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Paul’s Prayer for Us


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29; Psalm 95; 2 Thessalonians 1

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

 

I really like reading Paul’s writings in the New Testament.  One of the things I especially like is that more often than not Paul prayed for the various churches to which he was writing.  In verses 11 and 12 in today’s key passage, Paul wrote, “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Paul was praying for three main things for his brothers and sisters in Christ in Thessalonica, and I believe that if he were talking to us today he would pray for the same three things for each of us.

First, Paul prayed that God’s power might strengthen us.  God’s power is evident in the wonders of His creation, and it is evident repeatedly in the Bible.  God displayed His power in the parting of the Red Sea, in the healing of the blind, and in paying the ultimate price for our sins through His Son Jesus Christ.  That power that is so miraculously on display throughout the Living Word is also available to each one of us today.  It is available to us when we are facing trials.  It is available to us in overcoming our fears and worries.  It is available to us in everything we do as long as we seek it.  Paul is praying that the awe-inspiring power of God would give each of us strength.

Secondly, Paul prayed that God’s purpose would be fulfilled in us.  While the strength of God is wonderful in helping us overcome trials or temptations, that same strength is also available to help us fulfill God’s purposes in the world.  Each and every one of us has a distinct purpose in this life.  Whether you know it or not, whether you believe it or not, you were put on this earth for a reason.  God has a purpose for you.  Maybe you have not found it yet.  Maybe you are still searching for it.  It does not matter how old you are.  It does not matter what sinful things you have done in the past.  It does not matter what position you are in right now.  God has a purpose for you, and Paul’s prayer is that His purpose will be fulfilled in you.

Finally, Paul prayed that God would be glorified through us.  One of God’s purposes for each of our lives is that He will be glorified through us and in us.  He wants our lives to be a living reflection of His glory.  To truly glorify God in our lives, we must live our lives like Jesus Christ himself.  In everything we do, we are to live a Christ-like life, and we are to let His light shine through us for everyone else to see.

When you put it all together, you can see the full picture of what Paul is really praying for each of us.  Paul is praying that God’s power will strengthen each one of us, and by that power, we will be able to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives, with one of those purposes being the glorification of God through us.  It is a beautiful prayer for the Thessalonians, and it is a beautiful prayer for each one of us.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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Finding Strength in Our Weaknesses


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 13; 1 Chronicles 2,3; 2 Corinthians 12

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

There are many times in the Bible when what we read seems to contradict what our earthly minds believe to be true.  Today’s key passage is a good example of this type of conflict.  The apostle Paul tells us that he has been given a “thorn” in his flesh to keep him from becoming conceited.  While we do not know exactly what this “thorn” was because Paul never provided details, some Biblical scholars have theorized that it might have been a disease such as malaria or epilepsy, or perhaps a problem with his vision.  Whatever the case, we can be sure it was some sort of physical ailment that made Paul’s mission in life more difficult.  Three times Paul pleaded with God to take this “thorn” away from him, but each time God refused, telling Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (Vs. 9)  What Paul goes on to say in verse 10 is the part that seems to conflict with what we believe to be true based on our human knowledge.  He says, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I love these examples when God takes our conventional earthly wisdom and turns it upside down.  Jesus said that whoever is first will be last and that the meek will inherit the earth and Paul said that when he is weak, then he is strong.  If you are wondering how this can be true, allow me to explain.  When we are strong, we tend to start to feel pride.  During our strongest moments, we feel like we can accomplish anything on our own, without any help.  While that might sound like a good thing, it is actually the opposite of what God wants for us.  God wants us not to try to accomplish things in our own strength, but to accomplish things through His strength.  He wants to be our source.  During our weakest moments, when things look dark and bleak, those are the times when we can turn to Him for strength.  More importantly, God’s strength is so much more than anything we can possibly muster on our own.  Therefore, when we are weak, we become strong because God gives us the strength we need to move forward.  When we tap into the power of Jesus Christ living through us, we become far more powerful than we can ever be on our own.  We can accomplish so much more than we could ever accomplish on our own.  When you are feeling your weakest, rejoice in knowing that you can find strength.  Rejoice in the knowledge that the power of Jesus Christ is available to you in your darkest hour.  Rejoice in knowing that when you are weak, then you are strong.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Your Part in the Body of Christ


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 1-3; 1 Corinthians 12

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

The worship team at our church is awesome.  There are people on that team who could easily be professional singers and would likely be very successful.  Sometimes when I am listening to them sing, I wish I had their ability.  I wish I was able to sing the way they do, but sadly, I would be lucky to string two notes together in tune because singing is simply a gift that God did not give to me.  Before I feel too bad about my lack of singing ability, though, I stop and think about Paul’s words in our key passage for today.

The church in Corinth had a few problems that Paul was trying to sort out in his letter.  One of these issues was how some people were thinking of and using spiritual gifts.  At the time, some people were in the church were contending that spiritual gifts were representative of how religious a person was in the eyes of God.  Basically, a person with a particular gift (for example, the gift of speaking in tongues) believed that he or she was more spiritual than a person who did not have this gift.  In effect, the believers in Corinth were ranking their own spirituality based on the gifts they had received from God.  Obviously, this is a misuse of gifts and not at all what God intended.  Spiritual gifts are gifts from God designed to help the church function more effectively, and should never be used to divide the church.  In our key passage today, Paul likens spiritual gifts to different parts of the body.  He states that the foot has its particular purpose and the hand has its particular purpose, but each part is essential to the overall health of the body.  No one part is greater than any other part, and no part of the body is greater than the whole body.  The church functions the same way.

For those of us who have been saved, we are all parts of the body of Christ.  When we received the Holy Spirit and He began to dwell inside of us, we were given certain gifts from God to help us during our walk with Christ.  Some people are given the gift of singing while others were not.  Some people are great preachers and some are not.  Some are given the gift of prophecy, and some are not.  God divides His gifts in His own way and by His own design, and no one with one particular gift can claim to be any greater than a person without that gift.  No matter which gifts you have been given from God, there are a couple of important things that we need to keep in mind.  First and foremost, you HAVE been given gifts, even if you have not yet figured out what those gifts are.  Each of us has individual talents and strengths that can be used to further God’s kingdom.  Our job is to figure out what those gifts are, and then use them to God’s glory.  Do not spend time wishing you had been given other gifts.  Instead, use the gifts you have been given to reach your full potential for Christ.  Just as the overall health of the body is dependent on the health of its individual parts, the overall health of the body of Christ is dependent on the health of each one of us.  Once you have determined your part in the body of Christ, make sure you are putting it to good use.  Finally, always remember that as the body of Christ, we all share in each other’s times of joy and times of sorrow.  Paul says, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (v. 26)  Whatever your part in the body of Christ might be, do not allow yourself to be jealous of those who are honored or to ignore those who suffer.  We are all part of the same Body.  We can choose to build each other up, or tear each other down.  Find out what your part is in the body of Christ, do your part as well as you can, and choose to build up other believers around you.  When each of us decides to use the gifts God has provided us for the glory of God and not for our own personal glory, the body of Christ grows stronger and stronger.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Running the Race


Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 18-20; 1 Corinthians 9

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Imagine that God appeared to you tomorrow and told you that in one year He wants you to run a marathon.  Imagine also that God is not just asking you to just run in the marathon, but He actually wants you to win.  After you get over the shock and awe of being in the presence of God, what would you do about His challenge?  (Before you dismiss the question as being ridiculous, I will remind you that God once spoke to a man using the voice of a donkey, so while I admit my scenario is improbable it is certainly not impossible for the all-powerful Creator of the universe.)  The way I see it, given this scenario, you would have three choices.  You could either not even bother entering the marathon at all, do nothing for the next year and then enter the marathon with no training, or spend the next year preparing trying to do everything you can to win that race.  Today’s key passage is all about option number three.

In today’s key passage, Paul is speaking to church in Corinth and says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)  In this verse, Paul is not just talking about an actual race – he is talking about life.  If we approach marriage, church, work, school, friendship, or following Christ with a casual attitude, we are destined to fail.  We must approach these areas of life with an attitude toward winning.  We must approach these areas of life determined to put everything we have into them, and run.

The best way to try to win the race of life is through preparation.  We can prepare ourselves through prayer, reading Scripture, and getting to know God better.  Just like the marathoner preparing a year out, we must diligently train in these areas to prepare for the race of life.  We can never get lazy.  We can never get casual.  We have to work.  We need to develop our desire to win in all of the different areas of our lives, be it in our marriage or in our walk with Christ.  As Paul points out, we must be focused and not be “like a man running aimlessly”.  We must practice self-control and figuratively “beat our bodies and make them our slaves”.  We must never lose sight of the reason that we strive to win in all that we do – the prize.  When we keep our focus on the right thing – Jesus Christ – we can prepare ourselves to win in life, and we can prepare ourselves for our eternal reward.  When given the choice in all of the areas of your life, do not choose to sit on the sidelines and not participate.  Do not choose to casually try.  Choose to put everything you have into every relationship, and choose to “run in such a way as to get the prize”.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Divisions in the Church


Daily Bible Reading – Deuteronomy 30,31; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 1

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

During Paul’s third missionary journey in Ephesus, he received word of some problems that the church in Corinth was facing.  One of the problems plaguing the church at that time was disunity.  The Corinthians heard the Gospel from many different sources – some heard about Christ from Paul, while others heard from Peter and Apollos.  While Paul, Peter, and Apollos were all preaching the same Gospel, they each had their own style of preaching.  Because of the different styles of the preachers, the members of the church started to cling to the messenger instead of the message.  In 1 Corinthians 1:12, Paul explains the issue when he says, “What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”  This division in the church was hurting the church as a whole and was keeping the Corinthians from reaching their full potential.

We still run the risk of having divisions in the church today.  This could be divisions in a particular church congregation, or divisions of the church as a whole.  This becomes especially prevalent when we begin to think that “our way” is the only way.  As we all know, there are many different denominations of the Christian church and there are many different styles of worship.  In some churches, people sing hymns from a book while listening to an organist, while in other churches people sing popular Christian songs with a live band.  In some churches, you will see people with their hands raised in the air during worship, while in other churches that is completely taboo.  Some people think that their preacher is the best preacher and will gladly tell you so, while others believe the same thing about their preacher.  One believer might like a particular Christian author, while another believer might not.  All of these differences can lead, to a certain degree, to divisions in the body of Christ as a whole.

So why is this such an issue?  Why is disunity in the body of Christ or in a particular church congregation so bad?  To find the best answer to this question, we need only to look to Christ himself.  In Mark 3:25, Jesus said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”  Disunity ruins churches and destroys their witness for Christ.  As we attempt to reach the lost and tell them about Jesus, we will not be nearly as successful if our church is divided.  We are all brothers and sisters in Christ.  We all worship the same God.  We are all saved by the same grace.  Do not allow your allegiance to any particular group or any particular style outweigh your allegiance to Christ.  Do not allow the externals get in the way of what is truly important.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Picking and Choosing Sin


Daily Bible Reading – Deuteronomy 28,29; Galatians 6

Today’s Key Passage – Galatians 6:12-18

Near the end of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he made one last attempt to explain that they were being led astray by false teaching.  In today’s key passage, Paul states that whether they were circumcised or uncircumcised really did not mean anything – what truly mattered most was that they were a new creation in Christ.  In addition, Paul makes an interesting point that I would like to focus on today.  He states that, “Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.” (Galatians 6:13)  See, the Judaizers were making a big deal about the fact that the Gentiles in Galatia were uncircumcised, but all the while, they were not following all of the other laws from the Old Testament.  The Judaizers were determining what was considered an important law that needed to be followed versus an unimportant law that did not need to be followed.  In effect, the Judaizers were picking and choosing what was considered a sin.

While it is easy for us to look back now on the Judaizers and realize what they were doing and condemn them for it, the sad truth is that most of us do the same thing from time to time.  We have all had moments where we have categorized sins.  For most people, sins are viewed in much the same way that the world views crime.  There are major crimes and minor crimes.  We all know that in most places around the world, murder is a serious crime.  Running a stop sign, on the other hand, is typically not that big of a deal.  The problem here is that it is relatively easy to take that same system of categorizing crimes and apply it to sin.  When we do that, we think that killing someone is a “major” sin but hating someone is only a “minor” sin, for example.  Most people agree that theft is a sin, but they easily justify the telling of a “little white lie”.  Likewise, most people agree that adultery is a sin, but they fail to see that lusting after another person or looking at pornography are also sins.  When we attempt to categorize sin or choose what is acceptable, we miss the whole point.

The simple truth is this – God does not distinguish between “major” sins and “minor” sins.  To a perfect God, all sin is sin and He abhors it.  In fact, because of His infinite perfection, He cannot even stand to be around sin in any way.  The Bible does not say that the wages of some sin is death.  It does not say that the wages of really bad sin is death.  It simply says, “For the wages of sin is death”  (Romans 6:23)  All sin.  Period.  I understand that what I am saying is not the “popular” view of sin.  The “popular” view is that some sin is not that bad and that as long as we try really hard to be a good person we will be OK and will make it to Heaven.  This is an easy message to preach and is well received by the audience, but it is simply not Biblically sound.  The wages of sin is death.  Does that sound harsh?  Does that message seem gloomy?  Does it seem like no matter how hard we try we will never be able to live up to God’s perfect standard?  If so, then guess what – that is the whole point!  It is harsh.  It is gloomy.  We cannot live up to God’s prefect standard on our own.  It does not matter how hard we try, it will never happen.  Paul could not do it.  Peter could not do it.  Mother Teresa could not do it.  Only Jesus lived a perfect and blameless life.  He came here because He knew that none of us could be perfect.  He knew that all of us were going to fall short of God’s standard, so He lived a perfect life for us.  He allowed Himself to die for us.  He allowed Himself to be buried for us, and three days later, He was raised from the dead, and now He sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.  His perfection makes all of us look perfect in the eyes of God.  We are not saved by what we have done or what we can do; we are saved by what He has already done.  We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of categorizing sin.  Understand that all sin is the same in the eyes of God, and put your faith and your focus where it belongs – on Jesus.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Returning to Slavery


Daily Bible Reading – Deuteronomy 22-24; Galatians 4

Today’s Key Passage – Galatians 4:1-9

A couple of days ago when we read Galatians 1, we learned about the Judaizers’ attempts to lead the churches in Galatia astray with a false Gospel.  The Judaizers were trying to convince the Galatians that they needed to follow Jewish laws in order to be saved, instead of relying on Christ’s sacrifice and the grace of God.  Paul was very concerned for the Galatians and was pained by the fact that they were being led astray from the true Gospel.  In today’s key passage, Paul explains to the Galatians what they were really doing by listening to the Judaizers – they were returning to a life of slavery.  He explains that before they turned to God, the Galatians lived as slaves.  They were slaves to sin, slaves to temptation, and slaves to the pressures of this world.  Paul asks the Galatians, “But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Before we were saved, we were all slaves.  We were slaves to our sinful desires and our sinful ways.  We were slaves to trying to live up to the expectations of others.  We were slaves to the ways of the world.  When we found Christ, however, that bondage was broken.  The chains that held us were broken and we were finally free.  We rejoiced in that freedom of knowing that we were saved.  We rejoiced in knowing that our eternal salvation was secured by the cross of Christ.  Sadly, for many Christians, after a period of time that joy begins to fade.  When the pressures of the world begin to overwhelm them, the passion they once felt for God starts to dwindle.  At best, they become lukewarm Christians.  At worst, they backslide completely.  Some are led astray by bad teaching.  Others are led astray by a lack of time or energy that comes from not making God the number one priority in life (in other words, they find that they simply “do not have time” to be a passionate follower of Christ).  Still others are led astray by temptations to sin or by guilt over past sins.  When we feel the pressures coming on – the pressures to be led astray from God – we must remember exactly what we would be returning to if we allow ourselves to stray.  We would be returning to slavery.  We would be giving up the very freedom that Christ’s sacrifice bought for us.  In 2 Peter 2:20-21, the Apostle Peter writes, “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”  Once we have been saved, we should do everything we can to keep that fire that once burned so brilliantly for God.  We cannot allow anything to lessen that fire or put it out.  Do you remember how you felt toward God the day you were saved?  Do you remember that passion you felt?  Do you remember that fire?  Do you still feel that way toward Him?  Do not allow the pressures of this world to make you a slave again.  Stay strong in your faith through prayer, keep your fire burning, and maintain your freedom.  Jesus paid a hefty price for that freedom.  Do not allow His sacrifice to go to waste in your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

No Other Gospel


Daily Bible Reading – Deuteronomy 13-15; Galatians 1

Today’s Key Passage – Galatians 1:6-24

During Paul’s first missionary trip, he visited several cities in Galatia (which is now Turkey).  Upon his return from that trip, he found out that a group of Jewish Christians (called Judaizers) visited these cities in Galatia and tried to convince the people there that Paul’s teaching was incorrect.  According to the Judaizers, a Gentile first needed to become a Jew before he could become a Christian.  Paul preached the true Gospel and told the Gentiles that they were saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  The Judaizers, on the other hand, preached that all of the Old Testament laws (circumcision, dietary restrictions, etc.) must be followed by Gentiles before they could be saved.  These two competing messages caused a lot of confusion for the new believers in the early Galatian churches, so Paul wrote them a letter (the Book of Galatians) to try to clarify the matter for them.

Our key verse today comes from the first chapter in Galatians.  In it, Paul tells the people of Galatia that he is shocked to see that they have been misled so easily by the Judaizers.  He explains that the Gospel he preached to them was the real Gospel, and that anyone else who told them anything different was lying and should be condemned.  How do we know that Paul’s Gospel was the truth?  Because it came directly from the source.  Paul explains that his Gospel did not come from men – he received it directly by a revelation from Jesus Christ.  Did you ever play that game as a child in which one person whispers a sentence into someone’s ear, who then whispers it into another person’s ear?  The sentence is continually passed in this fashion from person to person until eventually it makes its way back to the original person.  Do you remember how the message at the end was always completely different from the message in the beginning?  Do you also remember that the first person who was told the message was usually the most accurate?  We know that the Gospel as presented in the Bible is true because it comes from people who had first-hand knowledge.  The Gospel in the Bible was given to men like Matthew, Peter, John, and Paul directly from Jesus Christ himself.  There cannot be a more accurate depiction than the one that comes from the people who heard it directly from the Master.

Sadly, today there are still people who preach false Gospels.  Some people do it intentionally in an effort to make money, and other people are simply misguided.  There are people who claim that we need to “do” something to be saved, but the reality is that Jesus has already done everything that needed to be done.  His death on the cross was enough to save us, and nothing we can do will add to that in the eyes of God.  Just like the early Christians, we must still be cautious to avoid being misled by people preaching a false message.  Our greatest tool in avoiding false Gospels is the Bible itself.  When you hear someone talking about a new idea, all we have to do is compare what the person is saying with what the Bible says.  If the preacher conflicts with the Bible, we know what he says is false.  If the preacher makes it more about him than about Christ, we know what he says is false.  Guard your heart against false teaching, and always remember that there is no other Gospel other than the one in the Bible, and there is no other way to be saved than through faith in Jesus Christ.


During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Paul’s Prayer for Us


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29; Psalm 95; 2 Thessalonians 1

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

 

I really like reading Paul’s writings in the New Testament.  One of the things I especially like is that more often than not Paul prayed for the various churches to which he was writing.  In verses 11 and 12 in today’s key passage, Paul wrote, “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Paul was praying for three main things for his brothers and sisters in Christ in Thessalonica, and I believe that if he were talking to us today he would pray for the same three things for each of us.

First, Paul prayed that God’s power might strengthen us.  God’s power is evident in the wonders of His creation, and it is evident repeatedly in the Bible.  God displayed His power in the parting of the Red Sea, in the healing of the blind, and in paying the ultimate price for our sins through His Son Jesus Christ.  That power that is so miraculously on display throughout the Living Word is also available to each one of us today.  It is available to us when we are facing trials.  It is available to us in overcoming our fears and worries.  It is available to us in everything we do as long as we seek it.  Paul is praying that the awe-inspiring power of God would give each of us strength.

Secondly, Paul prayed that God’s purpose would be fulfilled in us.  While the strength of God is wonderful in helping us overcome trials or temptations, that same strength is also available to help us fulfill God’s purposes in the world.  Each and every one of us has a distinct purpose in this life.  Whether you know it or not, whether you believe it or not, you were put on this earth for a reason.  God has a purpose for you.  Maybe you have not found it yet.  Maybe you are still searching for it.  It does not matter how old you are.  It does not matter what sinful things you have done in the past.  It does not matter what position you are in right now.  God has a purpose for you, and Paul’s prayer is that His purpose will be fulfilled in you.

Finally, Paul prayed that God would be glorified through us.  One of God’s purposes for each of our lives is that He will be glorified through us and in us.  He wants our lives to be a living reflection of His glory.  To truly glorify God in our lives, we must live our lives like Jesus Christ himself.  In everything we do, we are to live a Christ-like life, and we are to let His light shine through us for everyone else to see.

When you put it all together, you can see the full picture of what Paul is really praying for each of us.  Paul is praying that God’s power will strengthen each one of us, and by that power, we will be able to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives, with one of those purposes being the glorification of God through us.  It is a beautiful prayer for the Thessalonians, and it is a beautiful prayer for each one of us.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Finding Strength in Our Weaknesses


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 13; 1 Chronicles 2,3; 2 Corinthians 12

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

There are many times in the Bible when what we read seems to contradict what our earthly minds believe to be true.  Today’s key passage is a good example of this type of conflict.  The apostle Paul tells us that he has been given a “thorn” in his flesh to keep him from becoming conceited.  While we do not know exactly what this “thorn” was because Paul never provided details, some Biblical scholars have theorized that it might have been a disease such as malaria or epilepsy, or perhaps a problem with his vision.  Whatever the case, we can be sure it was some sort of physical ailment that made Paul’s mission in life more difficult.  Three times Paul pleaded with God to take this “thorn” away from him, but each time God refused, telling Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (Vs. 9)  What Paul goes on to say in verse 10 is the part that seems to conflict with what we believe to be true based on our human knowledge.  He says, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I love these examples when God takes our conventional earthly wisdom and turns it upside down.  Jesus said that whoever is first will be last and that the meek will inherit the earth and Paul said that when he is weak, then he is strong.  If you are wondering how this can be true, allow me to explain.  When we are strong, we tend to start to feel pride.  During our strongest moments, we feel like we can accomplish anything on our own, without any help.  While that might sound like a good thing, it is actually the opposite of what God wants for us.  God wants us not to try to accomplish things in our own strength, but to accomplish things through His strength.  He wants to be our source.  During our weakest moments, when things look dark and bleak, those are the times when we can turn to Him for strength.  More importantly, God’s strength is so much more than anything we can possibly muster on our own.  Therefore, when we are weak, we become strong because God gives us the strength we need to move forward.  When we tap into the power of Jesus Christ living through us, we become far more powerful than we can ever be on our own.  We can accomplish so much more than we could ever accomplish on our own.  When you are feeling your weakest, rejoice in knowing that you can find strength.  Rejoice in the knowledge that the power of Jesus Christ is available to you in your darkest hour.  Rejoice in knowing that when you are weak, then you are strong.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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