Friday, August 16, 2013

My Strength and My Song

The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my fathers God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.
 The LORD is my strength and my song; he will become my salvation.”
Is. 12:2 (NIV)

”Surely God is my salvation. . .” The Old Testament idea of salvation refers to various forms of deliverance, both temporal and spiritual. God delivers His people from their enemies and from the snares of the wicked.1

”. . . I will trust and not be afraid.” We learn to place our full faith in God. The scriptures are full of passages that tell us we can trust Him.
                              Psalm 33:21
                              Psalm 119:42
                              Proverbs 3:5-6
                              Matthew 12:17-21

The LORD is my strength and my song. . .” Isaiah states his source of strength comes from God. When he calls God his song, he has a special meaning. “Songs were indicative of joy and the absence of sorrow.”2 God’s presence made people feel safe from harm.

“ . . he will become my salvation.” “The Old Testament prophecies center upon the one who was to come as the bringer of salvation.”*** Isaiah speaks of a certainty—notice the verb tense—wil. He knows this Savior is coming in the future.

Are we as certain in the 21st Century that we have the Lord as our Savior?  We need to be certain that we are under the arc of the Lord.
1.Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press ©        1957,1885, 1988 page 1114
2. OPCIT: page 1209

3.  OPCIT: page 1114


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength


“’The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this:
Hear, O Israel the Lord, our God, the Lord is one.
 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”  Mk 12:29-30 (NIV) 

One of the teachers of the law figuratively has Jesus in a corner. He asks the Master which is the most important of the commandments. This teacher happened to enter the temple court to hear Jesus’ answer to one of the Sadducees question about marriage in heaven.

As he heard the answer Jesus gave. The teacher posed his question. Jesus responded with the idea that we are to love the Lord with our entire being—heart, soul, and mind,and strength.

What did Jesus mean when he specifically mentioned our hearts? “The heart is the innermost center of the natural condition of man—the center of the  bodily life, the reservoir of the entire life-power. “1

In today’s world, we have concern when we hear of someone having physical heart problems. As children of God, we also need to demonstrate care when we hear or suspect that someone has spiritual heart issues.

What about ‘soul?’ “(Heb. nepesh a ‘breathing’ creature; Gr. psuche ‘breath,’)
The Heb. Term may indicate not only the inner nature of man, but also his entire personality, i.e. all that pertains to the person of man.
The Gk. Term has the simple meaning of life; that in which there is life.”  “It also has the meaning of the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions.”2

From what I gather from this research is that our souls constitute our personalities.  From time to time, we may have an event happen to us or someone we know that causes intent sadness. Or we might find great joy in an action taken by others. These emotions go deep into our beings—into our souls.

Jesus tells the teachers of the Law that we are to love God with all we have—even to the very center of who we are.

“What does the Master mean by ‘mind?’ The Guideposts Family Concordance tells us that the mind is the reasoning facility of an individual; memory; intent. (page 451) When I was in counseling several years ago, I learned that people hear and process information by running the data through various filters. A person’s life experiences determine which filters people use.
If we had traumatic experiences in our lives we react in one manner. If we have sweet memories about events, we respond in loving ways.

When we have Jesus in our minds, we learn to model Him in our reactions.

 What about ‘strength?’ The Guideposts Family Concordance tells us that strength is power. (page 683) As I see it, our strength is not just about the physical. I have noticed my physical strength lessen over the past few years. I knew a young woman who took strength training a few years ago.

Strength is also about the spiritual fortitude we possess. We gain spiritual strength by spending time with Jesus through prayer, Bible study, and meditation. Also, we gain it through fellowship with like-minded believers.

Did you catch the adjective ‘all’ in Jesus’ response? All our hearts, souls, mind and strength. We are to love the Lord with All we are.

1.  Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press ©        1957, 1885, 1988 page 544

2. OPCIT page 1213

Monday, August 12, 2013

God’s Strength

"You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,                             
O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
 who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength.
Ps. 65:5-6 (NIV)

David gives praise to the Lord in this song-prayer. The words read like a prayer of thanksgiving.
He tells the Lord that the people receive answers to their prayers by His bestowing great deeds of righteousness. Has God ever responded to one of your petitions in a way that you totally did not expect? At one time or another we all have.
As I write this my mind goes back to an action I did that caused someone to react in anger. I realized what I had done and knew it was wrong. I said a silent prayer and asked God to forgive me. Within minutes we were laughing about something I said.
David reminds himself and us of the vastness of God’s deeds. In the rest of the chapter He states several of these acts.
The shepherd who became king acknowledges that God performed these wondrous actions with His own power and strength.

As I think about my behavior in this world, I realize anew I need to rely on God’s strength to carry me through each day.


Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...