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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Strength in the New Testament

The New Testament mentions strength, and related words, a few times. I used the ESV search facility to find some of these (other versions may differ somewhat, and I may not have searched for all variants).

Here are some of the references, with remarks.

In Mark 12:28-30, Jesus told a questioner that the most important commandment was to love God with all your strength. Strength, then, must have to do, at least in this case, with resolve, will, determination, and the like.

In Luke 21:34-36, He warns the disciples about what is to come, and tells them to pray for strength, so strength, lest there be any doubt, can be divinely augmented. We should probably all pray for strength.

In Romans 1:11-12, Paul told the Romans that he wished he could impart a spiritual gift to them, to strengthen them. Spiritual gifts, then, apparently can add to the strength of a body of believers, and/or to individuals.

In Romans 4, Paul describes the faith of Abraham. He says, among other things, that ". . . he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God" (verse 20, last part).

In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, Paul writes: "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love." I would judge that strength without the sort of love described in 1 Corinthians 13 isn't really the kind of strength that God wants us to have.

In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul says that he is strong when he is weak, one of the many paradoxes in the Bible. Most likely he was exalting the strength of God, which works when ours can't and doesn't. The author of Hebrews, in Hebrews 11:32-34, lists some of the heroes of faith, who were also made strong when they were weak in themselves.

Ephesians 6:10 and 1 Peter 4:10-11 also tell us that our strength must come from the Lord.

In 2 Timothy 2:1-3, Paul tells Timothy that he must be strengthened through Christ's grace.

And, finally, so does Phillipians 4:12-13, where Paul says, in verse 13: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

Be strong in Him!

Thanks for reading.


Marci said...

Thank you for visiting my site!! I wonder how you found me.
So I am reading yours and find that today's posting is something about which I have been thinking. I have always felt myself to be a strong woman. But circumstances right now make it clear that I am definitely not in control of my life - not that it is out of control - but out of MY control! I have been meditating here:
II Cor. 12:10
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 have been put out of the way so that I can see Jesus working in me, for me, through me. I have been made weak so that I can become weak in order to see the Strength of God. Thanks for keeping me reminded!

Martin LaBar said...

I found your blog because I subscribe to a Google search for "Orual."

May Christ be in control of your life, and mine.

Thanks for your comment, Marci.