And you shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your STRENGTH. Mark 12:30 ESV
To have strength in the Lord you must acknowledge that He is your strength. He is your strength when He is your focus. However, when sin becomes the focus, you lose sight of God. Sin begins to weaken you by placing burdens upon you that you were never intended or able to bear. It is His abiding presence that we should pursue in order to exercise this strength. Seek the Lord and his strength; see his presence continually! 1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV Remember, exercising the mind in the things of the Lord to gain spiritual strength is just as important as exercising the body for physical strength. I have heard many use the verse Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me, when attempting to accomplish a difficult physical task. In context however, this is referring to the challenges that we faced in our minds. Circumstances of life that weigh on the mind can bring us down both mentally and physically. When overwhelmed mentally, we can lose joy. And when we lose joy, we lose strength. It is important to remember…. the joy of the Lord IS your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b ESV So, knowing strength comes from him, how do we grow in this strength, to love him more every day?
In him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28a ESV Our lives should define who we are in Christ by how we live every day. When Mary and I got married, we ceased to live at separate locations. We ceased to be two separate people, in spirit. We became as one flesh abiding together and growing to love each other more every day. So it is as the bride of Christ. We are joined together in relationship with God through Christ, and we are defined by this relationship. God is not just someone to visit on Sunday. He is the address of our soul. The more I grow my relationship with God, the more I grow to love him. The more I understand the sacrifice He made for me, the more precious He becomes to me. This is never more real in my life than when I live, move, and have my being in Him. His strength of love for me becomes my strength to love Him back. This strength doesn’t come from knowing about Him, but knowing Him as Savior, Redeemer, and Friend.
When I think of worship, I think of joy. I have never encountered anyone worshipping God without experiencing the joy that comes from knowing Him. The Joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b ESV This is not saying you have strength only when everything is going great in your life; rather it is strength from the joy of knowing God’s abiding presence in your life, in every circumstance of life. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV This is why Peter and the apostles were able to rejoice in suffering (Acts 5:41) Worship, as love, is a choice the Christian should always make. In life as a Christian you will show strength in loving God by worshipping Him always…. NO MATTER WHAT!
Do not be burdened down by weakness, but focus on the love that God has shown you in Christ Jesus. Love requires you to have strength, and some of the strongest people I know …. have love …. especially those who love God.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David