Wednesday, October 7, 2015

“Of Power, Love, and Sound Mind"

   Our memory verse this week declares that God gives to His trusting children the Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind.  Or, He gives to us the Lord Jesus Christ as the power, love, and sound mind of God.

   "Christ, the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:24).
   "The love of Christ, which passeth knowledge" (Ephesians 3:19).
   "We have the mind of Christ" (I Corinthians 2:16).

    Our Lord's power overcomes fear because it assures us that we can face any challenge that comes to us by His strength and enabling.  Any challenge.  His love delivers from insecurity because at the root of all such lack of assurance lies focus upon ourselves rather than God and others (even if our fear seems to be about others).  The wisdom and knowledge of our Lord's mind, revealed in us by the Holy Spirit, banishes fright because it leads us to think in terms of God's presence rather than His absence, His promises rather than our perplexity, and His power rather than our weakness.  "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).  Indeed, let Satan paint the worst possible scenario we could imagine on the canvas of our minds, eliciting feelings of fear, insecurity, dread, and even horror.  The greater truth and reality, by an infinite measure, speaks to us from the pages of Scripture and by the living voice of the Holy Spirit that the Lord Jesus is risen from the dead!  The earthly tomb is empty, the heavenly throne is occupied, and our Savior dwells both with and within us to implement and execute the truth that "in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).

   Temptations to fear, if embraced, cause unnecessary weakness, selfishness, and downright stupidity when we succumb to the notion that the world, the devil, and the flesh are more honest than God, and more true than His Word.  Along these lines, we close the present consideration in the best manner possible, by remembering just a few the assurances provided by the Bible that shines its Light upon the darkness of fear.  Our Lord leads us into the light of liberty, His liberty of power, love, and a sound mind that delivers us from the unnecessary prison of being afraid.

    "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee" (Isaiah 43:2).
    "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3).
    "By Thee I have run through a troop.  By my God, I have leaped over a wall" (II Samuel 22:30).
    "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Lord shall raise a standard against him" (Isaiah 59:19).
    "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea " (Psalm 46:1-2).
    "Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you" (Isaiah 35:4).
    "Neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not" (Numbers 14:9).
    "In God I will praise His Word, in God I have put my trust.  I will not fear what flesh can do unto me" (Psalm 56:4).
    "The Lord is on my side, I will not fear" (Psalm 118:6).
    "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence" (Proverbs 14:26).
    "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).
    "He is risen, as He said Ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God" (Matthew 28:6; Colossians 2:12).
    "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
    "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15).
     "There arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow" (Mark 4:37-38).
     "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given the Prince of peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
     "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world" (I John 4:4).
     "In the world ye shall have much tribulation, but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
    "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear" (I John 4:18).
    "We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us" (II Corinthians 1:8-10).
    "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
    "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever" (Revelation 22:1-5).

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Weekly Memory Verse
   God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
(II Timothy 1:7)

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