VIDEO God’s Strength Made Perfect

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29

 

Christiana Tsai (1890-1984) was converted to Christ in missionary school in China. Her family was furious, yet over time Christiana managed to win 55 of her loved ones to Christ. In 1930, she was stricken with malaria, which left her debilitated. She became sensitive to light and noise, and she remained confined to a dark room from 1931 until her death in 1984. But her ministry grew despite her weakness, with many people visiting her bedside and finding Christ. 

“From her bed as a pulpit, she led countless people to accept Christ. Drawn by the Holy Spirit, people traveled from many parts of the world to visit her. She seldom refused to see anyone no matter how unwell she felt.”[1]

All of us long for good health, and we worry about sickness, illness, injury, and disease. While our concern is normal and natural, we need to remember how mightily God can use us regardless of how we feel from day to day. We can be spiritually strong in Christ, even when we are physically weak.

Clouds may gather over our home in times of sickness or bereavement; but the influence of a sweet Christian character shines through the clouds with a golden radiance, bringing a lasting blessing.

Christiana Tsai

[1]Margaret Lamberts Bendroth and Virginia Lieson Brereton, ed., Women and Twentieth-Century Protestantism(Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002), 158.


Verse of the Day – Isaiah 40:31 | Life Without Limbs

Faith Investments

Teach [these words of mine] to your children. Deuteronomy 11:19

On his twelfth Christmas, the boy eagerly awaited the opening of the gifts under the tree. He was yearning for a new bike, but his hopes were dashed—the last present he received was a dictionary. On the first page, he read: “To Charles from Mother and Daddy, 1958. With love and high hopes for your best work in school.”

In the next decade, Chuck did do well in school. He graduated from college and later, aviation training. He became a pilot working overseas, fulfilling his passion to help people in need and to share Jesus with them. Now some sixty years after receiving this gift, he shared the well-worn dictionary with his grandchildren. It had become for him a symbol of his parents’ loving investment in his future, and Chuck still treasures it. But he’s even more grateful for the daily investment his parents made in building his faith by teaching him about God and the Scriptures.

Deuteronomy 11 talks about the importance of taking every opportunity to share the words of Scripture with children: “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (v. 19).

For Chuck, the eternal values planted when he was a boy bloomed into a lifetime of service for his Savior. With God’s enablement, who knows how much our investment in someone’s spiritual growth will yield.

By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

Who invested in your spiritual life as you were growing up? How can you direct children’s hearts to the wisdom found in Scripture?

Father, help me take time to read the Bible and share it with others.

Download these seven devotionals from Our Daily Bread for Kids at go.odb.org/ODBforKids-7.

Learning to Wait

Psalm 25

What are we to think when we have prayed but the Lord doesn’t answer? As creatures limited by time, we can find waiting very frustrating. However, God doesn’t perceive time as we do. He knows the end of a matter before it has even begun. His knowledge reaches from eternity past to eternity future, and nothing is hidden from His sight.

Furthermore, His compassion and lovingkindness surround those who belong to Him. He allows difficult circumstances in our life, not to destroy us but rather to build up our faith and bring us to spiritual maturity. Sometimes He withholds answers because they are not spiritually beneficial for us.

Psalm 25:9-10 teaches that waiting on the Lord requires at least three things:

1. Instead of demanding that God do things our way, we must humble ourselves so He can teach us His ways.
2. We must trust the Lord’s leadership, knowing that all His paths are established on His lovingkindness and truth.
3. We must be obedient to Him—which sometimes requires waiting and trusting.

If God seems slow in answering your prayer, realize that He hasn’t left you but is redirecting you onto His path.

Prophecy

“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18)

Two types of prophecy must be distinguished. When a prophet foretells or predicts, he represents the future in light of the present. But frequently the prophetic message consisted of rebuking, reproving, counseling, or admonishing, i.e., forth-telling rather than foretelling. As such, he portrays the present in light of the future.

It is the predictive type of prophecy that provides such a strong argument for rational faith. Neither human intuition about the future nor limited Satanic control of the future can account for the hundreds of specific biblical prophecies that have been literally and specifically fulfilled. These could only come by divine revelation from the One who both knows and controls the future.

Actually, predictive prophecy provides a double defense: Not only does it prove the divine origin, inspiration, and authority of Scripture, but since over half of the prophecies converge on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, it advocates His deity and Messiahship. One could hardly read Isaiah 52:13–53:12 or Psalm 22 without recognizing that these are prophetic portraits of Christ on the cross. Others, equally specific, deal with other aspects of His life and ministry.

Still others predict the coming Kingdom to be set up by Christ, in which we as believers will have a part. Having seen so many prophecies literally fulfilled, we can have complete confidence that these others will come to pass as well. “We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). JDM

The Need for Illumination

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. —1 Corinthians 2:14

The doctrine of the inability of the human mind and the need for divine illumination is so fully developed in the New Testament that it is nothing short of astonishing that we should have gone so far astray about the whole thing…. Everywhere among conservatives we find persons who are Bible-taught but not Spirit-taught. They conceive truth to be something which they can grasp with the mind. If a man holds to the fundamentals of the Christian faith he is thought to possess divine truth. But it does not follow. There is no truth apart from the Spirit. The most brilliant intellect may be imbecilic when confronted with the mysteries of God. For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God equal to the original act which inspired the text….

Conservative Christians in this day are stumbling over this truth. We need to reexamine the whole thing. We need to learn that truth consists not in correct doctrine, but in correct doctrine plus the inward enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. We must declare again the mystery of wisdom from above. A re-preachment of this vital truth could result in a fresh breath from God upon a stale and suffocating orthodoxy.   POM076-077, 084

Lord, help me to heed this reminder that even Your inspired text is not alive until the Holy Spirit takes it and enlightens the recipients. May the Holy Spirit indeed take what I teach and imbed it in the hearts and minds of my hearers. Amen.

The Voice Within

I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints. —Psalm 85:8

I once slipped into a noonday service in New York City and I heard something I will never be able to forget.

A minister speaking that day said: “We assume that if a man has heard the Christian gospel he has been enlightened. But that is a false assumption. Just to have heard a man preach truth from the Bible does not necessarily mean that you have been enlightened.”

God’s voice must speak from within to bring enlightenment. It must be the Spirit of God speaking soundlessly within….

I believe that God has related these somehow: the voice of conviction in the conscience and the Holy Spirit, the point of contact, witnessing within man’s being. A person has not been illuminated until that voice begins to sound within him.

Men and women need to be told that it may be fatal to silence the inner voice. It is always perilous to resist the conscience within; but it may be fatal to silence that voice, to continue to ignore that speaking voice within! EFE066-067

[W]hen we fail to hear His voice, it is not because He is not speaking so much as that we are not listening. JAS014

Christ of the Human Road

Luke 24:13-35

Following Christ’s crucifixion, two crestfallen disciples were making their way down the dusty road to Emmaus, some seven miles from Calvary. Their sun had set at midday. Jesus had been impaled on a Roman cross and was now in a tomb. All their bright promise of tomorrow had been turned into the tragic frustration of yesterday. The word “finished” had suddenly been inserted by the hand of fate into the middle of what had promised to be the greatest story ever told.

There is a poignant and bewildering regret in their sorrowing words, “We had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). Their dream had been shattered and their bright hope had been nailed to an ignominious cross. They were mourning not only the loss of a cherished companion but the loss of hope itself.

The text has a special message for those for whom someone, or something, precious has been snatched away. When we walk the road of loss or sorrow, there is One who will come and walk beside us and bring hope.

“He opened the Scriptures to us” was the joyous exclamation of the two Emmaus travelers. What an exposition that must have been! The Light of the World illuminating the Word! He whose luster radiated from its pages, revealed its sacred mysteries. Under the illumination of the divine Expositor they now saw the cross in the light of ancient prophecy, and that inglorious tree gleamed with a glory of which they had never dreamed.

Christ wants to open the Scriptures to us. He wants us to see new things in the old Book. When we walk life’s pathway with Christ the Bible becomes aglow with new meaning.

“Stay with us,” they petitioned, “for it is nearly evening, the day is almost over” (Luke 24:29). If they had not offered that prayer, Jesus would not have lingered with them. Think of what they would have missed!

The stupendous truth of the resurrection was vouchsafed to these two ordinary, nondescript disciples—Cleopas and, what’s his name, or her name? Jesus companioned with them until that seven miles of country road seemed as a golden path ending in a celestial city.

Still today, in our common ways of life, the Savior floods our prosaic paths with His peerless glory. The reality of the risen and reigning Lord on our road of life turns our Good Fridays into Easter Sundays!

Henry Gariepy, The War Cry