How to Become Re-Energized 7/26/98

I Peter 5: 10, 11
Page 1771 Come Alive Bible

JESUS CHRIST has personally summonsed you to heaven. Not only does He want you to come to heaven He proposes to give you strength for the journey.

Have you ever seen a bee trapped in a car or house? It may buzz against a window until it finally winds down. When a bee leaves the hive it carries only enough fuel reserve to get to a predetermined destination and back. If it becomes trapped it runs out of energy and can’t fly. Have you ever felt that way and needed to be re-energized. I read that if you find a bee in that condition and dissolve sugar in water and offer it to the bee it will drink and be re-energized enough to return home. Once while dining at Mt. Vernon, the former home of George Washington, I saw such a bee on the window sill by our table. I dissolved sugar in water in a spoon and offered it to the bee. Slowly it drank for the longest time. Then it took off, buzzed around a bit, flew back and stung me.

It may be we appear to respond to the goodness of the Lord with such ingratitude. Don’t forget, “Thanks” is also prayer.

Our Lord desires to ESTABLISH – STERIZO, the believer. That is, He wants to build up the believer. This word has three basic meanings in the New Testament.

I. PERSEVERANCE “Jesus resolutely set out (sterizo) for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).

From the beginning He saw the ending of His life. As He approached Jerusalem He was very mindful that His hour had come and Calvary awaited. He had no ambition for the agony of crucifixion as is evidenced by His withdrawal to Gethsemene. He had no appetite for the spiritual warfare Gethsemene afforded. Yet, He resolutely determined willfully to go to Jerusalem. He needed strength to fight against natural human reluctance. Each step along the road to Jerusalem represented a separate act of the will. Each separate act of the will represented a triumph over the reluctance of the flesh. In Him, in this act, was true heroism. Every one of His footprints is worthy of our study. From His example we learn.

A. We should never shrink from the path of duty regardless of the obstacle. Once you know what is right, do it regardless of the cost.

It was said of Joan of Ark, “She set her path and went down it like a thunderbolt.”

“The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity” (Proverbs 10:29).

God wants His will done. When we know His will and engage in doing it His resources are our assets. It is like swimming in a river. You can swim faster and with greater ease going with the flow of the stream. Swimming against the current is much more difficult.

B. Such uncompromising commitment should not expect any hospitality or help from a hostile world. It does inspire a hostile world.

Before the fall of the Communistic Soviet Republic Christians were severely persecuted. One house church grew in numbers in spite of this. They had to meet in secret to avoid disruption and potential persecution. On a given Sunday they would come to the meeting home in small numbers at a time. It often took hours for all to assemble so as not to attract attention to their gathering.

One Sunday evening their worship was disrupted by a banging on the door and then it burst open. Swiftly Soviet soldiers entered with guns ready. The commander ordered everyone to put their hands over their heads. He then threatened their lives but offered a reprieve. Those assembled had committed a capital offense punishable by death. Any person who would renounce their faith could go free. Slowly at first one person slipped out of the room. Then a couple and finally a few more.

The officer in charged closed the door and said, “Keep your hands in the air, but in praise of our Lord Jesus Christ. A few weeks ago we were ordered to raid a worshiping group. We stayed and were converted to faith in Christ. We are your brothers, but we have found only those willing to die for their faith can be trusted.”

Had you been in that room how would you have responded? The faith of the faithful inspired faith in others. Thereby, they were re-energized.

C. Such resolute response impresses and inspires others. Immediately before Christ started out for Jerusalem He had exhorted His followers to “Take up your cross and follow me.” Their interpretation of that exhortation was afforded. His personal example was a glossary to help their understanding.

Dean Alford, referring to his grave as an “inn,” that is, motel, asked for this inscription on his tombstone: “This is the inn of a traveler on his way to Jerusalem.”

The world is begging the Christian community for an exhibit of courage. Such courage as that which will fight to swim up stream against the current public opinion; courage that had rather eat an honest crust than fair sumptuously on fraud; such courage that will set its face like flint on the straight and narrow road of righteousness.

When the Romans landed at Dover they burned their boats. They had come to conquer or die trying.

With like determination, Paul wrote, “This one thing I do…” With singleness of purpose every believer should ask for, receive, and use the strength promised to stand true to the Lord.

By perseverance the snail reached the ark.

II. FAITH Paul “Traveled from place to place…strengthening all the disciples” (Acts 18:23).

Christ confirms the Christian faith by meeting specific needs with suitable strength. He never asks us to go elephant hunting with a fly swatter.

Neither will He outfit us to kill beetles with battleships.

Recently health care professionals met at Harvard Medical School for a course called “Spirituality and Healing in Medicine.” Their study centered around two groups of research to the faith- health connection. Ninety-nine percent of the doctors believe there is an important relationship between the spirit and the flesh.

The prayers of others for the sick was the subject of one study. Nearly 400 people participated in a California study regarding the effects of the prayers of others for heart patients. Half of the 400 were prayed for by others and half were not. Neither group knew they were being prayed for. Those who were prayed for had half as many complications and had a much lower rate of congestive heart failure.

Personal faith was the object of a study by Dartmouth Medical School. They tracked how patients’ personal prayer life influenced their recovery from bypass surgery. After six months a restudy was done. Among those who didn’t pray the death rate was 9%. Among those who did pray the rate dropped to 5%. NONE of those who had a deeply spiritual life died.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center studied 1700 older Americans and discovered that those who regularly attended religious services had stronger immune responses than those who did not. Blood tests showed those who regularly attended had a higher level of immunity against disease. Thus faith is indicated to be good for one spiritually and physically.

The recommendation was that patients should mix standard medical practices with their personal faith. We should have known that. After all it is in the Scripture.

In the Book of James “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14).

Why don’t we do this? In reality we do. Here is what it means. In the Greek language there are two words for anoint. One is CHRIO. In it you can hear the root for the name Christ, Christo. It means the anointed one. Prophets, priests, and kings were anointed by having oil placed on their brow in a ceremony.

The other Greek word is ALEPHO. It meant to massage or knead with oil in a manner bread is kneaded. In effect ALEPHO means to massage. This is the word used by James. Olive oil has long been highly regarded as having medicinal qualities. In the story of the Good Samaritan he anointed the assaulted man with oil. In Psalm 23 reference is made to “anointing my head with oil.”

What James is saying is use the best medicine known and pray. You will then have done all God expects of you. Therefore, trust Him and the result will be His will and thereby He will be pleased.

Our responsibility in matters of health is to exercise faith in prayer and use the best medicine available. There is strength in faith. Strength to even heal.

“May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father…encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (II Thessalonians 2: 16, 17).

Here the Scripture speaks of strength to face a life of suffering. There are hidden heroes and heroines in this and other fellowships who, by His strength are facing suffering victoriously. Every day holds new agony and every night new torturous trials. At the end of life awaits dying grace. Encouragement follows strength as heat does fire.

There are people here who would been overwhelmed were it not for the strength supplied by the Lord. Some have had enough grief to overcome ten persons but have been sustained by His strength.

Strength is found in:
PATIENCE: “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Are you ever confronted by a situation that demands patience? The next time it occurs think of it as an occasion in which our Lord is trying to strengthen you. The capacity to relax and wait on the Lord should be thought of as a state of being you can access at any moment and not something reserved for later on. You can relax NOW.

Being more relaxed involves training yourself to respond differently to the dramas of life. In doing so you turn your melodramas into mellow-dramas. You have trained yourself to respond like you do presently. Now you can engage in re-orientation and retrain yourself.

Consider life a classroom and patience the course of study. Consider this process of developing patience. Set a thirty minute period of time and say to yourself in advance, “During this time I won’t let anything bother me, I will be patient and wait on the Lord for solutions for everything that comes up in this thirty minutes.” This will strengthen your ability to be patient. This process is one where success feeds on success. The more successful you are in stringing thirty minute periods of time together the more successful you will be in exercising patience. You will develop strength through the Lord.

PURITY: One of the knights of the round table, Sir Lancelot, reputedly said, “My strength is the strength of ten because my heart is pure.”

“Truly God is good … to such as are pure in heart” (Psalm 73:1).

The word “pure” meant to be free from contaminants. Pure water was unpolluted water. The word was applied to an item being “tested by the sunlight.” Items were brought out into the bright sunlight and inspected to be certain they were free of contaminants.

Our lives should be lived with us being mindful we are constantly under the spotlight of the Son of God for His inspection. It is by His standard we are to measure our lives.

JOY: “…the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

The Hebrew word translated “strength” in this passage, MAOZ, means fortress or stronghold. To maintain a joyful spirit is to live in a spiritual fortress. The devil and his allies do not like to be around a spiritually joyful believer.

The Psalmist said it well: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

“The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior” (II Samuel 22:3).

IN CHRIST: “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom 5:6)

Even though we have the power, the ability, the strength, to live as we wish we do not have the power, the ability, the strength to live as we should. We need supernatural power, strength, to do this.

We who are powerless to do anything on our behalf regarding our eternal destiny have a Helper in the person of Jesus Christ. He exercised His power on our behalf by dying for us. Thus, He became the payment for the debt of our sin.