“Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.” – Daniel 2:20-21 (NASB)
As we continue seeking and finding promises from God in each book of the Bible, we come to Daniel. Daniel was one of the young men who were taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. One night the king of Babylon had a disturbing dream he couldn’t remember. His own council of wise men failed to tell him the dream or its meaning. Daniel was called upon for the task. God revealed to Daniel both the king’s dream and its meaning. Daniel didn’t claim any credit for he believed in God in heaven could reveal this mystery (Daniel 2:28). We find a promise for all and all time in these words by Daniel to the king. God is absolutely sovereign over all people and all things. We sometimes hear “times have changed” as an excuse for our thought and behavior. Yes times change but God never changes nor does His Word. When times change it is God who allows them to be changed or changes them. All wisdom, knowledge, and understanding comes from our Lord God. God removes and sets up the world leaders, even those who despise God. Nothing that is has ever surprised God.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,” 2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
We find our promise from God’s Word today in the second letter written by the Apostle Peter . “His” refers to Jesus Christ. Christ’s power is the source of the believer’s sufficiency and. all things that pertain to life. All genuine Christian’s are eternally secure in this salvation and will persevere and grow because we have received everything necessary to sustain eternal life through Christ’s power. This promise is especially precious because it is about what God does for us who belong to Him. He is the one who has called us to Himself because He loves us. He gives us eternal life and then provides us all that we need to live this new life. We are His children. He wants us to be like Him. He provides all that we need for godliness. Do you ever wonder how you can come up to the standards God has set for you? If so, remember this verse and the promise that it is His divine power that gives us everything we need to live a godly life. We are never expected to do it on our own because God’s power is always there for us.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
We’re thinking of the campfire or a wood fire burning in a fireplace. These fires provide heat and perhaps light but wood fires dwindle to coals as the wood is burned into ashes. To keep it going we add new wood and then we blow or fan the burning embers into a flame. Paul instruction to Timothy is to do the same to his spiritual gift. It’s God who gives us spiritual gifts to serve Him and others in His name and for His sake. Persecution was increasing in the first century when Paul wrote his last letter to Timothy, shortly before his execution by Nero. There was much then and much today that might cause us to react with a cowardly fear, that springs from timidity. The Spirit of God and the spiritual gifts He has promised and given to us are powerful and can overcome such fears. Exercising our faith through obedience using these gifts result in love and discipline. Self-control is essential and God promises to supply it to all who by faith believe. This is why we need to stoke our God given gifts and keep them alive and burning bright.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
Can we say that the promise in today’s passage is the promise of God’s power working within us? Yes, we can. For this is just what the Apostle Paul is praying for with confidence for all believers. This power is abundant to the point of exceeding our ability to ask or imagine. Beyond our thoughts. But, again we need the context to understand more completely how this power is made available. Spiritual power is a mark of every Christian who submits to God’s Word and Spirit. It is not reserved for some special class of Christian, but for all those who discipline their minds and spirits to study the Word, understand it, and live by it. Paul’s prayer included requests for: strength for our inner person; the dwelling of Christ in our hearts through faith; solidly grounded and rooted in love; ability to comprehend the fullness of God’s love which surpasses knowledge; and filled with the fullness of God. When these conditions are met, God’s power working in and through believers, is unlimited and far beyond any comprehension. All for His glory in Christ Jesus and His church forever. That is God’s promise of power for us.
“Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”” – Zechariah 4:6-7 (ESV)
After seventy years as exiles, taken by Nebuchadnezzar from Israel had been captives in Babylon. Cyrus the Persian freed the captives and about 50,000 returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. They immediately began to rebuild the temple, but opposition from neighbors, followed by the people’s indifference from within, caused the work to be abandoned. Zechariah, is a priest and a prophet⸺contemporary with Haggai. The Lord commissioned them to stir up the people to rebuild the temple. God give Zechariah the prophet a vision for Zerubbabel to take up the task and finish the job. But a caution and a promise are also given that we can learn from and trust as a promise for ourselves. Whatever our assignment, neither our might, wealth, or physical stamina will be sufficient for us to complete the work God gives to us. Only an abundant supply of the power of the Holy Spirit, will enable us to carry out the task. Because the outcome is guaranteed, any mountain-like opposition will be leveled by God to become like a flat surface. As was promised to those rebuilding the Temple of God it was completed 4 years later in 516 B.C.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” -Romans 15:13 (ESV)
In the letter the Apostle Paul wrote and sent to the believers in Rome, he takes time to proclaim how our God seeks to fulfill a promise He made to the patriarchs of the people of Israel. God has intended from the beginning to include in His plan of salvation, all nations, all people, all races without distinction. To the Jews at the time, all non-Jewish people were called Gentiles. This is the term Paul uses to identify all the people in the world, Jews and non-Jews. God is the source of eternal hope, life, and salvation for every person. He is the object of hope for every believer. Unlike our English. word “hope,” the New Testament word contains no uncertainty or ambiguity. This hope expresses something that is certain, but not yet realized. The believer’s eventual providence is to share in the glory of God and that hope will be realized because Christ Himself secures it (1 Timothy 1:1). It is only because of the clear and positive promises we have in the Word of God, that we believers have a sure foundation for hope. It is a hope that will not disappoint.
“…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,…” Ephesians 3:16-17a (NIV)
We sometimes select a verse that comes from a long sentence written by the Apostle Paul as is the case today. Much of our Bible in the New Testament was written by God’s apostles through letters to the first century Christians to encourage them. It is a prayer that begins with v. 14 where Paul says he bows his knees before the Father. Paul often wrote about how he prayed for his Christian friends. Today’s verse comes from one of those letters he wrote to the Ephesian believers. But not only to the church in Ephesus. His letters were circulated among all the churches. Also, these words were inspired by God for us too. God is able and ready to strengthen us with power in our inner being. Whatever you are facing today if the Holy Spirit is present in your life He will strengthen you and bring you through it. And, there is no limit to what God can do for each of us. It all comes, out of God’s glorious riches. Do your sense the need for strength and power? Don’t hesitate to trust God for whatever you need today, even right now.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”” – Romans 1:16-17 (ESV)
These are words of testimony from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the believers living in Rome. He wanted to preach and teach in Rome. These two verses form the thesis of the entire letter—the gospel of Jesus Christ—which Paul unfolds and clarifies in the following chapters. The apostle was not reluctant to preach the gospel, for he loved that good news. Our promise is that the righteousness from God is ours and is available to everyone who in faith believe. There is no distinction in God’s family. The push in our world today to identify each other by race or by any other classification is purely a human method of manipulation and it is not of God. We are promised and declared righteous in Christ by believing in His word. That is how we live, believing in why He came to earth. That’s the gospel Paul was not ashamed to preach. He suffered imprisonment, was chased out and had to be smuggled out of cities. He was laughed at, called a fool and even stoned nearly or to death. Because of God’s promise let’s also be eager to proclaim our faith in the Gospel.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Weakness is bad, right? None of us seek to be seen as weak even if we are weak. These words were written as a testimony by the Apostle Paul. Paul tells of a prayer he had earnestly prayed three times asking God to remove a problem that he called “a thorn in the flesh.” We do not know just what it was while many who also do not know speculate with assumptions. What we do know is that God knows what is best for us and everything that He does for us is for our best even when it is not what we asked for. God knew what was best for the Apostle Paul. God also knew the perfect solution for his problem. Paul acknowledged his weakness; it had a purpose – to glorify God. Paul learned to even boast of his weaknesses. If we are true children of God we will want more than anything else, that God’s name will be glorified. We want to realize that His power is perfect and all that he does is perfect. When God does not do just what we ask of Him, He always gives us the grace and power to overcome.
“…strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light” – Colossians 1:11-12 (NASB)
Again we look at this passage from the letter Paul the Apostle wrote to the church in Colossae. He cared much for the people in all the churches he had a part in establishing. Praying for them every day, he sought God’s very best for them and for them to recognize the promises and blessings they received. These are promises for us as well. In our passage today is a third factor, spiritual strength, that results from knowing God’s will and pleasing Him. Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, a promise for overcoming uses three words for strength: “being strengthened” ⸺enable; make strong;¹ “power” ⸺be able, can;² and “might” ⸺power that overcomes resistance;³ This God-given strength produces great endurance and patience. This endurance or perseverance (James 1:3), we saw characterized by Job (James 5:11). To this endurance Paul added “patience,” a word generally associated with gentleness and calmness. When patience-producing power is manifested it is often accompanied with a joyful spirit of thanksgiving to the Father from whom comes every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Our promise is we are made qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints.