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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Power From God APRIL 30


Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 1 Cor. 16:13.

We would expect the apostle Paul to talk like that. He was that kind of man. That is how he lived the Christian life. He was no passive Christian. Morally and spiritually he was a remarkable disciple of Christ. Accepting Paul's advice, we naturally conclude that being strong is one of the essential qualities of the Christian life.

But sooner or later we come to realize how weak we are. So much of the time we seem unable to cope successfully, in any strong way, with the difficulties, trials, and temptations that come to us. The world, the flesh, and the devil are too strong for us. We might as well admit it.

When we study the Bible, we learn how men of God accomplished things. One thing is clear—they never could have gone very far by themselves. Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Peter, James, John—they all had their weak moments. The theme of the Bible is the weakness of men and the strength of God. So we have this scripture exhorting us to be strong.

The twelve chosen men from the tribes of Israel went forth to spy out the land of their enemies that they were to face. Ten of them came back with stories of giants in the land; they saw themselves as grasshoppers by comparison. They were convinced of defeat even before the invasion began. They forgot all about the power of God. In plain words, God promised them complete victory over their enemies. What they could do alone would not be enough.

The Christian church would have perished in the first century without the power of the Holy Spirit. In the hour of Christ's greatest need, all the weak disciples forsook Him and fled. But after Pentecost, Peter and John stood before the Jewish council and boldly proclaimed the name of Jesus. Stephen firmly but quietly awaited his death without fear. It is not human weakness that has spread the gospel around the world. Christians found the perfect satisfaction and fulfillment of their needs in Christ's power and strength. The strength of Christ in us is the strong side of Christianity.

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