Strength to the End

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. Psalm 121:5–6

He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:8

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I listened today to a podcast from a pastor who made the point that Jesus didn’t come only to forgive our sins. He came to set us free. I think I know what that means, and I hope my understanding is correct. But I wonder. Do we realize just how vitally important it is that our sins are forgiven.

Life on this earth is not to be despised or belittled. The challenges of living the victorious Christian life are bold and daunting. Our witness to the world is certainly stymied if we are in bondage to anything other than the love and grace of God.

Nor do I want to point people to the idea that in the end, the end is all that matters. Our calling to live under Christ in his kingdom and serve him is a daily calling; not something we simply put off until the end and then ask for forgiveness for all those times we failed to honor Christ or take advantage of the freedom we have in him.

That’s why it is truly good news that God is our keeper, our shade and protector. That’s a daily reality, and we honor him when we take that on fully and live in hopeful faith each moment of our lives.

The strength that Jesus gives “to the end” is not to be a cause for giving up or letting go of the challenges before us. The strength to the end is for the cause of Jesus’ rule and reign in our hearts and the hearts of others. O Lord God, I need that strength!

1 comment
  1. This statement struck me:
    “Our witness to the world is certainly stymied if we are in bondage to anything other than the love and grace of God.”

    I began to think of what it means to be “in bondage to.” Words (not an actual definition) began to come to mind like; connected to, affected by, motivated by, held back by, held down by, honor more highly than, devoted to, enjoy better than, giving best merit to, desiring of, bound to … I could go on and on. I tried-out these phrases, inserting them in place of “in bondage to.” I began to see strings (if you will), as I went through this exercise of insertions. I quickly saw that the strings need cutting. If not, our witness is “stymied;” presents an obstacle; stands in the way (Merriam Webster) of presenting the love and grace of God to others. Some of my strings are already frayed by the faith and submission to Jesus’ rule and reign at work in me (maybe in you, too) but are not completely loosed. It seems that these unsevered connections may be what the world sees when Christ-believers become referred to as hypocrites. We appear to be firmly connected to the wrong things and likely for the wrong reasons.

    So yes(!), I too need strength now, tomorrow and for certain, to the end. I’ll pray it along with you, ” O Lord God, I need that strength!” Strings cut, obstacles removed. Boundless love and grace outpouring. It does sound like freedom! 🙂

    Thank you for this post and the exercise of faith and reflection it has produced this morning.

    By the way, Merriam Webster gives this definition of “bondage;” the state of being a slave.

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