VIDEO The Strength You Have

Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you? Judges 6:14, NIV

Gideon was a young soldier whose nation had been battered into poverty by the Midianites. He was defeated in his spirit as he tried to hide in a winepress while threshing enough grain to keep his family alive. Suddenly the Lord appeared to him, commissioning him to lead his nation against Midian. “Go in the strength you have,” the Lord told him.

Gideon didn’t feel he had much strength, but he had enough to fulfill God’s will. And that’s exactly how much strength you have. Weakness comes and goes, depending on illness, age, and the demands of life. But we are stronger than we realize, for the Lord is our Strength and our Salvation. He will always give you enough strength for what He intends for you to do.

Erwin Lutzer said, “A faithful God does not expect you to do what you cannot; He supplies the needed strength.” As we faithfully serve God, He gives us the strength we need for the tasks He has placed in front of us. So go in the strength you have.

Do you need strength? Peace? Wisdom? Direction? Discipline? Ask for it! God will hear you. Charles Swindoll


This Might of Yours – Judges 6:14

Standing Boldly

Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

In a small Illinois town, domestic violence comprises 40 percent of all crimes in the community. According to a local pastor, this issue is often hidden in our faith communities because it’s uncomfortable to talk about. So instead of shying away from the problem, local ministers chose to exercise faith and courageously address the issue by taking classes to recognize the signs of violence and supporting nonprofit organizations working on the issue. Acknowledging the power of faith and action, a local minister said, “Our prayers and compassion, coupled with some tangible support, can make an important difference.” 

When Esther, Queen of Persia, was hesitant to speak out against a law that authorized the genocide of her people, she was warned by her uncle that if she remained silent, she and her family wouldn’t escape but would perish (Esther 4:13–14). Knowing it was time to be bold and take a stand, Mordecai queried, “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (v. 14). Whether we are called to speak out against injustice or to forgive someone who’s caused us distress, the Bible assures us that in challenging circumstances, God will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5–6). When we look to Him for help in moments where we feel intimidated, He’ll give us “power, love, and self-discipline” to see our assignment through to the end (2 Timothy 1:7).

By:  Kimya Loder

Reflect & Pray

What might God be asking you to do? What tools have you already been given to answer the call?

Heavenly Father, thank You for placing a unique calling over my life. Help me to overcome my fears and step out in faith.

Our Helper in Bible Study

Are you asking the Lord to help you understand His Word?

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Have you ever wondered why some people can read the Bible without understanding it? The reason is because it’s God’s revealed Word and to comprehend it requires His wisdom. Those who don’t know Christ have no ability to understand the things of God. But those of us who’ve been saved have the Spirit of God within us; He illumines our mind and teaches us divine truths.

In John 14:16-17, Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as the Helper. The truth is, no matter how spiritually mature or immature we are, we need His assistance every time we open our Bible. He teaches us the true meaning of the text and helps us connect concepts throughout the Word in order to gain greater understanding. Then, as we integrate each truth into our mind and life, He reveals more. The satisfaction and excitement we experience in learning and growing energizes us to keep digging into God’s unfathomable Word. 

To make the most of your time in Scripture, prepare beforehand. Ask the Lord to forgive you of any sin and cleanse your heart. Then request that He open your mind to His truths and give you a teachable and submissive spirit. 

What Shall We Do?

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28)

This question is often asked by people who try to work their way into heaven. It was also asked in various ways by men in the New Testament, and it is vitally important to get the correct answer to such questions there and nowhere else.

For example, a rich young ruler once asked Jesus, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor…and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:17, 21). That is, there is nothing of his own that one can bring to Christ to earn salvation; one must simply be willing to yield himself fully to Christ.

A lawyer had asked Jesus the same question, “tempting him.” This time, His answer was, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27). But this standard is humanly unattainable by any child of Adam, so in effect, the lawyer was told it was impossible for him to do anything himself to inherit eternal life.

When the crowd asked Peter on the day of Pentecost, “pricked in their heart” because they had crucified Christ, “What shall we do?” Peter answered, “Repent, and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:37-38). What they had to “do” was an inward act of repentance and faith toward Christ and an outward public testimony demonstrating the reality of that inward change of heart and mind.

Years later at Philippi, a jailer asked Paul the apostle one night, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer was simply, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). HMM

Things Seen and Unseen

The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:18

Indeed it may be truthfully said that everything of lasting value in the Christian life is unseen and eternal. Things seen are of little real significance in the light of God’s presence. He pays small attention to the beauty of a woman or the strength of a man. With Him the heart is all that matters. The rest of the life comes into notice only because it represents the dwelling place of the inner eternal being.

The solution to life’s problems is spiritual because the essence of life is spiritual. It is astonishing how many difficulties clear up without any effort when the inner life gets straightened out.

If half the time we spend trying to fix up outward things were spent in getting our hearts right, we would be delighted with the result. NCA082-083

Christ will not dwell in our hearts, if we fill our hearts with things which He hates….To do wilfully and knowingly what God hates, destroys faith, and hope, and love. JAS133

The Elements of Prophecy

Because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.Romans 4:21

Prophecy is a revelation of God to humankind. It will take place at exactly the right time: “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie” (Hab 2:3). The time for the fulfillment is fixed by God, and it will come to pass at the exact moment that God foreordains.

Yet another element is that of foretelling the future. Here again, some Bible teachers object to this and say that prophecy is forth-telling rather than foretelling. It is quite true, of course, that prophecy is a form of teaching and therefore contains an element of forth-telling (speaking out the truth), but the true nature of prophecy lies in the fact that it is predictive. God told Habakkuk things that would happen long before they came to pass.

The last element of prophecy is that it will be fulfilled: “Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets … For the vision is yet for the appointed time” (vv. 2-3). The events God foretells are certain to take place—and in God’s time. The revelation may seem to be delayed, but nothing can prevent or frustrate its fulfillment.

How does all this relate to the more practical aspects of daily Christian living? Let me put the answer in the form of two questions: Has God given you a word or promise that is yet to be fulfilled? And does the delay cause you to wonder whether or not He has forgotten His promise? Then take heart—there are trains on His line until 11:59. What God has promised, He will most certainly perform.

Prayer

O God, I bring to You my doubts and uncertainties for You to put them to rest—forever. Today I want You to burn deep into me the conviction that nothing can ever stop Your Word from being fulfilled. Nothing. I am so thankful. Amen.

Further Study

Mt 5:1-18; 1Kg 8:56; Ps 111:7-8; Ezk 12:25

What did Christ promise concerning God’s Word?

Reaffirm your trust in His ability to fulfill His promise to you.

The Testimony of Others

“Here I am. Bring charges against me before the Lord and His anointed: Whose ox or donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged or mistreated? From whose hand have I taken a bribe to overlook something? I will return it to you.”

“You haven’t wronged us, you haven’t mistreated us, and you haven’t taken anything from anyone’s hand,” they responded.—1 Samuel 12:3–4

There is a freedom that comes in having nothing to hide. Living a life of integrity allows you this freedom. Your integrity is measured not by what you say about yourself but by what God and people say about you. Samuel had lived all his life among the people of God. Leaders who preceded him were dishonest and corrupt; it would have been easy for Samuel to compromise in his dealings as well. Near the end of his life, however, Samuel could boldly stand before his nation and ask them to reveal any offense he had committed against any of them. They could not think of one.

In his position of leadership, Samuel could have taken advantage of people. Yet because he carefully guarded his motives and kept his relationships blameless, Samuel could fearlessly ask the people to report if he had mistreated them in any way. It takes courage to open your life up to the scrutiny of others, but Samuel did not fear what others would say about him. He did not have to avoid anyone whom he had offended. He had a confidence that comes from living a blameless life.

If you have mistreated others, you cannot change the past, but you can choose to live with absolute integrity from this day forward. Living righteously frees you to face any person unashamedly, knowing you have behaved in a Christlike manner. If your reputation is stained, seek forgiveness from those you have offended. Ask God to guide you daily in your relationships so that you have no regrets about your treatment of others.