God reminds us in His Word that He will strengthen us when we are weak, and even increase our vigor.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isa 40:29 NIV)
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isa 40:31 NKJV)
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor 12:9 NKJV)
A significant point to remember is that we need to turn to the Lord, and seek His help. We need to focus on Him and His love and goodness in order to access the strength that He is able to give.
When our goal is to live for Jesus and to extend His loving message of forgiveness and salvation to others, we are assured that He is our ever present help. (Ps 46:1)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Eph 6:10)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
It’s good for us to turn to the Lord in times of stress, challenge, or difficulty. When we’re feeling weak, fragile or defenseless, the Lord promises that He is our strength. He will empower and strengthen His beloved, causing us to soar above our circumstances. (Isa 40:31) What a blessed promise!
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. (1 Joh 4:1-3a)
Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thes 5:20-21)
Only the Bible (the Word of God) is inspired and incapable of being wrong (inerrant). Therefore, the way to test any spirit is to see if what is being shared or taught is in agreement with the clear teachings of God’s Word.
In Acts 17:10-11 the Berean Jews were praised because, after they heard the teachings of Paul and Silas, they “examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” The Bereans were called “noble” for their desire to search the Scriptures for truth. Notice that they searched DAILY for the truth; this shows the level of their hunger for spiritual reality, as well as their desire to use the Bible as their measuring rod.
The idea in these passages (about testing the spirits) is to establish several truths:
- That whoever is speaking confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior;
- That the person (or spirit) acknowledges that Jesus came to earth in the flesh;
- That everything that is shared or taught is based upon and agrees with the inerrant Word of God—the Bible.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)
The reason for testing the spirits, for testing all religious teaching, is to see if it is truly from God or if it is a lie from Satan, the enemy of our souls. The Word of God is to be “a lamp” and “a light” to our path (Ps 119:105). We must allow its light to shine on every teaching and doctrine to be sure that we remain on the path of righteousness..
The Bible alone is the standard by which all truth should be judged. Be discerning and diligent about measuring what you hear (or read) against the Word of God.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:12-14 NIV)
The definition of press on is: to continue moving forward in a forceful or steady way; to continue to do something especially in a determined way.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians (passage shown above) encourages all believers to continue moving forward in their Christian life. He especially wants us to have a sense of determination because there is a definite prize ahead of us that we long to receive. Our hearts must be resolved so that we will stay the course.
Our prize is eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven. There is no arriving at the destination without understanding that Jesus is the Way. Eternal life is truly the gift of God which we obtain through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
And we will encounter road blocks, challenges, tribulations, and trials along the way. At these points we need to seek the Lord, and to change whatever is necessary in our lives in order to continue on our way.
In a very real, spiritual sense, we need to pursue Christ with fortitude because in doing so we show our resolve to claim Him as our own Savior and Lord. We surrender all and follow His example, His footsteps, and His teachings in order to attain eternal fellowship with Christ. Glory to God!
As children of God, our actions will naturally imitate the actions of our Heavenly Father. God cares for each and every person. He is pleased when—instead of being selfish—we look for opportunities to help and to bless other people.
Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. (1 Cor 10:24)
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus . . . (Phil 2:4-5)
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth . . . (1 Cor 13:4-6, underscoring added)
God is love (1 Joh 4:8) so the passage of Scripture above outlining the nature of love gives us a very good picture of the nature of the God whom we serve. This reveals how the Lord deals with each person individually, and helps us to understand His love for mankind.
In these verses from the Bible, we can see that working on behalf of other people in order to bless their lives will also result in bringing glory to God. This is what we who serve the Good Shepherd are called to do. We’re called to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ; to bring glory to God; and to spread the Good News. In so doing, the very works of God will be revealed in us. (Joh 9:3) Have a blessed day!
God is always working in the world. He loves to do a “new thing”!
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isa 43:19)
Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them. (Isa 42:9)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor 5:17)
. . . to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. (Heb 12:24)
God’s new thing will ALWAYS be better than anything that has gone before. When His plans for one of His people changes, the reason is to improve the plan!
Our God is a God of love, mercy and truth. He is patient and full of goodness. God is eternal, self-sufficient, all-powerful and He never changes! We must learn the nature of our God, and once we do, our faith in Him will be deepened and secure.
Since God knows everything, we can trust that His new thing will also serve the best interests of everyone concerned. Get on board with God’s new thing!
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Rom 12:11-12)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters . . . (Col 3:23)
It’s not a bad idea to pray for enthusiasm for your spiritual life! The verses above show us the importance of spiritual zeal. Zeal means passion, or intensity.
The word “enthusiasm” is from the Greek enthusiasmoms. It means inspired by God. Our Christian walk will get stale and boring if we are not inspired by God on a daily basis. One way we can receive inspiration is to read the Bible daily. Another way would be to spend time in the presence of God, not just in prayer, but also listening for His voice. If you’re willing to hear from God, He will surely give you His insight, wisdom, and revelation knowledge.
Another great way to maintain your passion for the Lord, is to praise and worship Him regularly. You can listen to good CDs and join along in song. Or you can go to your prayer closet and have a heart to heart session of praising God and thanking Him for His many blessings.
There are some great online venues for ongoing praise and worship you can check out, as well.
As you seek the Lord and His will for you, and keep your ears open for His voice, you will realize that these disciplines will assist you in maintaining your spiritual zeal and energy. Don’t be surprised to feel your faith and trust in God growing as you do. God bless you.
Here’s a reassuring thought: God has no favorites and He shows no partiality! If you grew up feeling that your mom or your parents had a favorite child (who was not you), this will be very meaningful to you. It will give you reason to feel more thankful than you might have previously.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:26-28) We are all children of God.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal 5:14)
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality . . . (Ac 10:34)
For God shows no partiality. (Rom 2:11)
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. (Rom 12:16)
These passages from the Scriptures advise us to love all people and to freely associate with everyone. We are all equal in His sight because each and every human being was created in the image of God. God wants every human being to be saved by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
God offers salvation to all mankind as a free gift. He isn’t withholding it from certain continents, from specific nationalities, or from people with a certain blood type. His invitation is open to each and every person on planet earth. Glory to God! And He has given us each a free will so that we can choose our own destiny. We can say “yes” to God or we can say “no.” The choice is ours.
And then, we must keep on choosing, day by day, to serve the Lord with a joyful heart and to remain steadfast in Him. As long as we stay in close relationship with the Lord, He gives us His gift of grace to make such choices easily and with a sense of contentment. Hallelujah!