Tag Archives: strong

Fortune Cookie Devotion Series: Believe

I love Chinese food. I used to save the fortune cookies and give them to my daughter, but recently I’ve been cracking them open myself and seeing the fortune found within. I built up quite the collection on my desk and started to see the truth in them. May these “fortunes” bless you as they have blessed me.

“He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak.”

Everyone wants to be strong. At an early age, children will say look at my muscles. Kids will attempt to pick up heavy items to showcase their strength. When we get older and feelings are hurt, we try to be strong and not let anyone see our tears. We typically do not go around and tell people our faults and weaknesses. The fortune cookie message of today is, “He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak.”

Everyone believes in something or someone. When you believe in Jesus Christ, you are strong. It is in admitting you are weak and cannot save yourself, that you are in fact strong because when you believe, you receive. You receive redemption, restoration, and the same power that rose Jesus from the grace lives in you. The Spirit of God is within you. He is your strength.

Even still, we as Christians should not think that we will always feel strong. You won’t. There will be moments when you feel weak and honestly you and I are weak. We are human. We are finite creatures. Without Jesus, we are nothing. There will be moments when you feel weak and have doubts and feel like you do not have it all together. Do not try to make those moments go away. Do not try to deny the moments and put on a fake smile. When you doubt, ask God to help you believe. When you feel weak, embrace the One who is a firm foundation. Rest in His grace. Allow Him to be your refuge.

“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’”– Mark 9:24 [ESV]

“O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.” – Isaiah 33:2 [ESV]

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Colossians Study: The Will of God

[Colossians 1:9-14]

Prayed for:

  • “Wise minds and spirits attuned to His will” [MSG]
  • “All the wisdom & understanding that His Spirit gives” [CEV]
  • “God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding” [NLT]

Prayed for:

  • Practical Obedience (1:10) – Knowledge & obedience go together

True spiritual wisdom must affect daily life

Wisdom / Walk / Work – Cannot work for God unless we walk with Him, cannot walk with Him if ignorant to His will

General will = clearly in Bible                Specific will = always agrees with Bible

Knowing general will makes it easier to know specific will for daily life

God wants us to:

  • Know His Will (Acts 22:14)
  • Understand His Will (Ephesians 5:17)

Paul prayed for ALL wisdom & understanding, COMPLETE knowledge…

Complete = Filled full                    Filled = Controlled by

  • Filled with _______ (ex: anger, jealously)
  • Filled with Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)

Controlled by full knowledge of God’s will

How? By all wisdom & spiritual insights. Understand will of God through Word of God. Holy Spirit teaches us to submit to Him (John 14:26, John 16:31)

THEN…

  • You will live a life that honors the Lord
  • You will always please Him by doing good deeds
  • You will come to know God even better
  • You will be patient & strong to endure everything because of His power
  • You will be truly happy

Bible Study Questions:

1) Paul prayed for the Colossians to have ALL wisdom and understanding. He grasped that God wants us to know and understand His will – and to do this would bring us closer to Him. With our reading, the words patient and strong and happy appear. What does this mean for us?

2) What is the hardest thing about following God’s will?

 

3) When we have this completeness (fullness), we will be controlled by it. We will then be able to determine what God wants. How do we determine God’s Will—how do we determine what He wants?

 

4) Let us dig deeper into God’s Word.

Read each of these verses and decide what each verse says about God’s will for us.

  • Read 2 Peter 3:9
  • Read Ephesians 5:18
  • Read 1 Thessalonians 4:3
  • Read 1 Peter 2:15
  • Read 1 Peter 5:10
  • Read Psalm 37:4

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Powerful Words and Deeds

There will always be some things that we are very good at and some things that are not very easy to undertake. We have weaknesses. Some of us are uncoordinated. Some of us do not do well speaking in front of crowds. Some of us are not good with math. We all have something we can consider as a weakness, something that isn’t our strong suit.

When Moses was commanded to go speak to Pharaoh and to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he was not so eager to go right away. He made excuse after excuse, and one of those excuses related to his problem with speech. Eventually his brother Aaron is mentioned to assist and off Moses went after a bit of dragging of the feet.

But what do we read in Acts? Luke wrote that Moses “was powerful in speech and action.” He wasn’t so weak after all. Why? When we are weak, the strength of Christ is able to step in because of our humility to recognize we cannot do it alone. Moses was powerful in words and deeds because it was through God’s power that he spoke, and he followed through on those words. He acted. If it wasn’t for the action, the words wouldn’t have meant so much. If it wasn’t for God, he wouldn’t have been able to speak at all.

“Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” – Acts 7:22 [NIV]

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Nothing is Useless

It is so easy to lose sight of our purpose on this earth. It is so easy to get caught up in worldly things. Look around you and you’ll find out that you are in the world. You are right in the middle of it. Paul spoke of this battle that we each have because we are part of the world and yet we are children of God. In 1 Corinthians he said to “be strong and immovable.” It is not the easiest thing to do in this world. He continued, “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord.” This is where people can get confused.

Many people think that work for the Lord is only serving the church in some capacity; however, there is work that is done outside the church as we do life during the week. The work you do for the Lord is not only when you help out the outreach team or work in the nursery. Whatever you do, you are working for the Lord. As a servant of the Lord, a job at the local department store or hair salon or accounting firm is working for the Lord. You are still a representative of Christ, and there are still opportunities for you to shine the light.

Paul further said that “nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” Understand that a truck driver, a nurse, and a newspaper deliverer can be used by God. Everything you do has use. God can use it all for His glory and to further His Kingdom. When I look back in my life, those who have done the most in my spiritual journey were ordinary people that God used. They did not do anything grand. God took the small gestures and used them as only He can, and I can personally agree that nothing is useless.

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58 [NLT]

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