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Is Christ Jesus Your Strength?

Is Christ Jesus Your Strength?

Posted by Linda Presley on 18th Mar 2024

The Apostle Paul also known as Saul of Tarsus was a persecutor of Christians before his encounter with Jesus. He hated Christ’s followers. He put a great deal of energy into words of hatred. And he took that hatred on the road. On one such road trip he requested letters of authority demanding cooperation from the synagogues in Damascus for compliance in the arrests of all followers of Jesus. God had a different plan for Pau.

It was on the road to Damascus that his encounter with the LORD would forever change his life. Jesus gave Paul direction and purpose and more importantly saved him from eternal damnation.

Upon accepting Christ’s calling he became His servant, letting go of past behaviors. Paul glorified Jesus in the moment of his *redemption and for the rest of his life (Acts Ch. 9:3-9; *saved through Jesus from sin and its consequences).

Paul’s life and service also glorified those who followed Jesus (Galatians 1:24). A remarkable shift in heart, mind, soul and life direction took place upon his conversion.

This ability to change is a divine one. And is assured for people who accept Christ as their personal Savior. They become children of God. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in the soul changing the redeemed person from the inside out. *Justification is rendered in the moment (Romans 3:28; *judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ).

A process of *sanctification begins, and the person’s life direction begins to shift (*act of God's grace by which the affections of man are purified). The followers of Jesus begin to see their lives move from the self to Jesus. A mindful perspective of more of You and less of me (John 3:30). The Bible, His Word becomes a shield for the redeemed life.

Jesus wants every life to glorify Him. He knew that not everyone would accept Him or follow His teachings. Therefore, He prays for His followers. He prayed these words the night before He was crucified.

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.”

The apostle Paul became more like Jesus, glorifying Christ as he matured in service and missions. Paul made praying for others a priority (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

Paul’s divinely inspired writings are found in the following books of the Bible: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. His “prison epistle” to the Philippians is the focus of incredible strength in the Lord and glorification of Him.

Paul wrote Philippians while he was in a Roman prison, facing a strong chance of being executed (1:23; Eph; Col; Philem). He continued to serve the Lord and His followers through his faith in Jesus. And certainly, in His strength. Paul’s writings remain relevant.

The redeemed need to center their lives on Christ. Jesus alone is the source of contentment, joy, love and strength. Christ is our energizer!

Consider the themes of Philippians. Chapter 4, verses 2 – 9 is Paul’s instructions, requests, and admonition. Be wise. Seek peace and unity in the strength of the Lord. Replace anxiety with rejoicing in Christ’s strength. Verses 10 –20 are all about thankfulness. Christ is the source of contentment. His own can do all things through His strength. And in verses 21-23, Paul closes with his farewell and reminds the congregation ofPhilippi to bless others.

How does a follower of Christ live this out in daily life? How do redeemed people encourage others and themselves? How is it possible to put action into these divine words? How do the redeemed remind themselves to be strong and centered upon Christ as they live out their lives?

Looking closer into His Word will help give direction. A deeper look into Paul’s life answers many of these questions and more.

The Apostle Paul faced numerous battles as a chosen servant of the LORD. Everywhere he traveled there was always a person or groups of people who wanted to defeat him and put an end to his mission. They wished that the battle be lost regarding the risen King.

Philippians 4:13 describes Paul’s divinely inspired writings on the topic of Christ’s strength. Even imprisoned Paul could say that Christ was his strength. He could rest in His infinite love and care. In His care he learned contentment; Paul was always content.

Paul learned contentment through the many battles and oppositions he faced on his life journey.

In all circumstances, in plenty or little he learned to be content in the promises of Jesus Christ, Who was his strength (Phil 4:12,13). Paul did not take “joy” being in prison. No, his joy was in the Lord. It is not just on the mission field that the redeemed soul needs Christ’s strength. In all life endeavors the redeemed have need of His divine strength.

The Apostle Paul wore heavy chains while imprisoned. The redeemed soul in all levels of society wear heavy burdens according to the times, circumstance, and even their careers.

One example are Christian athletes. They desire to be champions when competing. They desire to finish strong. Keeping the Lord’s Word in the forefront of their focus and goals spurs them on in His strength.

Another example is when boxers persevere while in strenuous training. They need reminders of the Lord’s enduring strength while in and out of the ring. Carrying a symbol of Christ’s promises reminds the self and others that He is their constant companion and strength. These symbols remind all to stay focused.

Paul had symbols he carried with him, physically and mentally. The pen and parchment were symbols near and dear to him.

Christians that wear jewelry have options to carry and wear Bible verse jewelry to remind themselves to lean upon Christ’s strengths. Shields of Strength’s has created jewelry Bible gifts for men and women. For the boxer they have artistically designed a 14k Gold Boxing Glove Pendant Necklace. This men’s gold plated necklace is also a symbol of the wisdom found in the Scriptures, nuggets of gold for the believer.

There are other crafted designs that encourage faith and strength. Just a few that can be found among many Bible gifts for men and women are Shields of Strength line of weight plates, combo weight plates and dumbbell necklaces.

They are designed with various alloys, high polished stainless steel, antique finishes and 14k gold plated pendants. These are all symbols of faith and strength for athletes. They are not meant to be talisman objects.

Paul’s writings to the church of Philippi reminded them to pray and meditate upon Jesus. Focus on Christ with gratitude, let the Holy Spirit empower you to stay positive and be fully satisfied. Christ is Who strengthens His own! Paul closed chapter four of Philippians with heartfelt thanksgiving for what the congregation had done for him.

He acknowledged the ways they had followed the gospel in daily, practical ways.

They showed their gratitude for the LORD’s assurances through their behaviors and attitudes. And they demonstrated the strength bestowed upon them by putting action into the gospel Words they read. They expressed it in their work, play, and service to others.

They ultimately combined gratitude and contentment in the invisible LORD. These two attributes are the themes also found in Luke 1:37.

Shields of Strength combined fitness and faith in their Men's Stainless Steel Necklace with weight plate and dumbbell charms. It features both Bible verses Philippians 4:13 and Luke 1:37.

This combo pendant necklace is one of several popular fitness and athletic jewelry accessories among weightlifters. These Christian gifts are a few examples of the beautifully designed pendant curb chain necklaces.

The themes point men and women of all ages to Jesus, encouraging them to rest in Jesus to accomplish their goals.

Jesus can take the smallest part of His creation or idea and create something large and magnificent. And in the process bring peace, comfort, confidence and inspiration.

One man who discovered this fact was Jack Miner, Canadian pioneer in banding migrating waterfowl. He did not have the peace of Christ within him. Until he met a young girl who shared how she wrote a Bible verse on her calendar every day. This helped her have faith in Christ and inspired others with her testimony.

Miner had a calling from the Lord that turned his life around. In 1915, he began stamping bible verses on duck bands. He called it sending out bird missionaries. He found the peace he needed in his life.

He was thankful and content and became a better person and more loving to his family.

He stopped his addictions and became like Paul ... content. The Shields of Strength Duck Band Necklace features an inscription of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". The inside has the inscription "Banded to my Savior".

Paul was not present at Christ’s crucifixion. He did not go to the tomb before or after the boulder was moved aside. Yet, Christ crucified is central to Paul’s preaching (1 Corinthians 2:22).

In modern times aligning with Christ can bring criticism, ridicule and perhaps malignment by others. Paul would remind you that your strength comes from Jesus.

Shields of Strength men’s cross necklace designs echo this identification with the crucified Christ through their unique designs. The men’s cross necklaces and the women’s cross necklaces both reflect His strength and love which He displayed upon the cross.

Christ’s followers are from every vocation, political sphere to general citizen. Jesus calls His own to reflect His strength in word and deed. Christ was a carpenter by trade, a craftsman.

There is an artful cross necklace impression for men and women who also are craftsman. The Gold Plated or Stainless Steel Men's Wrench Cross Pendant Necklace is an excellent gift for mechanics. Traditional , patriotic and classic men’s cross necklaces are wonderful examples of Christian jewelry.

Mirror His infinite power and mercy and remind others that nothing is impossible with Jesus. Truly, you can do all things through Christ who strengths you.