VIDEO How to Be Strengthened – Bible Promises Spoken

How to Be Strengthened

My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word. Psalm 119:28

For defendants, the rule of law makes all the difference. They will be judged according to the law—not according to opinion or vengeance. The law contains provisions and protections, and defendants will be tried and sentenced, or set free, according to the law—that is, based on the provisions written into the law.

That is a helpful way to think about the psalmist’s words in Psalm 119:28: “strengthen me according to Your word.” The Word of God contains provisions and protections for the one who lives by it. The Bible tells us what is true about God—the provisions He has made for our well-being and the protection He offers those who dwell in Christ. Therefore, when we face times of weakness in life, we can be strengthened by reminding ourselves of the promises, provisions, and protections found in His Word (2 Peter 1:4). Like the psalmist, we can be strengthened according to God’s Word.

If you are feeling weak or discouraged today, open God’s Word to the verses cited in this devotional. Meditate on them and embrace the strength God provides.

The work which His goodness began, the arm of His strength will complete; His promise is Yea and Amen, and never was forfeited yetAugustus M. Toplady


Strength – Bible Promises Spoken

God’s Brand

I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you. Zechariah 3:4

Scooping up the smallest children, a frantic maid raced out of the flaming house. As she ran, she called loudly to five-year-old Jacky.

But Jacky didn’t follow. Outside, a bystander reacted quickly, standing on the shoulders of a friend. Reaching into the upstairs window, he pulled Jacky to safety—just before the roof caved in. Little Jacky, said his mother Susanna, was “a brand [stick] plucked from the burning.” You might know that “brand” as the great traveling minister John Wesley (1703–1791).

Susanna Wesley was quoting Zechariah, a prophet who provides valuable insight into God’s character. Relating a vision he had, the prophet takes us into a courtroom scene where Satan is standing next to Joshua the high priest (3:1). Satan accuses Joshua, but the Lord rebukes the devil and says, “Is this not a brand [burning stick] plucked from the fire?” (v. 2 nkjv). The Lord tells Joshua, “I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you” (v. 4).

Then the Lord gave Joshua this challenge—and an opportunity: “If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house” (v. 7).

What a picture of the gift we receive from God through our faith in Jesus! He snatches us from the fire, cleans us up, and works in us as we follow His Spirit’s leading. You might call us God’s brands plucked from the fire.

Father, we give You our thanks for rescuing us and making us right with You. We humbly ask for Your Spirit’s guidance as we serve You today.

God rescues us because He loves us; then He equips us to share His love with others.

By Tim Gustafson 

INSIGHT

At the end of their Babylonian exile (Jeremiah 29:10), the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple (2 Chronicles 36:22–23). Only 50,000 returned (Ezra 2:64–65), led by Zerubbabel their governor and Joshua their high priest (Haggai 1:1). Because of opposition (Ezra 4:1–5) and economic hardships, coupled with low morale and spiritual lethargy (Haggai 1:2–11), the temple rebuilding stalled for twenty years (Ezra 4:24). God raised two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, to encourage the returnees to repent and complete the temple rebuilding (6:14–16). Zechariah was both a prophet (Ezra 5:1; Zechariah 1:1) and a priest (Nehemiah 12:16). Through eight visions, Zechariah reminded the Jews that God is faithful and would restore and bless the nation (Zechariah 1:7–6:15). This fourth vision (3:1–10) pictures a court scene involving Joshua, the high priest, signifying God would remove their guilt, cleanse them, and make them ready to serve Him (vv. 1–5).

K. T. Sim

Forgiveness and Relationship With God

Matthew 6:9-15

When someone wrongs you, what is your biggest concern? Most of us would have to admit we are concerned mainly for ourselves or loved ones. We’re filled with anger or hurt, and forgiveness is the last thing on our minds. But how often do we consider that the way we respond will affect our relationship with God?

Sometimes as we say the Lord’s Prayer, we may quickly recite, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12) without giving the words much thought. But the two verses that follow this prayer remind us how serious forgiveness is. If we don’t move past our hurt and anger toward forgiveness, then God will not forgive us. For those of us who have repented of sin and by faith received Jesus Christ as our Savior, all our sins have been forgiven, based on Christ’s substitutionary payment on the cross (Col. 2:13-14). Therefore, these verses in Matthew cannot mean a loss of salvation. They instead refer to the barrier unforgiveness causes in our fellowship with God.

Holding on to grievances is a sin. If we allow that to continue, our communion with the Lord will be disrupted until we confess our attitude and forsake it. We understand what this is like when a child refuses to obey his parents. Although their love for him hasn’t diminished, there’s an unresolved conflict in their relationship.

As God’s children, we are called into intimate fellowship with Him. Let’s not be like disobedient children who remain under the Father’s discipline and therefore miss out on blessings He wants us to have.

A Holy Anointing

“But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” (1 John 2:20) 

The word “unction” in our text is translated “anointing” the other two times it is used (1 John 2:27). That term, and a companion word, are used only seven times in the New Testament, but all refer to the same essential concept often spoken of in the Old Testament.

Both things (tabernacle, temple, vessels, offerings) and people (priests, Levites, kings, ambassadors) were “anointed”— often ceremoniously—to identify them as consecrated or honored for a special service or position. Once anointed, the person or object was to be held in great respect by everyone.

Thus, we who are the “children of God” (Romans 8:16) have been anointed by God Himself (2 Corinthians 1:21) in such a way that the anointing abides, teaches, and is truth (1 John 2:27). This anointing is, obviously, no ceremonial oil demonstrating an honor (Psalm 133:2), but rather the “pouring out” of the Holy Spirit Himself onto and into our earthly bodies, consecrating us to be the very “temple” of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

This “unction” further designates us to be “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6) who will one day “reign on earth” (Revelation 5:10). We are called “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5) being built into a spiritual house for the Lord.

Furthermore, we are to be seen as “chaste virgin[s]” (2 Corinthians 11:2) who are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), having been set apart as a “vessel unto honour” (2 Timothy 2:21) in the “household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). We are to know all these things. HMM III

The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities

Romans 8:26-39

We will now read the concluding verses of that glorious eighth of Romans.

Romans 8:26

Our ignorance shows itself in prayer, and is our great infirmity, we cannot tell what blessing we most require. What a mercy it is that the Holy Spirit knows all things, and moves us to ask for what is best. Before we pray we should wait upon the Spirit for his guidance, and then we shall go in unto the King with an acceptable petition.

Romans 8:27

So that he inclines our hearts to request the very blessings which the Father has determined to give, and hence our prayers are but the transcripts of the divine decrees.

Romans 8:30

Like links in a golden chain, each one of the blessings of grace draws on another. The central links are within our view, and if we know them to be ours, we may be sure that the others which belong to the past and the future are securely fastened to them. He who is called is most assuredly predestinated, and shall, beyond all question, be in due time glorified.

Romans 8:31, 32

This is the master argument in prayer. If we understand its force we shall not be afraid of asking too much.

Romans 8:35, 36

shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? All these have been tried.

Romans 8:35, 36

But did they divide the suffering ones from Jesus?

Romans 8:37

So far from being divided from the love of Jesus, the saints were in persecuting times driven closer to their Lord, so that they enjoyed yet sweeter communion with him. No earthly trial can make Jesus forget the souls for whom he died; he changes not in the purpose of his mind or the affection of his heart.

Romans 8:38, 39

The apostle began with No condemnation and he ends with No separation, filling up the space between with priceless covenant blessings. No chapter in the Bible is more crowded with sublime and consoling teaching. Lord, grant us to know and enjoy all the inestimable privileges which it reveals.

 

He lives, he lives, and sits above,

For ever interceding there;

Who shall divide us from his love?

Or what shall tempt us to despair?

 

Shall persecution, or distress,

Famine, or sword, or nakedness?

He that hath loved us bears us through,

And makes us more than conquerors too.

 

Faith hath an overcoming power,

It triumphs in the dying hour:

Christ is our life, our joy, our hope;

Nor can we sink with such a prop.

 

Willing to Yield?

Yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead. (Romans 6:13)

I know there are people who hear me preach regularly who will never consider changing their way of living. They will go “underground” before they will do that!

Our situation is not an isolated case. There are millions of men and women with an understanding of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, who are still not willing to receive and commit themselves to Him whom the very angels and stars and rivers receive. They hesitate and they delay because they know God is asking the abdication of their own selfish little kingdom and interests.

This is the tragedy of mankind, my brethren! We have rejected Him from our lives because we must have our own way. But until Jesus Christ is sincerely received, there can be no knowledge of salvation, nor any understanding of the things of God.

The little, selfish, sinful man rejects the Son of God. While he is still enumerating the things he deserves, the Son of God stands outside.

My brethren, I repeat: this is the great tragedy of mankind!

 

Comfort En Route Home

“And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Gen. 50:24

Joseph had been an incarnate providence to his brethren. All our Josephs die, and a thousand comforts die with them. Egypt was never the same to Israel after Joseph was dead, nor can the world again be to some of us what it was when our beloved ones were alive.

But see how the pain of that sad death was alleviated! They had a promise that the living God would visit them. A visit from Jehovah! What a favor! What a consolation! What a Heaven below! O Lord, visit us this day; though indeed we are not worthy that thou shouldest come under our roof.

But more was promised: the Lord would bring them out. They would find in Egypt a cold welcome when Joseph was dead; nay, it would become to them a house of bondage. But it was not to be so for ever; they would come out of it by a divine deliverance, and march to the land of promise. We shall not weep here for ever. We shall be called home to the glory-land to join our dear ones. Wherefore, “comfort one another with these words.”

 

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