true to us; one alone can be all things to us; one alone can supply our need.”  We have been given an amazing tool with which to build our lives and fulfill many of the desires of our heart.  This instrument of God’s grace is prayer.  While talking with God we discover He is always there answering, guiding, and meeting our needs.  Often we forget His standing invitation to ask.  “…The reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it.”  James 4:2   Instead of taking our requests to Him in prayer, we try to get what we want in our own way. 

       How wonderful that at salvation we were given a brand new vision for life.  It is centered on investing in the heavenly kingdom not an earthly domain.  “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”  Matt 6:33   “I will place no value on anything I have or may possess except in relation to the kingdom of Christ.”  David Livingstone   Dear Christian, because we have been born into this new life, the things of the world lose their importance in the light of God’s vast rewards and the splendor of eternity.

Click here to read another blogger’s thoughts on hope and prayer.
Click here to read about praying for God’s will to be done.

Filled to Follow

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As you go through life making decisions have you ever wondered, “Am I making the right choices?”  It is important to realize that God did not intend us to carry the responsibility of our decisions alone.  When Jesus returned to the Father He promised to send us a Helper.  “When the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.”  John 16:13  The only effective way we can live with purpose and know we are in God’s will is to have the Holy Spirit as our close personal friend.  This presence within, this friendship, directs us to the answers we seek.  As the Spirit prompts us to read Gods Word we will learn to think differently, feel differently, and believe differently.  The Holy Spirit does the steady work of transformation in our lives.  We are becoming a new person inside.

There is tremendous happiness in walking with the Holy Spirit.  We become kinder, more responsible, more peaceful, more content, braver, more loving, more discerning, more giving, and more patient.   We run to the Holy Spirit as we pray for counsel, advice, comfort, and the coping ability to live our life.  “…Be filled with the Spirit.”  Eph 5:18   His daily filling and enabling enhances our life in every area.  When we try to make our own way, we are in danger of following wrong influences that often have a demonic affect in our life.  How many believers today, who are not asking for the Holy Spirit’s help, find themselves taking the world’s values, opinions, and entertainment as a filler for the their personality, their very soul?  We then find we aren’t much of a light to the world at all.   We sometimes forget there is more than just the salvation experience.  “We must not be content to be cleansed from sin; we must be filled with the Spirit.”   John Fletcher   When we do not speak with kindness, when we do not think of others with compassion, we are not filled with the Holy Spirit.   “The Spirit of God first imparts love, he next inspires hope, and then gives liberty…”  Dwight Moody

Love alone does not make a happy home or a happy life but love joined with following the Holy Spirit’s leadership will bring a deep satisfaction.  The Holy Spirit represents all that is Truth, all that is Jesus Christ.  “May God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s friendship be yours.”  2 Cor 13:13   Now that is help you can count on!

Click here to read about the Holy Spirit’s ability to overcome barriers.

Click here to read about connecting with the Holy Spirit.

It’s Not About Me

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        Have you noticed that sadly people are by nature selfish and self-centered?  We are continually plagued by the big “I”, our ego, and a desire to be elevated above our Creator.  But hurray, there is a way to overcome this chronic condition!  Long ago John the Baptist disclosed both the road and the remedy.  He says simply about Christ, “He must become greater and greater and I must become less and less.”  John 3:30   The road to a satisfying life is found through focusing on Jesus.  “The Christian is not one who has gone all the way with Christ.  None of us have.  The Christian is one who has found the right road.”  Charles L. Allen   The remedy to the universal disease of self-absorption is understanding that life is no longer about me.  Jesus Christ was, is, and will always be number one.  “He who comes from above is above all.”  John 3:31  

         The Father’s will and desires are to become mine.  John the Baptist discovered the cure when he was adamant that others must look away from him and follow Jesus.  “He must become more important, but I must become less important.”  John 3:30   Even though John had experienced great success, he moved behind the scenes when Jesus’ ministry rose to prominence.  Jesus “-sent by God- speaks God’s words, for God’s Spirit is upon him without measure or limit.”  John 3:34   While Jesus was the Son of God, John the Baptist was simply a man.  John said, “I am of the earth and my understanding is limited to the things of earth.”  John 3:31   John transitioned from great crowds following him to the multitudes following Jesus.

            These passages pose an important question.   Do people look to you or to Jesus?  All we do and say should point the way not to us but to Christ.  Every person is profoundly dependent upon this God-Man.  “A man can receive nothing unless it had been given him from heaven.”  John 3:27   Life can seem a long and often difficult road.  Let’s not travel without Jesus.  He not only lightens the load, He is the One who wants to carry it throughout our life.  So remember, “…the only way for us to end well is if in our heart Jesus has increased and we have decreased.”  John Piper

Click here to read more about John the Baptist giving all the credit to Jesus.

Click here to read about the interrogation of John the Baptist.