VIDEO Fresh Air: Focusing on Moments of Fresh Faith, Renewed Strength

The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. 2 Corinthians 4:16, PHILLIPS


Olive Westerman celebrated her one hundredth birthday in Chester, England. When a reporter asked her the secret to longevity, she said, “Avoid talking to strange men and you’ll be just fine.”1

Good advice! But even if we live to be one hundred or more, our bodies suffer wear and tear. God has promised to give us fresh strength in our inward soul. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would “be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). Deuteronomy 33:25 says, “As your days, so shall your strength be.”

How do we gain this fresh strength? How does God impart His strength? Perhaps you feel unusually weak today. Ask God for strength on the basis of 2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 3:16, and Deuteronomy 33:25. God loves to be reminded of His promises. Don’t talk to a strange man. Talk to the Stranger of Galilee, and He will bestow the strength you need today.

You cannot make the strength of today suffice for the needs of tomorrow, but in every fresh period you must seek fresh strength from above.
From the 1870 devotional book, Life’s Evening

1 Maureen Mackey, “Woman Celebrating 100th Birthday Has Tip for Others: ‘Avoid Strange Men,’” Fox News, January 26, 2023.

The Glorious Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:1-18)

Keep in Touch

Pray to your Father. Matthew 6:6

Madeleine L’Engle made it a habit to call her mother once a week. As her mother moved into her later years, the beloved spiritual writer called more frequently, “just to keep in touch.” In the same way, Madeleine liked her children to call and maintain that connection. Sometimes it was a lengthy conversation filled with significant questions and answers. Other times a call simply making sure the number was still valid was sufficient. As she wrote in her book Walking on Water, “It is good for the children to keep in touch. It is good for all of us children to keep in touch with our Father.”

Most of us are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13. But the verses that precede it are just as important, for they set the tone for what follows. Our prayers aren’t to be showy, “to be seen by others” (v. 5). And while there’s no limit on how long our prayers need to be, “many words” (v. 7) doesn’t automatically equate to quality prayer. The emphasis seems to be on maintaining regular contact with our Father who knows our need “before [we] ask him” (v. 8). Jesus stresses how good it is for us to keep in touch with our Father. Then instructs us: “This, then, is how you should pray” (v. 9).

Prayer is a good, vital choice for it keeps us in touch with the God and Father of us all.

By:  John Blase

Reflect & Pray

How can you better stay in touch with others? How have you experienced keeping in touch with the Father?

Father, thank You for knowing my needs before I even speak them.

What Prayer Is All About

If we spend time talking with the Lord each day, our relationship with Him will grow stronger Luke 11:5-13

When you ask a child, “What did you learn in school today?” it’s highly unlikely he or she will mention a fact you don’t already know. But you still love to listen. It’s an honor to be trusted with such attention, and being fully present and interested in the child’s life strengthens the bond you share. 

The same is true of us and the Lord. In Matthew 6:8, Jesus said, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Then you might wonder, Why would God want me to talk to Him about my needs if He already knows what they are? The answer is that it’s not about the need but the relationship prayer helps to build. 

The Lord is the “friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24John 15:15). And He desires for us to reap the blessings of seeing Him as the most important part of our life. This is what the apostle Paul was trying to tell the people of Athens in his famous sermon at Mars Hill: God “is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:27-28). It’s easy for us to lose sight of that fact, but prayer keeps us close to God and helps us to remember just how near He is.

Wise Men Lessons

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.” (Matthew 2:1)

We don’t know who these wise men were who came to worship Christ except that they saw “his star in the east” (Matthew 2:2). Some have speculated that they may have been Chaldeans who had some Scripture knowledge from Israel’s Babylonian captivity. Nevertheless, we can learn a few things from this verse.

First, it’s not always those who come from a religious background who give Christ great honor. Like the angelic notice to the shepherds at Christ’s birth, these men were from outside Israel. They were not of the scribes or Pharisees but came from a far country. Many of the strongest Christians are redeemed from the most unlikely and utterly lost backgrounds; “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).

Second, the incredible journey these men undertook points to their determination and diligence. They had no access to modern high-speed transportation but took upon themselves a long, slow, costly, dangerous journey to get to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

And finally, these men provide a striking example of faith. They believed in a Christ whom they had never seen, and when they arrived, they worshiped a King who was still a child and had not yet performed a single miracle to convince them or given a single teaching to persuade them. Nevertheless, they “fell down, and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:11).

The apostle Peter, who actually witnessed Christ’s miracles and teachings, exhorts us to a similar faith. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). JPT

Picture The Scene

Three years of camaraderie, miracles, and the infusion of His life into theirs, now culminating in a final meal together… before the tragic onslaught of denial and death.

In a few hours:

Judas would knife Him in the back.

Peter would crumble under pressure.

The rest would run away in fear.

Fully aware of these events, Jesus:

Knelt before Judas and lovingly washed his feet.

As He did Peter’s

And the rest.

It’s called unconditional love.

Grace unmerited.

Of this love the Lord Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for youAs I have loved you, so you must love one another.“(John 13:15, 34b)

QUESTION: To what extent of loving servanthood are you willing to go for the sake of those whom God has placed in your path?

Washing traitors’ feet and dying on an instrument of execution for a pack of rebels was His level of sacrifice.

What is yours?

“Thy will be done.”

Deuteronomy 1:34-38

Moses was not permitted to cross the Jordan and take possession of the promised land; we will, on this occasion, hear from his own lips the reason of his exclusion. It does not appear to have been announced to him at the time when the sentence was passed upon all those who came out of Egypt, but thirty-eight years after, at the second smiting of the rock.

Deuteronomy 1:34

Not merely the words themselves, but the inner speech of their hearts, which the words did not fully express; the Lord heard the voice of their words,

Deuteronomy 1:35, 36

God’s oath was steadfast, and not one of that generation crossed the Jordan save Caleb and Joshua. The Lord notes and rewards the fidelity of individuals, and screens his faithful ones from many of the judgments which fall upon his erring church. Blessed are they who in all things endeavour to follow their Lord’s tracks.

Deuteronomy 1:37

Because his example had not, in the case of the smitten rock, tended to sanctify the Lord’s name among the people. If we are placed in eminent office, God will not only judge the fault itself, but he will consider the ill effect it may have upon his people.

Deuteronomy 1:38

Who but a meek man could obey the command? To encourage the man who is to supersede us is hard for flesh and blood, and the more so if that man has for years been our servant.

Deuteronomy 3:23-28

Deuteronomy 3:25

Moses prayed humbly for a reversal of the sentence which excluded him from Canaan, and he may have felt encouraged to do so because there was no oath against him as against the people. But he who prevailed for others pleaded in vain for himself. His prayer was powerful in argument, and humbly presented, and yet it was denied. It is not everything that a good man asks that God will give, for there are some points in which he shews himself supreme, and bids us cry, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

Deuteronomy 3:26

To Jesus only it belongs to be always heard without limit. A Moses may plead in vain—can we wonder if sometimes we are denied?

Deuteronomy 3:27

If we do not have such an issue to our prayers as we expected, we shall nevertheless have an answer of peace. Moses saw Canaan on earth, and as the vision melted away he saw the better land above. He was a great gainer by not having his petition granted him.

Deuteronomy 3:28

It is very comforting to know that when one good man dies another is ready to take his place. God is never at a loss for a man. His people shall not fail for lack of a leader.

Moses beheld the promised land,

Yet never reach’d the place;

But Christ shall bring his followers home,

To see his Father’s face.

Of Canaan’s land, from Pisgah’s top,

Grant me, my Lord, a view;

Though Jordan should o’erflow its banks,

With thee I’ll venture through.

God Would Impart Himself with His Gifts

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Have you had any part in the modern cheapening of the Christian gospel by making God your servant? Have you allowed leanness to come to your soul because you have been expecting that God would come around with a basket, giving away presents?

I feel that we must repudiate this great modern wave of seeking God for His benefits. Anyone can write a best-selling book now—just give it a title like “Seventeen Ways to Get Things from God!”

I would say there are millions who do not seem to know or understand that God wants to give Himself! He wants to impart Himself with His gifts. Any gift that He would give us would be incomplete if it were separated from the knowledge of God Himself.

If I should pray for all of the spiritual gifts listed in Paul’s epistles and the Spirit of God should see fit to give them, it would be extremely dangerous for me if, in the giving, God did not give Himself as well.

It is a fact that God has created an environment for all of His creatures. Because God made man in His image and redeemed him, the heart of God Himself is the true environment for the Christian. If there is grief in heaven, I think it must come because we want God’s gifts but we do not want God Himself as our environment!