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Direction: Lay Out Your Strength for God

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Lay Out for God

Direction: Lay Out Your Strength for God}

Lay out your strength for God. He is the God of your strength and has the right to it and of the use of it (Psalm 43:2).1585 He has work for you that calls for all your strength. “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them” (Psalm 111:2 ESV). “For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol” (Psalm 86:13 NKJV). God’s anger is great and greatly to be feared. “Nevertheless the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him” (2 Kings 23:26 NKJV). His trials and rebukes on His own children are frequently great; these need great faith and patience to bear up under them, and strength of grace to make right use of them. “You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth” (Psalm 71:20 NASB). You do not know what need you may have of all the strength that your hearts and graces are capable of receiving in order to carry you through your remaining trials and troubles. You have not yet resisted to the point of your blood being shed; you have not had to endure fiery trials, nor have you seen such days as never had been, nor will be. And therefore you need to be equipped with strength and to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. One way to get this strength is to use what you have for God (Hebrews 5:14).1586 Serving God also requires expended strength. “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27 NASB, also 1 Chronicles 26:8).1587 This means that, in God’s service and work, you must lay out your inward strength: the strength of your hearts and souls. It also means you must lay out your outward strength: the strength of your bodies. Our Lord Jesus did this; He spent His strength in the service of His Father. At thirty-four years of age He was thought to be near fifty; He was weary in His work.1588 And Paul also spent and was spent for Christ. “I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?” (2 Corinthians 12:15 NASB). And David cried out, “My knees are weak through fasting; my body has become gaunt, with no fat” (Psalm 109:24 ESV). “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV). “Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death” (2 Corinthians 11:23 NASB). “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27 NASB). Christianity is not easy work. Mr. Burroughs said, “Ministers must venture their strength for Christ.” And, so must all who are Christ’s. “In weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:27 NKJV). Christianity is worth all your labors and exhausted strength. People tire themselves for the world; how much more should they for God and glory.

1585For You are the God of my strength; why have You rejected me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (Psalm 43:2 NASB).

1586But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14 ESV).

1587All these were of the sons of Obed-Edom, they and their sons and their brethren, able men with strength for the work: sixty-two of Obed-Edom” (1 Chronicles 26:8 NKJV).

1588So the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’” (John 8:57 ESV). Ashwood could be referring to this verse, but rather than indicating that Christ was near fifty, that age were merely a common milestone in life. “And from the age of fifty years they shall withdraw from the duty of the service and serve no more” (Numbers 8:25 ESV).

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