Personal note: There is a place where they have attempted to bring the Bible to life but in the form of and amusement park. Many people who went with me loved it but for me… Ah not so much. I applaud their efforts but having actually been there and seen it for myself I will simple say, “Read the book don’t wait for the movie, passion play, or amusement park, it just comes off too cheesy.”
•This Devotional is day 4 of 7 from the @YouVersion plan ‘Twisted”. Link will be at the bottom too (http://bible.com/r/a9). There is no need to read each day in the order they are given. Each stand on their own.
Sprinkled over the next few days I am going to be sharing from this particular reading plan, untwisting many verses that are all too often misused.
Day 4 from this devoted thought reflects on Paul writing from Prison, experiencing poverty, hunger, want, and despite it all, he was content, so much so that he wrote, “I can do all these things because Christ makes me strong.” (Philippians 4:13 EASY)
Paul was not all powerful but God is. Paul didn’t use God’s power & promises to free himself from Jail (this time) but to endure life while being in Jail.
Enough said right there.
Honestly, you don’t have to read any further. That is it in a nut shell really, but, if you really feel like ya need more the devotional goes into depth on this verse which can be so easily misused and taken out of context.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 NKJV
Who hasn’t thought of Philippians 4:13 before a big test, meeting, or game?
Maybe you were the athlete who quoted it after completing a nearly impossible feat. I’ve even seen it tattooed on people. Or maybe it was quoted to you by an old acquaintance after they explained an,
“amazing business opportunity.”
“Sure it sounds risky,”
“but just like the Bible says, ‘You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.’”
Too often, Philippians 4:13 is quoted for self-motivation alone.
A more secular version might sound like,
“If we set our mind to it, whatever it is, we’ll accomplish it.” Sure, “through Christ” is in our Bible version, but hopefully He’s not there to just give us strength to accomplish our goals.
Does Christ give us strength to do wonderful things including athletic feats? Yes. However, the original author of this coffee-mug verse wasn’t trying to win the Iron Man or triple his income in as little as three months (neither of which are necessarily bad things).
Paul was writing—from jail—to the church he helped start in Philippi.
If Paul had the power to do all things, wouldn’t “get out of jail” be at the top of his to-do list? After all, if he could really do all things, he’d be all-powerful.
The next three verses give additional meaning to verse 13.
Paul described experiencing poverty, hunger, want, and despite it all, contentment.
Then, he added verse 13 to basically say he could do all this only because of Christ.
Paul’s words were less about motivating the Philippians to accomplish great things and more about,
inspiring them to trust God despite horrible things.
In fact, the original language reads more like, “I have strength for all things. Why? Because Jesus.” (See Ephesians 3:14-19 below)
Chew on this for a bit:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Christ strengthens us, therefore we can do all things.
So, despite horrible things... I’m sure we all have examples of “things” that muck up our lives and sometimes the last thing we may wanna hear is how God can help us and yet it can be and should be our first line of defense, going to the one who created us and all things. Going to Him who, not only knows us best but, knows all things. He gives answers and solutions. He shows us the opportunities while we are face to face with any & all oppositions.
Bad break up? Rebound to Him; He makes you whole.
Bad medical news? Cling to Him; He is life.
Lost your job? Submit to Him; He’s your provider.
In want, and more importantly, in need? Come to Him; you can be content.
Through Christ, you have strength for all these things. Remember, Jesus said,
Watch “Music for the Soul “Christ is All” (Brian Davies & Graham Sapwell) with Lyrics” on YouTube:
Lord, I have all the strength I need to face any season because You strengthen me. Please help me to cling to that truth. I want Your strength to empower me to genuinely love others and endure hard seasons. In Jesus’ name, and literally for Christ’s sake, Amen.
In His strength alone, beetle
God’s Word Of The Subject:
Philippians 4:10-13 EASY translation, I am very happy that you want to help me again. I praise the Lord for that. I know that you wanted to help me before. But you have not had a chance to do anything until now. When I say that, it is not because I need anything. I have learned to be happy, whatever things may happen to me. I know what it is like to need things. I also know what it is like to have more than enough. I have learned this secret. I know how to be happy whatever happens. I can be happy when I have enough food to eat, and also when I am hungry. I can be happy when I have plenty of things, and also when I have nothing. I can do all these things becauseChrist makes me strong. Philippians 4:10-13 EASY
Remember Paul also cried out about a thorn in his side. He wrote a letter to the people in Corinth saying,
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he (The Lord) said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the °insults, °hardships, °persecutions, and °troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NLT
Verse 9 of 2 Corinthians 12 from the EASY translation reads, But he said to me, ‘I will be kind to you and I will help you. That will be enough for you. When you are weak, I will show that I am completely powerful to help you.’ So, I am happy to be proud about my weakness. Then I know that Christ’s power will be with me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 EASY
Colossians 1:9-13 EASY Because of all that, we have not stopped praying for you, ever since the day that we heard about you. We ask God that his Spirit will make you truly wise . He will help you to know clearly what he wants you to do. You will understand his true message. Then you will be able to live in a way that the Lord wants you to live. Everything that you do will please him. We pray that all these good things will have good results. We pray that you will know God better and better. God rules from heaven with great power. We pray that he will make you strong with every kind of strength. Then, when troubles come, you can still be patient and strong. You will be able to thank God, our Father, and be happy. God has prepared good things for his people to receive in heaven. Because God has included you among his people, you will also share those good things in that place of light. God has saved us from the dark kingdom where Satan rules. He has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. Colossians 1:9-13 EASY
Ephesians 3:14-19 EASY (as mentioned in above article). Yes, that is why I pray for you. I go down on my knees to pray to God, our Father. Every family, those in heaven and those on earth, receives its true name from him. I pray that God will cause you to be strong in your spirits . God has great and valuable things in heaven to help you. I pray that God’s Spirit will help youwith God’s own power. I pray that Christ will make his home in you, as you believe in him. Then you will know God’s love very well. You will be like trees that have roots which go down deep into God’s love. That will make you strong. Then you will understand, with all God’s people, how much Christ loves us. That love is very wide and long and high and deep! Christ’s love for us is so great that nobody can ever completely know it. As you understand this more and more, God’s own nature will completely fill you. Ephesians 3:14-19 EASY
I wrote an article called, “Pigeon Superstition”. (https://wp.me/p6Exj2-1zQ) Below I wanna recap a few things I got as I looked back at it.
In the beginning of the flick, Link to Movie, “Mr. Nobody”, They show a pigeon in a box with a potato chip hanging just out of reach. The pigeon wants to reach it & learns to move a little box that is also in the room. He moves the box OVER so it is under the chip then uses that box as a step to reach the chip.
Then, they show a controlled feeding door. The door is opened by the pigeon tapping a lever (in the box) that opens the door.
However, when they open the door randomly, exposing the food, the pigeon is confused on how to open the door.
Wanting to be in control and still believing in his ability to open the door to eat, the pigeon tries all kinds of movements to open the door-
If the pigeon is flapping its wings when the door opens it thinks that is the way to open the door, it becomes superstitious.
How often this happens to humans, we think if we do some ritual & get some type of feeling or selfgratification from it we keep doing it thinking that is what we need to keep doing.
God is not a God of conditions & superstitious acts that will get us into a relationship with Him or to live with Him in eternity.
The God of the Bible gives unconditionally.
His grace & mercy is what we need, it is a gift, not gained by anything we could ever do.
He wants a relationship not a religious obligation or some superstitious behavior.
He requires us to simply believe, accept, acknowledge and trust Him.
He is NOT taking Sunday School attendance or keeping church records.
Whether you attend or not He is the same.
I am not sure that many people understand this concept & I see too many people not only trying to do something that they think will make them right with God they also force those things, those actions, on others, thinking that is the way of Salvation.
Over emphasis on attendance or living according to someone else’s expectations & requirements does not truly matter to God.
Oh how big He is, yet man is in a box & contain God within that same box (the flesh) all too often.
It is time to let GOD out of our little box. He is beyond what we can fully conceive.
So, I don’t know what it looks like for you, holding His hand & walkin’ with Him, but I know for me it’s a matter of handing my inside (my soul/heart) over to Him, letting Him come in and work on & with me from the inside out.
While all along i still accept & understand,
He is not trapped here on earth in the same shell, He is above & beyond that and He will rescue me from this temporary body & life on earth.
I can’t explain it, you have to expiriance it.
The bottom line is,
What matters to God is our personal relationship with Him.
He wants each of us to respond to Him personally not through someone or something else.
This is the 1st stage in a series that may also bring you into knowing exactly who God really is or help you to know Him better…
Let’s start with a classic rock song by the band Petra “Too Big To Fail”:
1st Step in this stage: realize -GOD IS NOT LIKE US
Read Is. 40
Read Is. 55
He is the opposite of us and everyone we know.
2 Samuel 7:22 …the depths, beyond tracing out, no one has fully grasped.
He is not like us.
2nd step in this stage: Don’t shrink God.
All too often we may tend to shrink God in an attempt to comprehend & contain him (put in box). Sometimes people (we simple human beings) sincerely and innocently do this in an attempt to get to know Him better. We take a bit size piece of understanding that is more attainable or palliative than a full meal. We may sometimes just dip our toe in the pool of understanding rather than take a dive into the deep end.
We shrink Him, thinking on terms that give us the ability to claim we ‘know’ him.
Rather than be a servant we try to get Him to serve us. We may even try a religion or join a group of others but end up just self serving ourselves, putting our faith in man made rituals, making our own “Do it yourself” idols. Some will create something, or grasp something someone else has created, that represents God but not allow Him to be who He really is.
God is not a crutch. He is a stretcher. We can’t even limp into heaven without Him.
-Greg X. Volz
We have to make sure we don’t find ourselves worshipping creation rather than the creator. Even other objects of religious worship can divert or fool us into superstitious bevaior.
3rd Step in this stage: Get to truly ‘know’ Him personally…
How & when can we know Him?
Our physical body holds our soul right now but one day our body will give up our spirit.
If God’s got our soul because we’ve surrendered it to His care we can know with confidence, He has got us.
His love handles everything.
The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:24 NIV
But what about before we die? What about right now?
We get to truly know Him personally when we have an encounter with God.
We don’t need to wait until Sunday, until some special weekend retreat, or until we die, to meet Him. Right now we can experience transformation, salvation, sanctification, and a relationship with God.
And that’s not all
Reading Romans 12 gives us a perfect picture of what it really means to have Christ living in us.
Begin, or start over, rekindle, to see God, not as we perceive him but as He really is.
Not just as He is described in the Bible or as we’ve heard him preached but as He reveals Himself to us, one one one, personally.
I am not a perfect picture of what every relationships with God looks like. I am only one example.
I can not live in a way that dictates to you what your relationship with God is like or going to be like.
I can show you what myrelationship with my creator looks like but it may be different from yours. People may look at me and compare me to others that belong to any particular Churchand note that I am not like them.
My goal isn’t to be “like them”. My goal is to be like Jesus.
We tend to move toward our mental vision of God and if that is not who he really is we’ll just be forming another religion, not the “relationship” God longs to have with us.
We will truly be deceived if we think God is anything like or exactly like some one who claims to be an athority on Him yet is not humble, bearing: Love Joy Peace Patience Goodness Gentleness Faithfulness Simple kindness and Self-control.
Romans 1 explains, what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. Romans 1:19 NIV
Ro. 1 also shows a good example ‘exchange’, how people have a choice & are able to accept God’s ‘gifts’ orexchange those gifts,
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25 NIV
In John 10 Jesus himself describes the difference between Himself (the good shepherd) and those who are just “hired hands”. They are playing the ‘Church’ game, but it is just a job or fulfilment of membership requirements/role to them. They would never lay down their life, let alone defend the sheep, when it come right down to it.
Look at Job 38-42 and watch a series of people who very successfully pack God into a very convenient tuperware container and limit Him, but our God will not be contained. He is too big to fail.
In Ex. 32:1-6 follow how people, when they are not in control, put God in terms they think they can control. They even got Aaron in on it!
Daily I am personally realizing & learning what I do not know and what I can know beyond any shadow of doubt, letting God be God, being myself, & who He wants me to be.
A few words come to my mind here: Develop. Progression. Progress. Process. Possesion not possesions.
When we let GOD come in and take ahold of our hand (our soul) we take ahold of His hand (everything that He is) and it’s so important to keep holding on.
He never let’s go but I have at times in my life and it only ended in catastrophe, a dead end that gave no lasting satisfaction. I’ve been living proof of what happens when we (as human beings) take steps away from God and we try to please others and/or only ourselves.
Now, I move when HE says move. I stay when HE says stay.
Several songs & videos come to mind on this subject. Here is the song/video of “Move” by Audio Adrenaline:
The song/video by Toby Mac “Me Without You”:
Oh, that others will see the attributes and very character of God in me & long to know Him too.
I can start with simply showing real compassion, care, and LOVE for God is love (1st John 4).
I wonder what you think of when you hear the word ‘fear’? What immediately comes to mind? It may be that the word ‘fear’ reminds you of something you had to go through growing up, or a challenge that you are facing in the present. But one thing is for sure, the word ‘fear’ is always going to remind you of something negative. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who talks about their fears being positive!
It’s interesting to note that fear doesn’t actually exist on its own; it’s always a reaction to something else.
For example, the fear of spiders is just a negative reaction to spiders, and a fear of the dark is a negative reaction to the dark. If you take the spiders or the dark away, the fear can’t exist on its own, because fear is a lie! It merely creates a false reality that doesn’t actually exist!
“Fear is a lie! It merely creates a false reality that doesn’t actually exist!
However, there is one object of fear in the whole world which produces a positive reaction rather than a negative one. It’s often difficult to get our heads around this, because we always associate fear with something negative. But there is one fear that causes us to flourish,grow, and bloom in our relationship with God, and that is the fear of God. It is the most positive fear in the world!
What is the Fear of God?
The Hebrew word for ‘fear’ in today’s Scripture is a word that is also used to refer to reverence and the awesome nature of God. In the New Testament, the Greek term used for ‘fear’ is ‘phobos’, which again refers to awe, reverence and an understanding of God’s greatness.
This shows us that the fear of God is actually a positive fear; in this context, fear does not mean being scared of God, but rather to be in awe of HIS GREATNESS.
Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Right from the start of Proverbs we are told, taught, and handed a deeper understanding regarding this kind of fear. Proverbs 1:7 proclaims,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7 NIV
The Good News Translation plugs in this other word for the word fear, “To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord . Stupid people have no respect for wisdom and refuse to learn. Proverbs 1:7 GNTD https://bible.com/bible/69/pro.1.7.GNTD
In other words, if we want to be wise, we need to start with an understanding of the fear of God. Every one of us wants to become wiser, and if the key to that growth is the fear of God, we need to start with an awe and reverence for who God is and what He’s done.
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Romans 5:6-8 MSG https://bible.com/bible/97/rom.5.6-8.MSG
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! I couldn’t even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers—out of here!— all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies! Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.
Psalm 139:7-24 MSG https://bible.com/bible/97/psa.139.7-24.MSG
Some people are so accustomed to responding to every little dip and rise of life with fear and small doses of panic that they can’t even imagine there’s another way to respond. They’re so upset by change of all types that it never dawns on them they can live with greater emotional stability. (From day 3 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Finding Peace’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/3Uy)
Down-to-Earth Wisdom – It is about allowing the Father’s wisdom to shape how we conduct our friendships. To shape the way we treat our friends. It gives us some guardrails to help us be wise with our boundaries, especially in our relationships with people we find attractive.
These are not just critical and practical suggestions, but rather, directions from God’s Word addressed by Solomon in this third section of Proverbs 6.
After looking at finances and work (in the 1st two sections of Prov. 6), he moves to relationships, especially our friendships with others.
In Proverbs 6:16–19, Solomon says,
“There are six things God hates, seven in fact.”
Seven is the number of completion. By including seven items, Solomon emphasizes that these are completely abominable. All seven items have to do with relationships. The common thread throughout is harming others through
bearing false testimony, and
stirring up enmity between friends.
In our next section, Solomon looks at the issue of lust (link below). He warns us to keep our boundaries strong. If you lust after someone else’s spouse and sleep with him or her, you may even pay for it with your life.
The lesson here is that,
Our wrong choices today have dire consequences tomorrow.
Solomon warns us to think about the future.
“How can a man light his pants on fire and not be burned?” (v. 27, TPT)
That’s a great question. Let’s be wise in our relationships. The issue of personal boundaries is so important, whether you’re married or not.
May we consider areas of our life that we can bring to our Father, asking HIM to help us strengthen our borders.
Take God at His Word:
Proverbs 6:16-35 EASY TRANSLATION – There are 6 things that the Lord does not like. There are 7 things that he hates:
A person who thinks that he is great
A mouth that speaks false things
Hands that kill people that have done nothing wrong
A mind that decides to do what is wrong
Feet that hurry to do bad things
A person who gives false reports of what he has seen
Someone who causes trouble among friends.
Obey your father’s rules, my son. And never forget what your mother taught you. Do not forget their words. Think about them often. When you walk, they will lead you. When you sleep, they will keep you safe. When you wake up, they will speak to you. Their rules and what they taught you are like a light. They told you when you did wrong things. And that showed you how to live. They can keep you away from bad women. An adulteress will say nice things to you. But she wants to cause you to do wrong things. Do not want these beautiful women. And do not let them cause you to do wrong things. A prostitute makes a man poor. He can only buy a loaf of bread. She will rob you of your life . You cannot carry fire next to your body and not burn your clothes. A man cannot walk over a fire and not burn his feet. It is like that when a man sleeps with another man’s wife. Punishment will happen to whoever touches her. Someone may rob to get food when he is hungry. So people do not think that he is bad. But if someone catches him, he must pay back more. He must pay back 7 things for each thing that he took. He must give up everything that he has in his house. But an adulterer does not know anything. He destroys himself. Men will hit him. They will no longer think that he is a good man. They will never forget his shame. The husband will have bad thoughts about the adulterer and he will be angry with him. He will punish the adulterer very much. He will not accept any money. He will refuse any amount of gifts. Proverbs 6:16-35 EASY https://bible.com/bible/2079/pro.6.16-35.EASY
This was just from day 6 of the 9 day @YouVersion plan ‘Proverbs – Introduction To Wisdom’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/lI