Blog

Strengthening the Hand of the Wicked (Saturday, November 25, 2017)

Ezekiel 13:22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:

Introductory Thoughts

The righteous should rebuke and reprove the works of the wicked in every way possible. We should always try to remove the confidence the wicked might gain by thinking they are right in the eyes of the Lord. There are many ways that the hands of the wicked are strengthened: when believers approve the works of the wicked; when believers remain silent concerning the wickedness of the wicked; and when believers lie concerning the works of the wicked especially by suggesting that they are righteous. The wicked only need one preacher who suggests that God approves of their wickedness to help them grow in strength. They begin spouting about how God made them that way or how God is pleased with them just as they are. They may believe they are okay, but they are in fact tottering on the brink of destruction.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): God is displeased with anyone who encourages the actions of the wicked (Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:20). The wicked should be warned (Ephesians 5:11; 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1: 12-13). Consider Peter’s words to Simon (Acts 8:17-22).
• (For everyone): As technology opens the door for more voices to be heard, it also opens the door for more voices to be approved by others. What are some ways in which we can approve or disapprove of the words and deeds of the wicked?
• Why is it so important that we not strengthen the hands of the wicked? Whose hands are you strengthening?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask the Lord to help you reprove, not approve, the works of sin.
• Ask God to cause your words to weaken the hands of the wicked.

SONG: MY PRAYER

Posted in: Devotion

Leave a Comment (0) →

If Thou Faint, Thy Strength Is Small (Friday, November 24, 2017)

Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Introductory Thoughts

Strength is not tested or demonstrated during times of ease. Rather, it is during times of adversity that one finds out just how strong he is (or how weak he has become). According to scripture, a man who faints in the day of adversity is a man who already possessed little strength. God does not require man to always be at the peak of strength, but God does ask that man to stay in the fight and to refuse to quit (Galatians 6:9). Only those who endure hardness and fight through adversity will enjoy the rewards promised to them. If one considers fainting, he need look no further than the Lord Jesus Christ, who “endured such contradiction of sinners against himself” (Hebrews 12:3), but pressed forward for the souls of men.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): How did these men faint: Peter (Luke 22:31-34, 54-62); Aaron (Exodus 32:1-5); John Mark (Acts 15:36-39)? Consider these who remained strong: Esther (Esther 4:16); Paul and Silas (Acts 16:23-25); Stephen (Acts 7:51-54).
• (For everyone): How do you fare in days of adversity? Is your strength sufficient for the winds of trouble and the storms of doubt? Do you remain stedfast and loyal to the Saviour during troublesome times?
• Can you think of any examples in scripture of individuals who remained strong in days of adversity? Can you think of any individuals who demonstrated small strength?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to help strengthen you ahead of the days of adversity.
• Ask the Lord to preserve you through whatever comes your way.

SONG: WE HAVE AN ANCHOR

Posted in: Devotion

Leave a Comment (0) →

Wisdom Strengtheneth More (Tuesday, November 21, 2017)

Ecclesiastes 7:19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.

Introductory Thoughts

“Wisdom is better than strength” (Ecclesiastes 9:16). Yet, at the same time, wisdom is strength. According to scripture, it “strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city” (Ecclesiastes 7:19). “A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength” (Proverbs 24:5). He “scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof” (Proverbs 21:22). Certainly, the greater goal would be to be filled with both wisdom and strength. In fact, we are told that these two attributes make up the very nature of God. He “is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom” (Job 36:5).

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Read Ecclesiastes 10:10. In this verse, how is wisdom better than strength? Consider how wisdom helped these women save a household (1 Samuel 25:5-35) and a city (2 Samuel 20:13-22). What could wisdom help you to do?
• (For everyone): The race is not always “to the swift, nor the battle to the strong” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). What part does wisdom play in this truth?
• Can you think of any events in scripture where the strong fell in battle at the feet of the wise? What practical truths can you learn from these historic events?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask the Lord to give you both strength and wisdom.
• Ask God to guard you against relying upon your own strength.

SONG: O! TO BE LIKE THEE

Posted in: Devotion

Leave a Comment (0) →

The Joy of the Lord (Monday, November 20, 2017)

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Introductory Thoughts

It may seem odd to think that there is great strength in joy. Yet, this truth was something the saints of God earnestly needed to hear since they were filled with sorrow from hearing the pronouncements of God for their wickedness. They had failed the Lord in so many areas and stood guilty before a righteous and holy God. Being filled with sorrow was not wicked, but rather refreshing since it showed that their hearts were tender toward the words of God. The right kind of sorrow does bring benefits. For instance, God uses this right type of sorrow to lead men to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). Yet, it is in the joy of the LORD that saints specifically find strength. Among the people of God, sorrow had done its work, now it was time to turn the sorrow to joy and find the strength to do what was right.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): David wanted to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem. Because he did it the wrong way, he had sorrow (2 Samuel 6:1-11). Sorrow turned to joy when David discovered the correct way (1 Chronicles 15:2, 25-28). Consider another example: Jeremiah 13:19, 25; Psalm 137:1-4; Psalm 126:1-3.
• (For everyone): Are you experiencing the joy of the LORD? In what ways is that joy the source of your strength?
• Why did the people in Nehemiah’s day need strength? What are some reasons you might need strength too? Can you find that strength by allowing the Spirit of God to bring about His fruit in you (see Galatians 5:22)?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to give you of His joy.
• Ask God to help sorrow and joy accomplish their God-given purposes.

SONG: TAKE THE NAME OF JESUS WITH YOU

Posted in: Devotion

Leave a Comment (0) →

Church Day (Sunday, November 19, 2017)

Strength— found throughout the Bible, but specifically 111 times in 103 verses in the Book of Psalms

Variations: strength, strengthen, strengthened, strengthenedst, strengtheneth, strengthening, strong, stronger, strongest, strongly

First usage in the Book of Psalms: Psalm 8:2 (strength)

Last usage in the Book of Psalms: Psalm 147:13 (strengthened)

Interesting fact: The Bible uses the phrase “strengthened himself” or “strengthened themselves” on multiple occasions. The implication of these uses most often implies the failure of an individual or group to yield and to walk in God’s strength. It is an act of rebellion rather than that of submission.

Bible study tip: When seeking to define and understand a Bible word, group the word in its proper category with other words of like usage. For example, in order to understand the word wisdom, one might group this word with other words like knowledge, understanding, and discretion. Sometimes one of the associated words is more general in nature and can be used as a description of the entire group of words.

Sunday, Day 316—Church Day (no devotional)
Monday, Day 317—The Joy of the LORD
Tuesday, Day 318—Wisdom Strengtheneth More
Wednesday, Day 319—Church Night (no devotional)
Thursday, Day 320—My Strength Faileth
Friday, Day 321—If Thou Faint, Thy Strength Is Small
Saturday, Day 322—Strengthening the Hands of the Wicked
Day 316: Church Day
Psalm 18:32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Posted in: Devotion

Leave a Comment (0) →

Be Strong, and Do It (Friday, November 17, 2017)

1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
10 Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.

Introductory Thoughts

God has a specific calling on the life of each person. For Solomon, a large part of that calling was the call “to build an house for the sanctuary” (1 Chronicles 28:10). Solomon’s father David had the desire to build the Lord an house, but the Lord reserved that work for Solomon. As king David prepared to pass the responsibility of the kingdom to his son, he encouraged Solomon to follow the Lord and to serve Him with a perfect heart. Concerning the building of the temple, David admonished Solomon to “be strong, and do it” (1 Chronicles 28:10). Although each believer has his own calling from God, these words are a wonderful admonition to all.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): God encouraged Joshua to take the lead after Moses (Joshua 1:5-9). Azariah encouraged Asa to make changes (2 Chronicles 15:1-2, 7-8). Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the people to finish the temple (Haggai 2:1-4; Zechariah 8:9; Ezra 6:14).
• (For everyone): What are some great works the Lord called men to do? How did each of those responsible for the work require God’s strength to complete the task?
• What has the Lord asked you to do? Have you heeded the admonition to “be strong, and do it” (1 Chronicles 28:10)? Have you failed to use God’s strength to do God’s work?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to help you obey His calling.
• Thank the Lord for giving you the strength to do His work.

SONG: GOD LEADS US ALONG

Posted in: Devotion

Leave a Comment (0) →

Give Not Thy Strength Unto Women (Thursday, November 16, 2017)

Proverbs 31:3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

Introductory Thoughts

“Give not thy strength unto women,”—these words were spoken to a son by his mother (Lemuel—see Proverbs 31:1). Most Bible students believe that Lemuel addressed in the Proverb was Solomon. Since Solomon had over 1,000 wives, there is little wonder why his mother’s words were called “prophecy” (Proverbs 31:1). Solomon greatly harmed his kingdom by refusing to heed his mother’s admonition. Eventually, Solomon’s “wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father” (1 Kings 11:4). Those in the kingdom depended upon Solomon’s strength in the Lord. When he surrendered that strength to women, he sealed the judgment and guaranteed the division of the entire kingdom.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Nehemiah was a godly leader who knew the danger in Proverbs 31:3. He rebuked God’s people, even referring back to Solomon (Nehemiah 13:1-3, 23-27). God still warns us today (2 Corinthians 6:14, 17; Psalm 106:34-36).
• (For everyone): Read Judges 16:1-21. How did Samson’s actions go against the wisdom of Proverbs 31:3? For what did he ask the Lord in Judges 16:28? Why did he have to ask for renewed strength?
• If a man, have you given your strength unto women? If a woman, have you sought to rob a man of his strength by your beauty, emotions, or wiles?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask the Lord to protect the men in your family.
• Ask God to work in the hearts of the ladies in your family.

SONG: HIS WAY WITH THEE

Posted in: Devotion

Leave a Comment (0) →

When the Lord Strengthens Your Foes (Tuesday, November 14, 2017)

Judges 3:12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.
13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.

Introductory Thoughts

God certainly works in mysterious ways! At times, in order to bring about His desired plan in the lives of His own people, the Lord strengthens the hands of His enemies. This can prove painful to the people of God but serves as a stark reminder that God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). He does what it takes to bring His people back into a proper fellowship with Him; however, the situation is never intended to be permanent. God merely waits for the moment when the hearts of His people turn toward Him again. When this happens, the Lord acts swiftly on behalf of His people to destroy that enemy once strengthened for the purpose of chastening His children (Judges 3:15-30). The only delay is the hardness of man’s heart in turning toward the Lord.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Israel should have easily smitten the city of Ai for the people were few in number. Because the children of Israel had sinned, the Lord strengthened the people of Ai (Joshua 7:2-5, 11-12). When the sin was put away, God again gave a great victory to His people (Joshua 8:1).
• (For everyone): Have you ever had a time where you felt as though the Lord enabled your enemies to gain an advantage over you? For what purpose did the Lord strengthen your enemies? Did you ever turn your heart back to following after the Lord?
• Any advantage the enemy gets over you must first be allowed by the Lord. Has your enemy been strengthened against you?

Prayer Thoughts

• Repent before the Lord for anything hindering your fellowship with Him.
• Ask God to show you when He has strengthened your enemy.

SONG: GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

Posted in: Devotion

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 4 of 135 «...23456...»