Bread – Bestrong

July 13, 2012


Readings for Friday, July 13 designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Deut. 31:7-13, 24-32:4; Rom. 10:1-13; Matt. 24:15-31; Psalms 16, 17, 22

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Today I have coined a new word – “Bestrong.” I might have used the word “Livestrong,” but unfortunately that word is already trademarked.

Actually, it may not be unfortunate, because we cannot live properly until we “are” properly. We cannot “livestrong” until we “bestrong.”

Less you think I just invent this stuff, I am just quoting Moses. From our reading today in Deuteronomy: “…Be strong and courageous, …It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deut. 31:7b-8.

Moses is speaking to Joshua, who must now lead Israel into the Promised Land. Moses is reminding him that he can “bestrong,” not because of who he is, but because of who God is. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Now, how can we begin the process to “bestrong?” The first is to recognize that there is a God and the second is to recognize that I am not Him. The second is to recognize who we are – not God, broken, lost, ineffective, sinful. The third is contained in our reading today from Paul in Romans: “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Rom. 10:9-10. God the Son went before us to do what we could not do, to die on the cross so that we could “bestrong,” to bring us to Him so that we can believe in our heart and confess with our mouth and therefore “bestrong,” so that we can receive the Holy Spirit and in the power of God the Holy Spirit “bestrong.” Joshua was a mighty warrior, skilled in the ways of the world. What he needed, however, to “bestrong” was the knowledge that it was not him who leads, but Him (the Lord) who leads.

But why a new word “Bestrong,” when the old words work just fine. One reason is to refocus us on who and what we must be in the evil day. There is a third reading today, Jesus speaking in Matthew these words: “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those …For then there will be great tribulation But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short…” Matt. 24:15-22.

As a side note, let us just stop to reflect on the miracle of the Word before us. Our readings today were organized a long time ago, maybe as long as 500 years ago. Today is Friday the 13th in a year of three Friday the 13ths which are 13 weeks apart. And yet today God’s sovereign Word, His present revelation to us, tells us what to do (be strong), how to do it (belief and confession in Jesus Christ), and for what purpose (to stand in the evil day, ready for His return). Amazing.

In the power of God who goes before us and is always with us, let us today bestrong.

In the power of God who has died for us and who has saved us, let us today bestrong.

In the power of God who has created us and all the earth, let us today bestrong.

In the power of God who, in His time, will return in glory, let us today bestrong.

In the power of God, bestrong. There is no other way.

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© 2012 GBF

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