Be Strong in the Lord               

 

Thank God! After more than a year of planning and construction, the church・s building project is finally complete. We are now waiting for the relevant government departments to do their final inspections and issue an occupancy permit. I hope the brothers and sisters will continue to pray earnestly and keep watch for the church, and to ask God for His refuge so that we may experience Him more.

 

If one asks, :With what attitude should we enter our new hall?; the writer believes that it is to :be strong in the Lord;. The Bible encouraged those who work for God to :be strong; on many occasions. Before he departed the world, David encouraged Solomon to be strong and courageous in building the temple of God (1 Chronicles 22:12, 28:10, 20), for his son was young in years, timid and inexperienced, and the task of construction of the temple was great (1 Chronicles 29:1). Through the prophet Haggai, God exhorted the exiled and returned Jews to be strong and rebuild His temple, for they were frightened by the enemies all around them. God encouraged them three separate times to be strong and do the work. :But now be strong, O Zerubbabel,' declares the Lord. 'Be strong, O Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,' declares the Lord, 'and work. For I am with you,' declares the Lord Almighty.; (Haggai 2:4) After Moses・ death, Joshua was grieved with the loss of an elder and a leader, and terrified by the burden of the command he was assuming. It was then that God encouraged him three times to be strong (Joshua 1:6-9). Today, our church has also been blessed by the Lord・s selection and disposition to have this opportunity to build a temple in His name. Now we are preparing to enter No. 5 Rd., this battleground of the spiritual struggle to bear witness for Him. God wants us to be strong and courageous as well.

 

Facing the challenges ahead, we do not attempt to be strong ourselves through human wisdom, courage or method. Rather, we are strong and do our work through God, and by relying on His almighty power and promise. From the aforementioned personages we realize that to stand up and work in strength, there are the following four ingredients:

 

1.      We must be strong because of God・s selection. :Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work." (1 Chronicles 28:10)

 

2.      We must be strong because God is with us. :K. Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

 

3.      We must be strong because we will be receiving a spiritual inheritance, and also lead others to be given spiritual blessings. "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land.; (Joshua 1:6) Just like Joshua and the Israelites, the church must engage in the spiritual battle, and lead others to know our Saviour Jesus Christ and depart from sin and the authority of Satan, so that people through their faith will have everlasting life as their inheritance.

 

4.      We must be strong because we have God・s promise. "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.; (Joshua 1:6) Because of the promise of the creator of heaven and earth, the everlasting, true Lord, we can be at peace and bear witness courageously for Him even though we will face difficulties of many kinds.

 

If one asks further, :With what attitude should a believer prepare to enter heaven?; the writer believes it is still to :be strong; because of God・s selection, God・s presence, God・s promise, and in order that one・s self and others may receive the everlasting inheritance. Just as Paul admonished the church, :Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.; (Ephesians 6:10)

 

By: Daniel To