Tag: strength

Fulfilled prophesy in pouring out the Spirit!

Scripture reading for January 25th: Acts 2, Psalm 18, Proverbs 18

Acts 2:14-18 “But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this was what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on My male servants and female servants in those days I will our out My Spirit and they shall prophesy.”

God speaks to His people and His Word never returns void. As the Jews who were present on this first Pentecost listened to the people who had received the gift of the Holy Spirit speak in other tongues, they assumed, wrongly, that they were drunk with wine. But Peter, now bold with the Holy Spirit, stands to explain and preach the Gospel to all who were present. He pointed them to Scripture in the Book of Joel. Joel had, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, foretold how in the last days God would ‘pour out’ the Holy Spirit on all flesh. Men and women, young and old, servants and slaves; all would have access and this would result in prophesy and the gift of prayer and worship in tongues. God was empowering His people to speak His Gospel Good News to the whole world.

Psalm 18:31-32 “For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a Rock, except our God?–the God Who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.”

Prayer: Father God, thank Your for Your gift to those who trust in Jesus of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for pouring it out generously on all those who believe, great or small, man or woman, young or old. Use me today prophetically, to speak in power Your Words of Scripture and tell forth the Good News that will bring eternal life to those who hear and receive. Let the ‘bubbling brook’ of the Holy Spirit flow in me.

Proverbs 18:4 “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

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Take aim–a call to worship!

Scripture reading for August 14th:  Psalm 94-97, 2nd Corinthians 13

Key Scriptures:  2nd Corinthians 13:11-14 “Finally, brothers, rejoice.  Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  

As Paul closed his final letter to the Corinthians, after urging them to rejoice, he called them to take aim or to focus their life.  The goal was restoration of the fallen brother and a flow of God’s comfort, peace and love in the body of believers.  Father God, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit would be with them to help them hit the target! This calls for worship!

Psalm 96:6-7 “Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the people, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come into His courts.” 

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your promised presence with Your people.  As we focus on You and Your will and Word, we are drawn to worship You, the Strong and Beautiful One.  Amen.

 

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God our Rock of rest!

Scripture reading for June 15th:  Psalms 61-65

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 62:5-8 “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”  Selah

David encouraged himself in the Lord.  He had healthy self-talk and healthy God-centered worship!  We find him confessing rest in God alone in this psalm (vs 1) and then commanding his soul to find rest in God alone! (vs 5)  He declared that God was his only hope of salvation and honor and his refuge!  He encouraged all peoples to make God their refuge and cast their cares on Him!

Jesus calls us to rest in Him:  “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

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Rejoicing in understanding!

Scripture reading for May 10th:  Nehemiah 7-11

Key Scriptures:  Nehemiah 8:10-12 “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day.  Do not grieve.”  Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”

Nehemiah had called all God’s people together and had the Word of God read aloud to them.  The people had listened attentively and God’s Word brought conviction and cleansing.  A great revival was stirred.  Nehemiah encouraged the people to celebrate their new-found understanding and to allow the joy of the Lord’s renewed presence to be their strength and confidence!

Rejoicing in understanding through Christ:  “For I (Jesus) gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them.  They knew with certainty that I came from You and they believed that You sent Me.”   .   .”I am coming to You now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of My joy within them.”  (John 17:8, 13)

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Give me that mountain!

Scripture reading for March 6: Joshua 13-17

Some people are positive and exude confidence!  God commanded Joshua and the nation of Israel to be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:8)  When we choose to believe God’s Word and act on it, our lives change from sight-driven to faith-driven.  Caleb’s destiny changed from “dying in the desert” to “possessing the promised land”!  In our reading today, we listen in on Caleb as he prepares to receive his portion of inheritance in the promised land.

Caleb and Joshua are the only two left out of 603,550 Israelite males that left Mt. Sinai for the promised land. (Numbers 1:46)  They were two of the twelve spies and the only ones to bring back a good report!  God rewarded them by sparing their lives and allowing them to have what they proclaimed in faith!  (Numbers 14:24) Caleb’s inheritance included the fortress at Hebron where the Anakites lived. (Joshua 14:15)   They were large people and renowned fighters.  This made no difference to Caleb!  He was still confident in God’s ability to give him the land! (Joshua 14:12)  Joshua blessed Caleb and sent him off to his inheritance!

Caleb is one of my favorite people in the Bible.  He exudes confidence!  He maintains an attitude of faith, even in his older years.  At 85 we find him strong and vigorous and ready for battle!  He isn’t in retirement or sitting out life in a rocking chair.  He understands what belongs to him, and is ready to take it and possess it!  He is praising God and making the good confession!  That’s my kind of man!

What obstacle do you face today?  What excuses have you been making for not attacking it?  Learn from Caleb how to walk by faith and confess God’s ability to help you!  “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for  forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert.  So here I am today, 85 years old!  I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day! You yourself heard  that the Anakites were there and that their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said!” (Joshua 14:10-12)

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The Joy of the Lord!

Scripture reading for May 12th: Nehemiah 8:2-10:39

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

After rebuilding the walls, Ezra and Nehemiah had a great church service.  They brought out the book of the Law of Moses and began reading it to all who had gathered inside the walls near a high wooden platform built for this sacred occasion.  Ezra the priest mounted the platform and those who would help with translation stood with him.   When he opened the Book, all the people stood in reverence.  (Nehemiah 8:4-5)  Ezra praised the Lord and the people responded with “Amen! Amen!” and bowed in worship.  As the word was read, the teachers instructed the people and made the meaning clear to them.  The people began to understand what God had said and how they had failed to follow God’s word.  This triggered emotions and conviction in the people and many began to weep and mourn.

Why did Nehemiah tell the people not to grieve and weep before the Lord?  I thought that repentance was needed and that God would be pleased to see them with broken hearts for their sins.  Godly sorrow that leads to true change is commended in Scripture.  (2nd Corinthians 7:8-11)  Nehemiah actually sent the people away to enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and share with those who didn’t have any.  He told them that the joy of the Lord would be their strength!  (Nehemiah 8:9-10)

Joy always follows true understanding of the grace and mercy of God.  Joy is the result of God’s mercy being revealed to us as a gift to be received by faith.  As the people understood God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness for them, they could celebrate as people who were forgiven.  The Book of the Law revealed this mercy and love of God.  They could celebrate it’s restoration to their lives and to the lives of their children.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit of God.  (Galatians 5:22)   New Testament believers can enjoy the Lord’s promise of joy as a fruit of abiding in Him and His word abiding in us.  When we understand God’s word and promises, the joy of the Lord becomes our strength!  The Holy Spirit comes into us upon our conversion and marks us internally.  We have God’s law written on our hearts and the Spirit gives us understanding of God’s word.  We can have this same joy for our strength, too!  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13

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“Give me that mountain!”

Scripture reading for March 6: Joshua 13-17

Some people are positive and exude strength and courage!  God commanded Joshua and the nation of Israel to be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:8)  When we choose to believe God’s Word and act on it, our lives change from sight-driven to faith-driven.  Caleb’s destiny changed from “dying in the desert” to “possessing the promised land”!  In our reading today, we listen in on Caleb as he prepares to receive his portion of inheritance in the promised land.

Caleb and Joshua are the only two left out of 603,550 Israelite males that left Mt. Sinai for the promised land. (Numbers 1:46)  They were two of the twelve spies and the only ones to bring back a good report!  God rewarded them by sparing their lives and allowing them to have what they proclaimed in faith!  (Numbers 14:24) Caleb’s inheritance included the fortress at Hebron where the Anakites lived. (Joshua 14:15)   They were large people and renowned fighters.  This made no difference to Caleb!  He was still confident in God’s ability to give him the land! (Joshua 14:12)  Joshua blessed Caleb and sent him off to his inheritance!

Caleb is one of my favorite people in the Bible.  He exudes confidence!  He maintains an attitude of faith and confidence even in his older years.  At 85 we find him strong and vigorous and ready for battle!  He isn’t in retirement or sitting out life in a rocking chair.  He understands what belongs to him, and is ready to take it and possess it!  He is praising God and making the good confession!  That’s my kind of man!

What obstacle do you face today?  What excuses have you been making for not attacking it?  Learn from Caleb how to walk by faith and confess God’s ability to help you!  “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for  forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert.  So here I am today, 85 years old!  I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day! You yourself heard  that the Anakites were there and that their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said!” (Joshua 14:10-12)

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Strength and courage needed–apply here!

Scripture Reading for March3:  Joshua 1-5

Walking with God is not for wimps!  God leads His people in paths of righteousness and truth.  He is a mighty warrior and a conqueror!  His reputation for war is known far and wide!  He never loses or backs down, but often employs some very unconventional battle strategy (Joshua 6:2-5) and uses only those willing to follow His leadership.  Today we begin our walk through the book of Joshua.  God’s people finally get to go in and possess the land promised to them for so many years.  We listen in as God finishes his preparation of Joshua, their new leader.

“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-9

Possessing your inheritance requires strength and courage, especially if you are in leadership!   It requires strength because there is walking involved and the ground you cover includes mountains and valleys.  There are obstacles and tough climbs.  You must have strength of mind to keep your thoughts focused on God’s promises.  You must possess strength of character and soul to keep from falling for the temptations of the enemy and the flesh that would trip you up.  God will lead you and go with you, (Matthew 28:20) but you must have the strength of body, mind, and soul to keep up the pace and walk with Him.

Courage is another attribute of a leader blessed by God.  Courage is the ability to face tough situations with confidence.  Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to face fear with truth and keep moving toward the goal.  The confidence is not to be in your own strength, mind or ability, but comes from a relationship with God.  When we know God, we come to trust and rely on His leadership and strength to get us through each obstacle.  Joshua was told not to let God’s Law and Word depart from his mouth or mind.   He was guaranteed prosperity and success as he meditated on the Word and was careful to obey.  Faith is produced by this process and it pleases God! (Romans 10:17) (Hebrews 11:6)

Today, receive this reading from Joshua as a personal call from the Lord to walk in renewed strength and courage.  Jesus Christ is our “Joshua” and has blazed a trail of perfect obedience to God’s Word.  His leadership in our lives today will give us both the strength and courage to face the obstacles in our path!  “Be strong and very courageous!”

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