God’s Strength Tuesday, Jun 6 2017 

The verse that comes to mind when I set out to write to you about God’s Strength comes from the book of Philippians: Philippians 4:12-14New International Version (NIV)

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

Another verse that comes to mind is : John 16:33New International Version (NIV)

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In Philippians 4:13 we are told where our strength comes from; through him. And in John it does not say you might have trouble it says, “you will have trouble.”

Just look about you: everywhere you look….trouble.

Paul reminds us in Philippians that we are not always in trouble every minute as he expounds by saying, “I know what it is to have plenty.” Now, we know that having plenty is not a problem. But as he continues he expounds an alternative situation; ” I have learned to be content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Have you ever been hungry? Unless you have been you may not know just how difficult this verse becomes. How can one be content in the midst of hunger or thirst?

It is because Paul knows the LORD Jesus Christ. He trusts him. He is completely free of worry because he knows that the LORD will provide. He was able to do “all things” through Christ.

Look at the list of what Paul suffered: 2 Corinthians 11: 23 I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

We too are going to face “troubles.” It is up to us to be prepared. To study His Word now so that when the times come we will be ready. The time to study the Word is not when we are in the middle of some trial or temptation. No! It is now. We must study to show ourselves approved. God gives us His strength for a purpose. Jesus Christ is our strength.

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Chains Wednesday, Feb 12 2014 

I am writing this blog post by special request. The person who requested wanted me to write about why relationships between particular people form in our lives and what God’s purpose is in creating them. You may be wondering the same thing.  You may never know this side of heaven the people that your life has influenced. You may not be aware of the impact you are having or have had in the past on someone’s life.

Imagine if you will that we are each a link in a chain stretched across a span of time and space. That the very first link may never meet the last but they are still forever connected in a long line of relationships that form the road to heaven known as the Chain of Life.

Now I don’t know what your chain looks like or who might be in the individual links of your chain but I trust that each link was bonded to the next by the force of God’s love and the power of his grace and mercy. For many of us our first link may be our mom or dad or some other family member. It is someone you knew who told you about Jesus and the impact He had on their lives. But once Christ becomes the strength of your life where does the chain go from there?

You share your faith with a friend or perhaps your own son or daughter. Then they share with those that they meet. These are “the ties that bind our hearts in Christian love, the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above,” that you sang about as a child.

With each person you tell a new link is formed. It may be an act of kindness or a word of encouragement that you do or give to another. The point is you are a part of God’s plan. He intended you to be here, to read these words, to hear the call. He intended you to follow up and be an influence. Be an influence in the lives of others. Walk circumspectly counting the charge that is before you. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Let your life be a living testimony. 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

The chain makes up The Church. We are God’s people. We are His workmanship. Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Relationships based upon the premise of the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Based upon the knowledge that actions speak louder than words. Relationships formed with a godly purpose. 13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Our gospel” is the teaching and revelation of Christ in our lives. It is the glory of our LORD Jesus Christ that passes through the chain from life to life.

We are “one in Christ”.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

We are called to bear one another’s burdens. Be a blessing.

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Paul said, “10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

You see Paul was a link in my chain. He brought me to the knowledge by “the washing of the water by the WORD.”

I pray that I could be a link today.