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Jan 9th

Rev. E. Anderson

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

You have been placed in a very advantageous position in and with Christ. You have not only been forgiven and freed from sin by Him, He now indwells you and enables you to sit enthroned with Him in heavenly places where from this state, you are to reign and rule over Satan, sin and self. No longer are you the victim but the victor. Instead of being dictated to you now have the capability in Christ of overcoming the negative foes and forces that have sought your destruction. This year it is appropriate for you to move through your ascendant state into being more than a conqueror. So today, let us see this spiritual mastery in evidence so that you are a dynamic contributor to the kingdom of God.

DAILY MEDITATION

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY – Ezekiel 18

The Lord made it perfectly clear that every person was responsible for their own decisions and conduct. No one could blame someone else for their choices and actions. As far as He was concerned, each individual was accountable for the way they believed and behaved. Children could not associate fault to their parents and neither could parents attach blame to their offspring in relation to themselves. Everyone had to face up to the fact that they had a mind, conscience and will of their own, therefore, they would be personally answerable to God.

If the people chose to do evil then there would be a heavy price to pay for choosing this way of living. The clear message was; “the soul who sins is the one who will die” – v4. It was necessary for all to understand that they must make the decision to opt for the life of righteousness so that they do not fall into condemnation and divine judgment. The appeal of this section by the Lord, to one and all, was that they would repent and turn from their evil ways and opt for the path of His righteousness. He finds no pleasure whatsoever in the death of the wicked.

In a world where everyone seems to blame others for its terrible condition, each one must be made to face up to their own personal responsibility and accountability. There must be no running away from the fact that God holds the individual liable for the manner in which they conduct themselves. It is imperative to distinguish between sin and righteousness and to opt to travel the virtuous and moral road that God approves of. In realizing the consequence of evil and the blessedness of that which is right, the right choices should be made.

SERMON FOR THE WEEK

THE STRENGTHENING LORD - PHILIPPIANS 4

ESSENTIAL: For life to make progress and be a huge success, then a main ingredient is strength. This is so both naturally and spiritually. One, for instance, can never be a potent sportsman without the abundance of energy and drive and other factors. It is imperative to be strong and able if one is going to really make it. The same can be said in the things of God. There can be no real accomplishment for God in the way He has determined unless there is the input and output of divine strength.

RECOGNITION: Paul had reached such a peak in his experience that he could honestly affirm : “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” – Phil. 4:13. That is some declaration! As far as he was concerned he had reached a point in his spiritual career when he thought and felt he could cope with anything and anyone that presented themselves as a challenge through the Lord. He was so reinforced by the indwelling and reigning Christ that all oppositions and obstacles were there to be taken and overcome. He could say with the psalmist of old: “the Lord is the strength of my life” – Psalm 27: 1.

OMNIPOTENCE: It is true and right to state that the omnipotence of God is at the disposal of every believer to draw upon in all of life’s situations. His strength is there to minister so that all kinds of impossible things from the human angle will be realized. This strength is able to flow in and enable the performance of staggering things. Here are a few to note in Biblical history.

1/. DIVINE STRENGTH TO CONCEIVE, HOLD A PREGNANCY AND BITH – SARAH

A woman is called to bring forth a child at the incredible age of ninety. The Lord gave a sacred promise to His servant and friend Abraham that his wife would conceive and give him a son. He kept them waiting at least 25 years before bringing the word to pass. This was a deliberate ploy on the part of God because He wanted to prove to Abraham both His love and power. He also would reveal His capability to Sarah. In Heb. 11: 11 it is affirmed: “Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age…” She saw things to a conclusion through divine life and energy.

2/. DIVINE STRENGTH TO CONTINUE UNTIL REALIZATION OF DREAM – JOSEPH

Much was forecast with regard to this fine teenager but little did he realize that he would be utterly weakened from a human standpoint yet made strong by God to face formidable things that would have devastated many. So much went wrong before they ultimately came right. What the Lord was seeking to teach him in the process and proceedings that he needed the inflow of His strength and power. And it happened – c.f. Psalm 105:19 margin “his soul came into iron.” Genesis 49: 23, 24.

3/. DIVINE STRENGTH TO EFFECT DELIVERANCE AND LEAD A PEOPLE – MOSES

One of the outstanding, courageous leaders of all time had to be reinforced by Jehovah. He allowed him to be an utter failure and met him at a time and age when it looked all up for Moses. But the Lord did a marvellous work of renewal and strengthening so that he was able to take on the might of Pharaoh and Egypt and take hold of the leadership of a desperate nation. In Exodus 3 we see the Lord nerving and arming him for the major task. What a success story it became!

4/. DIVINE STRENGTH TO PERSIST UNTIL PRAYER IS ANSWERED – HANNAH

There is no give in this woman until she obtains her heart’s desire and it all fell within the will of God – 1 Sam. 1. She is galvanized by God and determined to get her answer from on high.

5/. DIVINE STRENGTH TO COMMAND A BATTLE AND WIN – GIDEON

The Lord found this man in a weak frame of mind and spirit but he was willing and so was made strong to achieve a resounding victory for Israel at a depressed time in her history – Judges 6 & 7.

6/. DIVINE STRENGTH TO MOVE INTO THE ROLE OF INTERCESSOR – ESTHER

She never had it in her, and she knew it, but looked to the Lord to aid her in making intercession for her people that were in great jeopardy – Esther 4.

7/. DIVINE STRENGTH TO A NEW CHALLENGE OF WORK – NEHEMIAH

No one would underestimate the formidable challenge that was placed before this individual who had been fulfilling the role of the king’s cup-bearer. What a sight met his gaze as he viewed the broken walls of Jerusalem! What a prospect and with the certainty of a sinister and cruel opposition! But with unwearyingly mind and will the task was set about with the Lord’s input – c.f. Neh. 4:2, 6,23.

8/. DIVINE STRENGTH TO FULFIL AN APOSTOLIC CAREEER – PAUL

To review the life and work of Paul and to take note of His testimony reveals that he was able to get through a tremendous work load. He also had to deal with a host of things physically that would have destroyed many – c.f. 2 Cor. 11. He certainly had his endurance tests but succeeded in all.

The promise of God is directed to this end. It is stated: “Be strong in the Lord . . .” – Eph. 6:10 and that “His strength is made perfect in our weakness” – 2 Cor. 12: 9.

 

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