Conqueror: October 1-7, 2019 (Tues-Mon): Read through Psalms, Jeremiah, and Lamentations

While visiting Grand Coulee Dam, a man and his family were surprised to see that the visitors’ center was dark. It was a sunny day, so they thought the center might have tinted windows, but as they got closer, they realized there were no lights on. They went in and saw that none of the displays were working. Suddenly it became clear: there was no power to the center. Due to some technical difficulty, the visitors’ center that sat only hundreds of feet from a hydroelectric dam had no power. How could something be so close to the power source, yet not be “plugged in”?[1]

Paul wrote Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment” (2 Timothy 1:7 CSB). Clearly, God didn’t give believers fear, but He did give us power! God didn’t give you a spirit which makes you afraid, but one which makes you strong and powerful, a spirit which makes you confident and brave, but we must “plug in” to the power.

In Romans 8:37-39, Paul calls us hypernikes, or more than conquerors, and you’re much more powerful than a pair of athletic shoes. He says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (CSB). “Nike” is a Greek word which means victory. Paul says that we’re hypernikes, or more than conquerors. We’re more than victorious. What’s that mean? Your school football team comes up against a team, and it’s a grudge match for all four quarters. It’s back and forth the whole time, but 15 seconds before the clock runs out, your team manages a field goal which puts you ahead at the end. They’re victorious (nike). Now suppose your football team goes up against another team, and at the end of the 1st quarter it’s 21-0 your way. By halftime, it’s 35-0, and by the end of the game it’s 72-0. Your team is not just a conqueror. They’re more than conquerors. They’re hypernikes. They’ve utterly defeated their opponent.

Being more than a conqueror doesn’t rest in our ability. Paul said, “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31 CSB) We have power that works in us, but it’s not us. Paul also proclaimed, “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 CSB). We have spiritual Under Armour. Kevin Plank started Under Armour in his grandma’s basement in 1996. He operated by selling undershirts from the trunk of his car. He did that for three years until he could finally start paying himself. The founder of Under Armour eventually became a hypernike in the world of sports clothing. In a spiritual way, we have some Under Armour in the form of the Holy Spirit. Luke wrote, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 CSB). “I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit…Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:16,20 CSB). As believers, we have the greatest power within us.

A little boy was spending his Saturday morning playing in his sandbox. He had with him his box of cars and trucks, his plastic pail, and a shiny, red plastic shovel. In the process of creating roads and tunnels in the soft sand, he discovered a large rock in the middle of the sandbox. The boy dug around the rock, managing to dislodge it from the dirt. He pushed and nudged the rock across the sandbox by using his feet. When the boy got the rock to the edge of the sandbox, however, he found that he couldn’t roll it up and over the little wall. Determined, the little boy shoved, pushed, and pried, but every time he thought he had made some progress, the rock tipped and then fell back into the sandbox. The little boy grunted, struggled, pushed, shoved—but his only reward was to have the rock roll back, smashing his chubby fingers. Finally, he burst into tears of frustration. All this time the boy’s father watched from the living room window as the drama unfolded. At the moment the tears fell, a large shadow fell across the boy and the sandbox. It was the boy’s father. Gently but firmly he said, “Son, why didn’t you use all the strength that you had available?” Defeated, the boy sobbed back, “But I did, Daddy. I did! I used all the strength that I had!” The father kindly corrected, “No, son, you didn’t use all the strength you had. You didn’t ask me.” With that the father reached down, picked up the rock, and removed it from the sandbox.[2]

If you’re a believer in Jesus, you’ve got the unlimited power of God in your life. Ask for help in everything!

This week you’ll read…

Psalm 138-144: “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well” (Psalm 139 CSB).

Jeremiah 1-14: “The word of the Lord came to me: I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1 CSB).

Lamentations 1-2: “The Lord has done what He planned; He has accomplished His decree, which He ordained in days of old” (Lamentations 2 CSB).

 

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.

[1] PreachingToday.com. (2003). More Perfect Illustrations: For Every Topic and Occasion (p. 212). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

[2] Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks

Published by

not the King

recipient of grace and servant of Christ Jesus

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