Inner Strength

Inner Strength

God gives inner strength to every person who trusts in Him and in His salvation.  Here are several Bible passages on the topic:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  (Isa 41:10 NKJV)

I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves . . .  (Eph 3:16 GNT)

. . . strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy . . . (Col 1:11 NKJV)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Phil 4:13 NKJV)

This is one of the blessed benefits of our salvation—to receive inner strength and perseverance from God, our Savior.  Whenever we face difficulties, challenges, sorrows, or calamities, we may cry out to the Lord in our trouble and He will deliver us. Take note of these Bible verses:

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.  (Ps 107:6)

. . . persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.  (2 Tim 3:11, emphasis added)

What a loving and mighty God we serve!  Look at just some of the blessings that He pours out upon each and every one of His people:

  • He is always with us and will never reject us. 
  • He upholds and sustains us.
  • He gives us grace to enable us to serve Him and to fulfill our callings. 
  • He provides health, healing, reconciliation, and mercy continuously. 
  • He justifies us and grants us peace with our Father God. 
  • He loves us perfectly
  • He has given us a salvation that will provide us with joy in the presence of the Lord now and for all eternity.

Become aware of and use the inner strength that God has given to you.  Study these blessings and benefits of our salvation in order to support and to sustain your inner strength.  Blessings upon you!

What Is a Backslider?

What Is a Backslider?

A backslider is someone who has reversed their direction in a given area.  In terms of Christian faith and life, it usually refers to a person who at one time had a vital, meaningful relationship with Jesus as their Savior but who has turned away from the values of following Christ and living a moral, upright life. 

But the Lord says, in the verses below, that He loves the backslider, that He is married to them, and that He will heal their condition by bringing them back to Himself.  Glory to God!

Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you.  (Jer 3:14a)

Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.  (Jer 3:22a)

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely . . .  (Hos 14:4a)

This turning away from faith may happen if a person isn’t connected to a church or a body of believers with whom to fellowship.  It may also occur if someone becomes neglectful about Bible reading, prayer, and praise and worship.  These are all forms of communication with the Lord, and any relationship will wither and collapse without ongoing, regular communication. 

So we can’t allow our affections for the Lord to cool down by discarding the habits that uphold and sustain our faith in Jesus.  It’s always good to review our conduct occasionally to make sure that we’re making decisions that will positively impact our life of faith.  Our life habits should sustain and nurture our Christian faith, so guard them well.

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord . . . (Ac 3:19) Our sympathetic Savior is happy to restore and to revive our relationship with Him at all times.  And He says that times of refreshing will follow, times of rejuvenating the relationship with Him and pouring out grace upon you to inspire you in fresh ways.

Anyone who has backslidden from their faith in Christ has hope.  The Lord is loving, merciful, and kind.  He longs for us to return to Him and to reestablish our relationship with Him—the God who is love.  (1 Joh 4:8)  God bless you.

The Way Everlasting

The Way Everlasting

Here are two different versions of the same Bible verse:

And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  (Ps 139:24 NKJV)

Don’t let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true.  (Ps 139:24 CEV)

As we can see from the second version of Psalm 139:24, the way everlasting is the way that time has proven reliable or trustworthy.  We can choose to live according to the world’s way, or we can choose God’s everlasting way.  Only one of these ways is true.  Only one of these ways will lead you to eternal happiness.

The way everlasting asks us to submit our will to Christ, our Savior and to adopt His values and goals. It will transform our character progressively to be more Christlike.  His way will lead us to bear good fruit to God (Jas 3:17), and permit us to transfer that fruit with us into eternity.

It’s vital for us to remember that the life that we lead here on earth, in all regards, is not for this earthly, measured time but for eternity.  Our earthly lives are a spiritual test for:

  • The quality of our characters,
  • The motives for our work, and
  • The motives of our hearts.

Each and every one of us need to make corrections and adjustments to our attitudes and our lives.  We all need to be led by the Lord and His righteousness, and every one of us needs to allow God to teach us and to show us the path for our feet. 

Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.  (Ps 5:8 NKJV)

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good.  Lead me in the land of uprightness.  (Ps 143:10 NKJV)

Since we who follow Jesus Christ have made the choice to live in the way everlasting, let us consider seriously what corrections and improvements that the Lord may be urging us to make today.  Glory to God!

Wisdom & Understanding

Wisdom & Understanding

In the Bible, we often see that wisdom and understanding are linked together strongly.

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens . . .  (Pro 3:19 NKJV)

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  (Pro 2:6 NIV)

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  (Pro 4:7 NIV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  (Pro 9:10 NIV)

He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding.  (Jer 51:15 NKJV)

The Lord uses wisdom and understanding together in combination to establish and accomplish great and mighty things.  Because we are made in God’s image (Gen 9:6 NKJV) and since Christ is our example (1 Pet 2:21 NKJV), we too are strongly encouraged by the Word to gain wisdom and understanding. 

Wisdom means prudence, insight, perceptiveness, or good judgment. 

Understanding means empathy, kindness, or awareness.  In considering these two attributes, we can see how they would work together quite effectively and supportively.

Daily, we can expand and increase both of these characteristics in our lives by reading the Bible faithfully.  No matter what book of the Bible or what topic we may read, the Word of God is filled with the Spirit and the power of God—as well as God’s wisdom and understanding.  The more we fill our hearts and minds with the Word, the more that we will operate with the wisdom and understanding of God.

Be eager students of the Word and you will reap the blessed and life-changing benefits. 

A Better Priesthood

A Better Priesthood

It was on the basis of the Levitical priesthood that the Law was given to the people of Israel. Now, if the work of the Levitical priests had been perfect, there would have been no need for a different kind of priest to appear, one who is in the priestly order of Melchizedek, not of Aaron. 12 For when the priesthood is changed, there also has to be a change in the law. 13 And our Lord, of whom these things are said, belonged to a different tribe, and no member of his tribe ever served as a priest.  (Heb 7:11-13 GNT, underscoring added)

Melchizedek’s lineage is not shown in Scripture, but his name means king of righteousness and king of peace.  So, he is considered to be a type of Christ.

The Scriptures say about Him, “You are a priest forever, just like Melchizedek.”  18 In this way a weak and useless command was put aside, 19 because the Law cannot make anything perfect. At the same time, we are given a much better hope, and it can bring us close to God.  (Heb 7:17-19 CEV)  This passage of the Bible refers to Jesus as “a priest forever.”

Here’s a pertinent quotation concerning Jesus’ priesthood:

In verses 4–10 of Hebrews 7, the author recounts how Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek and that the Levitical priests (who were biological descendants of Abraham) would one day be commanded in the law to accept tithes from the people of Israel. The author concludes, “it is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior” (v. 7). Given that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, and the Israelites paid tithes to the Levites, this is a strong argument that Jesus Christ’s priesthood is greater than that of the Levites. – Article by Kim Riddlebarger,
Source:  https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/better-priesthood/

Levitical priests could serve only until they died.  Jesus, alone, serves as our Priest forever even into eternity, as the Scripture says:

“The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’ . . . ”  (Heb 7:21) 

Jesus is the guarantor of a better covenant.  (Heb 7:22)  Earthly priests’ work is temporary, but Jesus holds his Priesthood eternally because He will never die.  (Heb 7:24)  Jesus, in His perfection and holiness, is unchangeable.  He always lives to make intercession for His people. (Heb 7:25) 

Jesus is a High Priest above all others:  holy, unstained, innocent, and exalted above the heavens.  (See Heb 7:26-28)  Glory to God most High!  We are so blessed that He is interceding for each and every one of us who have made Him our Lord and Savior.

Be Ready to Explain Your Hope

Be Ready to Explain Your Hope

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  (1 Pet 3:15-17) 

According to this passage of Scripture, we need to be ready to share with people who ask us the reason for the hope that is within each one of us.  The Bible actually tells us the answer for this in Colossians 1:27.  Christ within us—the hope of glory.  The life of Christ within us is our hope.

That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?  (Pro 22:21)

We need to answer all questions with “words of truth” according to this Proverb.  It is interesting to note that when Paul was being questioned by King Agrippa, Paul said:  “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”  (Ac 26:25)  Paul was speaking “words of truth” and reason.  According to John 14:6, Jesus is the Truth and Paul was telling the King all about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  Paul spoke words of truth.

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.  (Col 4:6)

We cannot say that we don’t know how to answer.  Our answer is Jesus Christ and His story as the Redeemer of all mankind.  Hallelujah!

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord Jesus, is our Rock and our salvation.  The Bible refers to the Rock, our Savior, in several passages.  Here are just a handful.

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!  (2 Sam 22:47)

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.  (Ps 18:46)

Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—  (Ps 144:1)

. . . and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  (1 Cor 10:4)

 And “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.  (1 Pet 2:8)

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, the Lord gave them water from a rock to quench their thirst and to meet their needs.  (Neh 9:15; Isa 48:21)  The Lord proved Himself more than once to His people as their Provider and their Deliverer.

As the Bible passage shown above demonstrate, Christ is called the Rock, our Savior.

In this day and age, many are offended at the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is why He is also prophesied to be “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”  There are so many religions and ideologies being espoused around the world, that the true path to salvation can be obscured and undermined.  Present-day Christianity is under attack.

Jesus was considered a criminal and a blasphemer—so as His followers, we can’t expect much better treatment than what our Lord received.  His sentence, unjust though it clearly was, was death.  Pilate was so disturbed by it that he washed his hands of all responsibility for it. 

However, the Lord lives!  Hallelujah!  We drink in His glory, holiness, and goodness.  We are made righteous by the sacrifices that Jesus made on our behalf.  We are reconciled to our Father God, and have a multitude of reasons to exalt and to praise the Lord!

Remember that the Rock is our foundation for faith and for eternal life!

Christ is in Heaven on our Behalf

Christ is in Heaven on our Behalf

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  (Heb 9:24 ESV, underscoring added)

It is helpful to ponder the truth that Christ is in Heaven right now, representing and upholding all believers.  He is our Advocate!  (1 Joh 2)

. . .  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church . . . (Eph 1:20-22 ESV) Jesus Christ is the head of the church.  He is the Lamb of God who has poured out His blood on the mercy seat–for us. (Joh 1:36; 1 Pet 1:19; Rev 7:14; 22:1)

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.   (Mk 16:19 NKJV)  Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God.

He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.  (Isa 59:16)  Jesus is our intercessor in heaven.  He is our agent in heavenly realms.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus . . . (1 Tim 2:5) Jesus is both God and man.  He is the only mediator between God and men.  A mediator is a peacemaker, and Jesus has brought about peace between God the Father and all who are born-again.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  (1 Joh 2:1)  Jesus Christ, the righteous One of God, is our Advocate with the Father.  In Heaven Jesus pleads our case, and works to effect reconciliation between us and Father God.  He also, as our Savior and Redeemer, affirms that He has purchased all of salvation’s blessings for us, and thanks to Him, we are entitled to them.

Jesus is your champion and crusader!  Stand and give thanks and praise to the Lord today, brothers and sisters!

Unjust Suffering

Unjust Suffering

The Bible gives us notice in numerous passages that followers of Jesus Christ will experience unjust suffering.  We are told that any suffering that we go through is not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us!  (Rom 8:18)

Christ suffered for us, and He left us this as an example, so that we would follow in His steps—being forewarned.  (1 Pet 2:21)

For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.  (1 Pet 2:19 NIV)

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.  (1 Pet 3:14a)

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  (2 Tim 3:12)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  (Joh 16:33)

In all situations of life, we can never be separated from the love of God for us.  (Rom 8:35)  God promises to comfort us in all of our troubles.  (1 Cor 1:3-4)  These passages of the Scripture are meant to support us and to encourage us when we suffer.

Our perseverance in suffering, holding on to our faith in Christ, proves the genuineness of our faith according to the Word of God.  (1 Pet 1:6-7) 

We are told to count it a joy when we face many and various types of trials. (Jas 1:2-4, see also Rom 5:3-5) 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  (Mt 5:10-12)

Prepare your heart, mind, and will to follow Jesus in every circumstance; and when you arrive in eternity, you will be filled with rejoicing and extreme thankfulness that you did.

Jesus, the Root, Destined to Reign

Jesus, the Root, Destined to Reign

These various passages of Scripture referring to Jesus as a “root,” “root of Jesse,” and “root of David” are all referring to one Person:   Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. 

But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”  (Rev 5:5) 

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.  (Isa 11:1)

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”  (Isa 11:10)

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  (Isa 53:2)

And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.”  (Rom 15:12)

These various designations signify that Jesus is a descendant of both Jesse (David’s father), and of King David. 

Jesus is also a member of the tribe of Judah, which is why He is referred to as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah.”  Judah means “praise,” and it is also the tribe out of which Kings were born.  The Bible reveals Jesus’ bloodline dating back to Jacob, of the House of David. 

In Romans 5, the Bible clearly states that “the root of Jesse” who rises up to reign over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope.  We acknowledge that we have a Covenant-keeping God who is committed to drawing all people to Himself through Christ and His cross! (John 12:32)  The Lord is drawing all people—not only Jews, but Gentiles as well—to Himself.

The Lord is reconciling all people to Himself through His cross! (Col.1:15-20)  The Father God will unite all people under Christ’s loving authority when the eras have reached their fulfillment! (Eph. 1:9-11)  Hallelujah!