Tag Archives: Strength

Dead Fish Go With The Flow!

Dead Fish Go With The Flow!

Adapted From Calvin Schlabach

“BE DIFFERENT! Don’t go with the flow!” we are urged. “Don’t follow the crowd! Even a dead fish can float downstream.” It does not take any effort or work on the part of a fish to go with the flow and drift downstEven a dead fish can float. Only a living and healthy fish can swim against the current and travel upstream. In the same way, any weak Christian can live like the world; it takes a vital, healthy faith to enable someone to stand on their convictions, firm against the tide of opinion and the example of unbelievers.

Perhaps we can carry the analogy a bit further. With the polluted condition of many of our modern streams and rivers, it is not only dead fish that float downstream. Trash, industrial waste, and pollutants of one kind or another floats downstream. A fish that travels in that direction finds itself swimming in increasingly fouled and filthy waters. The purest, cleanest waters are found farther upstream nearer the source, where people rarely go. What kind of water would you rather swim in? What kind of life would you rather have? Pure waters are reached only by swimming against the current!

Obviously, we do not want to be one of those wimpy, weak-willed, dead-fish Christians; yet it is so easy to go with the flow and follow the crowd. If we carelessly live like everyone else, we will find ourselves surrounded by the pollution of sin. Is there any way out of this mess? What does it take for us to be able to swim against the current and move farther upstream? I suggest that we need to concentrate on five main points.

Convictions

We will have to know what we believe and then hold to it strongly, for, as it has often been said, those who stand for nothing will fall for anything. We are given the teachings of the apostles and prophets so that we may “no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). We must read our Bibles, accept the principles we find there as our standard of conduct, and then stand firmly on scriptural convictions! How rare it is to see that today! Most of us are so caught up in feelings and tradition, we do not allow truth to shine through.

Courage

The unbelievers will not make it to heaven: “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). When they see that God’s way will require them to leave the false security of doing what all the rest of the world is doing and strike out on their own, their hearts will fail them. Rather than standing against the crowd with the courage of convictions (Romans 8:31), they take the easy way out, turning back to the world, to sin and condemnation. Joshua said, “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go” (1:9).

Strength

We must have power and might to stand firmly against the flood of evil that would swiftly sweep us downstream to our destruction. Paul said, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). We could not successfully withstand temptation and sin that threatens our spiritual well-being by ourselves. Therefore, we are called to “be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Fortified with power that comes only from God (Ephesians 3:16), we can say with Paul, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Endurance

For most of us, the Christian race is not a brief sprint to the finish line, but rather it is a long, grueling marathon. Listen to the words of the Hebrew writer, “You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised … ‘My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him’” (10:36, 38). It is so sad to see those who have started on the Christian way later give up, forfeiting the race. They did not have the the long-distance endurance to run the race through to the end. Therefore, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Heavenly Goals

The reason we want to travel upstream is because we are seeking something better and higher than the careless world around us. We are not trying to be different from the world just for the sake of being different. We are different because we are pursuing different goals. We have to keep these goals continually before us. Paul said, “Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is … Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). Raise your sights! Don’t follow the foolish crowd!

A Holy New Year’s Resolution!

A Holy New Year’s Resolution!

(Matthew Henry)

“My times are in Your hand!” Psalm 31:15

Firmly believing that my times are in God’s hand, I here submit myself and all my affairs for the ensuing year, to the wise and gracious disposal of God’s divine providence. Whether God appoints for me . . . .

health — or sickness,
peace — or trouble,
comforts — or crosses,
life — or death

— may His holy will be done!

All my time, strength, and service, I devote to the honor of the Lord Jesus — and even my common actions. It is my earnest expectation, hope, and desire, my constant aim and endeavor — that Jesus Christ may be magnified in me.

In everything I have to do — my entire dependence is upon Jesus Christ for strength. And whatever I do in word or deed, I desire to do all in His name, to make Him my Alpha and Omega. I have all from Him — and I would use all for Him.

If this should prove a year of affliction, a sorrowful year to me — I will fetch all my supports and comforts from the Lord Jesus and stay myself upon Him, His everlasting consolations, and the good hope I have in Him through grace.

And if it should be my dying year — then my times are in the hand of the Lord Jesus. And with a humble reliance upon His mediation, I would venture into the eternal world looking for the blessed hope. Dying as well as living — Jesus Christ will, I trust, be gain and advantage to me.

Oh, that the grace of God may be sufficient for me, to keep me always in a humble sense of my own unworthiness, weakness, folly, and infirmity — together with a humble dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ for daily grace and strength.

Steady Perseverance In Holiness

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The lives of some professing Christians are a series of stumbles; they are never quite down and yet they are seldom on their feet. This is not a fit thing for a believer. He is invited to walk with God; by faith he can attain steady perseverance in holiness, and he should do so.

Charles H. Spurgeon

Christianity Is Not A Formula

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“Christianity is not a formula, but the Person of Jesus Himself. Never think that Christianity is a matter of adjusting behavior, but rather, of letting Christ live through us in His strength and power.”

Malcolm Smith

Help Each Other Be Strong

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Hebrews 10:22-25 Easy-to-Read Version

Sprinkled with the blood of Christ, our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. So come near to God with a sincere heart, full of confidence because of our faith in Christ. We must hold on to the hope we have, never hesitating to tell people about it. We can trust God to do what he promised.

Help Each Other Be Strong

We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works. We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer.

The Most Excellent Way

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1 Corinthians 12:31 The Voice 

Pursue the greater gifts, and let me tell you of a more excellent way—love.

1 Corinthians 13  The Voice

Gifts of the Spirit, which are intended to strengthen the church body, often divide the body because members of the church elevate those who possess the more visible gifts over those whose gifts function in the background. In fact, this is the very problem facing the Corinthians. So while talking about the importance and function of these gifts in chapters 12 and 14, Paul shifts his focus to the central role love plays in a believer’s life in chapter 13. Love is essential for the body to be unified and for members to work together. Members of the body that are very different, with little in common, are able to appreciate and even enjoy others because of the love that comes when a life is submitted to God.

What if I speak in the most elegant languages of people or in the exotic languages of the heavenly messengers, but I live without love? Well then, anything I say is like the clanging of brass or a crashing cymbal. 2 What if I have the gift of prophecy, am blessed with knowledge and insight to all the mysteries, or what if my faith is strong enough to scoop a mountain from its bedrock, yet I live without love? If so, I am nothing. 3 I could give all that I have to feed the poor, I could surrender my body to be burned as a martyr, but if I do not live in love, I gain nothing by my selfless acts.

Paul boils it all down for the believers in Corinth. Religious people often spend their time practicing rituals, projecting dogma, and going through routines that might look like Christianity on the outside but that lack the essential ingredient that brings all of it together—love! It is a loving God who birthed creation and now pursues a broken people in the most spectacular way. That same love must guide believers, so faith doesn’t appear to be meaningless noise.

4 Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; 5 it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs 6 or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! 7 Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. 8 Love will never become obsolete. Now as for the prophetic gifts, they will not last; unknown languages will become silent, and the gift of knowledge will no longer be needed. 9 Gifts of knowledge and prophecy are partial at best, at least for now, 10 but when the perfection and fullness of God’s kingdom arrive, all the parts will end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke, thought, and reasoned in childlike ways as we all do. But when I became a man, I left my childish ways behind. 12 For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things, as when we stare into polished metal. I realize that everything I know is only part of the big picture. But one day, when Jesus arrives, we will see clearly, face-to-face. In that day, I will fully know just as I have been wholly known by God. 13 But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love.

Grace Is Power, Not Just Pardon

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Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon. Therefore the effort we make to obey God is not an effort done in our own strength, but in the strength which God supplies.

John Piper

Don’t You Know, Havn’t You Heard?

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Isaiah 40:21-31 (VOICE)

Don’t you know, haven’t you heard or even been told from your earliest memories how the earth came to be? Who else could have done it except God, enthroned high above the earth? From such a vantage people seem like grasshoppers to Him. Who else but God could stretch out the skies as if they were a curtain, draw them tight, suspend them over our heads like the roof of a tent? 

God reduces the rulers and judges, the rich and powerful of the earth, to nothing; They scarcely are planted, take root and start growing, before God blows a withering breath, And storm winds carry them away like chaff. The Holy One asks, “Do you really think you can find someone or something to compare to Me? My equal?” Look at the myriad of stars and constellations above you. Who set them to burning, each in its place? Who knows those countless lights each by name? They obediently shine, each in its place, because God has the great strength and strong power to make it so.

Why, then, do you, Jacob, inheritors of God’s promise, you, Israel, chosen of God—Why do you say, “My troubled path is hidden from the Eternal; God has lost all interest in My cause”? Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Eternal, the Everlasting God, The Creator of the whole world, never gets tired or weary. His wisdom is beyond understanding. God strengthens the weary and gives vitality to those worn down by age and care. Young people will get tired; strapping young men will stumble and fall.

But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run—never winded, never weary.
They will walk—never tired, never faint.

My Fortress

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Psalm 18:1-3 (VOICE)

I love You, Eternal One, source of my power.
The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my salvation;
He is my True God, the stronghold in which I hide,
my strong shield, the horn that calls forth help, and my tall-walled tower.
I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—
that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.

The Person You Made Me To Be

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Father, we both know that the selfish pleasures of the world will spoil and ruin the body You’ve given me. Help me to stop choosing things that will wear me down. Give me strength to choose the things that will build me up so that I can be the person you made me to be. Amen.

Are You Paying Interest?

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Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. It does not enable us to escape evil. It makes us unfit to face evil when it comes. It is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes.
Corrie ten Boom

“The way to worry about nothing is to pray about everything”

God Is The Strength!

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Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:23-26

Depression

 

Whilst writing “My Testimony” I found this song hiding in my hard drive.

 

Depression

Written by Steve Rebus

 

 

As I wake up I slowly realise,

That I face another day with darkened eyes,

As it hits me I have to refrain,

From the thoughts wishing me dead again!

 

Pure isolation, I dream of escape,

My hopes and ambitions I’ve had to forsake,

Panic, despair, my hand grips the knife,

I pray for the strength to end this sad life!!

 

(chorus)

Depression,

Comes like the darkest night,

Depression,

No glimmer of hope, no sign of light.

 

I feel the torment build deep inside,

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide,

It has to happen now, I need a release,

I hope suicide will finally bring me peace!

 

(chorus)

 

As I look back with love in my heart,

My Chains are gone, i have a new start,

The Lord is my refuge, my strength, my home,

The darkness has gone, I’m no longer alone!

 

 © Steve Rebus

📖 Verse of Hope

John 14:1-4

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

More songs:

The Prodigal Son

Captivity of Negativity

I’m not afraid to die

 

Deliver me

✞ Prayer 4 2day! 

“Thank you, dear Father! You are not only the God of the heavens, but you are also my God. You know me and care about me. You hear my cries for help and mercy. You share my struggles and burdens. Please deliver me from every enemy, both physical and spiritual, and give me boldness to stand firm in my faith in you. In Jesus’ name I ask this. Amen.”

Through the centuries

✞ Prayer 4 2day! 

Heavenly Father and LORD of all things, I am confident that you will accomplish your will and purpose in me. Seeing how you loved and worked through the centuries with the everyday people I find in Scripture, I know your love will last long after I am gone from this place. However, dear LORD, I do face some struggles and difficulties and I ask you to please intervene with your grace and power in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Strength

✞ Quote 4 2day! 

“Strength is the capacity to break a bar of chocolate into four pieces with you bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”


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