TRUTH: The Amor of God: Be Strong in the Lord

The World’s Strongest Man is a strongman competition that ranks competitors based on placing in the top three at the four to eight Giants Live events each year. Men are asked to demonstrate tremendous physical strength and endurance in those events. The common definition of strength is the ability to exert a force against a resistance; however, not all strength is physical. Just ask a mother who endures 17 hours of labor or the Prisoner of War (POW) who is held captive for more than a year. We all would agree that we need different types to strength to overcome the challenges of life. TRUTH: The Amor of God: Be Strong in the Lord

In the bible, God calls on man to exhibit spiritual strength. A common word for strength/strong in the Old Testament is chazaq (khä·zak’). One examples is when Moses was conferring leadership of the Iraelites to Joshua. Moses said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”(Deuteronomy 31:6)” Another example from the Old Testament is where David supported Solomon as God’s man to build the temple in 1 Chronicles 28. David said, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” While there are many other accounts of strength/strong, I want to end with Zechariah 4:6 where he is told ““This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” The message was not military strength or any other form of power, apart from God, is to be depended upon. God’s people were repeatedly told not to depend on military power and foreign alliances to accomplish their calling (Is. 31:1–3Ps. 20:7–9). In the Old Testament, The Spirit of God is often portrayed as the One who enables God’s servants to do God’s work and overcome obstacles. Even Jesus, the prophesied Servant of the Lord, the Messiah, is described in such terms (Is. 11:242:161:1). TRUTH: The Amor of God: Be Strong in the Lord

In the New Testament, a common word for strength/strong is endynamoō (en-dü-nä-mo’-ō) which means to be strong, endue with strength, strengthen or to receive strength, be strengthened, increase in strength. Paul uses an Old Testament figure, Abraham, to communicate how we are strengthened in Romans 4:20. The verse says, “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,” We see Paul say that in Ephesians 6 which has been our text for the past few weeks. TRUTH: The Amor of God: Be Strong in the Lord

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

In Ephesians 1, Paul prayed for the Ephesians, so that they would know the exceeding greatness of God’s power towards us who believe. He noted that that it was the same power by which Christ was raised from the dead. With physical strength, we measure the difficulty by the weight or pounds one has to lift or move. With spiritual strength, we measure the difficulty by the ability of God who does the work, and when God is the one who does the work nothing is too difficult/hard or impossible. Again, Paul confirms the notion that believers and followers of Christ are strengthened through the Holy Spirit in Philippians 4:13 which says, “ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

TRUTH: The Amor of God: Be Strong in the Lord. Paul wants the believers to know where their strength or power comes from for this fight or battle that he is about to tell them about. We are in a fight, but just as God told King Jehoshaphat and all who lived in Judah and Jerusalem! “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

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