September 11

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“For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10 NLT).

From: September 11, 2018

Paul told the Corinthians that he had learned to glory in his weaknesses, for it was in weakness that he had experienced the power of Christ at work in and through him. He had learned that real strength comes out of weakness which, distrustful of itself, gives itself up to God.
The weak learn to lean on God. Just as the Israelites in the wilderness learned to gather enough manna for the day, so we can learn to depend on Christ’s power for the troubles of today. The Lord will empower us to face each day when we call on Him, for the Scripture says, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Deut. 33:25).
Do you own the strength and resources to accomplish the dreams God has given you? Then, your dreams are too small and your labors are too self-dependent. Yet God calls us to things too big for us to do without Him.
Paul’s pedigree was admitting his weakness and reliance on Christ’s power. He never claimed to be a hero. He lifted up Christ as the Hero!
Do you feel weak today? Don’t see it as an excuse for inaction, but as the perfect opportunity to call on Christ’s power!

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2 NKJV).

From: September 11, 2017

In the climax of Paul’s “boastings,” he spoke of himself in the third person as a man who was “caught up to the third heaven.” Perhaps he felt it too immodest to speak of himself in the first person as one who had been entrusted with such a heavenly experience. Yet, he shared it with the Corinthians as a part of his apostolic resume to refute those who had challenged his authority.
Some have read too much into Paul’s reference to the “third heaven,” imagining three levels or more in spiritual progression. A simpler explanation would be to understand it as the Jews of that day did. In their view, the first heaven was the blue sky at day, the second, the night sky with its starry host, and the third, the unseen heaven, where God and His heavenly host dwelt. Paul used the phrase “caught up” to describe his experience, which in the Latin Vulgate was translated “raptured” (Greek: “harpazó,” Latin: “raptum”). His experience was so beyond comprehension that he didn’t know whether it was “in the body” or “out of the body.”
Paul did not go into detail about what he had experienced, only saying that he heard “inexpressible words.” He apparently experienced first hand what Isaiah had prophesied and what he had written about in his first letter to the Corinthians, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (Isa. 64:4; 1 Cor. 2:9).

“Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice” (Psalm 55:17 ESV)

From: September 11, 2016

On this 15th anniversary of 911, it is good to be reminded that God hears our heartfelt prayers. This Davidic psalm speaks of the spiritual discipline of praying three times a day. Just as we eat three meals a day to sustain our bodies with bread, so we should commune with the Bread of Life in prayer to feed our souls. David started with “evening” prayers because the Jewish day began at sunset. He arose at daybreak to morning prayers and paused at noon for midday prayers. Prayer times marked his days more than meal times. Do you have a spiritual discipline of daily prayer times?

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV)

From: September 11, 2015

I can’t read this verse without singing it as Handel imagined in his oratorio, Messiah. He put Isaiah’s words to music in 1741 AD, 17 centuries after Christ’s coming. Isaiah wrote the words of this prophecy around 740 BC, nearly 8 centuries before Christ’s coming. Not many song-writing duos have lived so far apart, in time that is. Yet time has little meaning to the “Everlasting” one. Isaiah prophesied a Son to be born to the house of David whose names would be “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” Which of these names means most to you today?

“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory” (Isaiah 9:1 NLT)

From: September 11, 2014

Isaiah is filled with many words of judgment and destruction, yet it also overflows with future hope. Isaiah prophesies the overthrow of the Northern Kingdom, “the “land of Zebulun and Naphtali,” by the Assyrians. This prophesy concerning Israel came true during Isaiah’s lifetime. But the prophecy of the future “glory” that would fill the land of Galilee wouldn’t be fulfilled until 700 years later when Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth (Matt. 4:16). More Messianic prophecies are found in Isaiah than any other Old Testament book.

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22)

From: September 11, 2011

Are you burdened by a load of care? Do you stoop under its load and feel unable to go on? Why not give them to the One who is able? Stop trying to tough it out and suck it up. Give your cares, worries, and troubles to God. He can carry them and you. Learn to lean.