Strength Bestowed

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

“I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house.” – Mark 2:11

That was surely a very strange command to give to a paralyzed man. He could not rise up. He could not lift up his bed. He could not walk a step. He was as helpless as a corpse. Why did Jesus require of him such an impossibility? But as we look on the helpless form we see that it at once starts up. The limbs move, the man rises, takes up his bed, and walks away in the presence of all the people. As we watch him going his way, we learn that when Christ gives any command which seems impossible, He always gives strength to perform it. As the man’s will began to obey Christ’s bidding, power came back into his long-paralyzed body, and he was able to rise up and walk.

It is the same in spiritual life. We have no power in ourselves to do Christ’s will, but as we begin to obey the needed grace is given. Young people often say that they are afraid to enter upon a Christian life because they can not do what will be required. In their own strength they cannot. It would be as easy for them to climb to the stars as unaided to live a noble and lovely Christian life. Human strength in itself is inadequate to life’s sore needs. But the young Christian who sets out in obedience to Christ, depending upon Him to open the path of duty, will never fail of needed help at the moment of need.

Older Christians also often shrink from duties because they have not the ability to perform them; but for them, and for all who attempt any work or service in obedience to Christ, it is true that the effort to obey will always bring with it the strength to obey.

We should notice too that the strength will not come until we try to obey. If we will not attempt to do our duty, we shall remain for ever poor paralytics; but as we put forth the exertion the life will flow into our souls, and we shall be strong.

Comfort From the Empty Tomb

April 7, 2012
Matthew 28:1-10
Think about a time when your heart was broken because your expectations were dashed and your world fell apart. That is exactly what happened to the women who came to Jesus’ tomb. They had put all their hopes in Him as Israel’s promised Messiah and had given Him their love and devotion. Now He was dead.

Can you imagine the sudden change in their emotions and outlook when an angel told them He had risen? Hope sprang to life again. Even though this event happened almost 2,000 years ago, the empty tomb still holds a message for us. Like these women, we can be dramatically changed when we consider the ramifications of Christ’s resurrection. It should affect how we live from this day onward.

Jesus’ resurrection proves that there is life after death. So many people today think that earthly existence is all there is. But this belief robs life of purpose and meaning. God created us as eternal souls, and Jesus demonstrated that death is not the end–much more awaits us.

The empty tomb also gives us hope and dispels our fears about death. We have One who has gone before us and shown us what’s ahead. Those who trust Him as their Savior will be resurrected to new life just as He was.

None of us know what day the Lord will call our name, signaling the end of our earthly life. Yet we do know that He has promised to prepare a place in heaven for us (John 14:1-3). Death is not the end, but the beginning of the greatest adventure of our lives–coming home to Christ.

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